Saturday, March 04, 2006

Australian A-League finally tomorrow

Sunday afternoon the inaugural A-League grand final will take place between Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners at the Sydney Football Stadium. This will conclude a fantastic year for the game in Australia. With the Socceroos making it the World Cup for the first time in many, many years, the country has found itself with soccer fever.

Although I only know a little bit about the A-League, I feel a strong connection with them. Just like in America, soccer is overshadowed by another game. And just like in America, it is often the butt of jokes. However, unlike in America, a trip to the World Cup has really changed the way people look at the sport. It still has a long way to go, but it has made great leaps.

As far as the game is concerned, it is being portrayed as a clash between glitz and glamour and the blue-collar. Sydney FC is the favorite, as they are considered the flagship team of the league and the richest team in the league. On the other side of things, Central Coast has struggled with serious financial strain and a crop of players that are rag-tag to say the best.

It should make for a fine ending to a great first year.

In other Australia news, national team coach Guus Hiddink has given one of his assistants, former Socceroo striker Graham Arnold, the nod as a great next coach for the team. Also, Hiddink has denied taking the head job in Russia.


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