Thursday, April 13, 2006

World Cup News - April 13

Two months from today we will all be hung over from celebrating the US victory of the Czech Republic, but till then, here's your news.

Trinidad & Tobago have named an initial 24-man pool for the finals. Coach Leo Beenhakker will hack the team down to 23 after they play a friendly against Peru on May 10th. Talk about being the odd man out.

Here is the full pool:
Kelvin Jack (Dundee), Shaka Hislop (West Ham United), Clayton Ince (Coventry City), Dennis Lawrence (Wrexham), Cyd Gray (CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh), Marvin Andrews (Rangers), Brent Sancho (Gillingham), Ian Cox (Gillingham), Atiba Charles (W Connection), Avery John (New England Revolution), Silvio Spann (unattached), Chris Birchall (Port Vale), Aurtis Whitley (CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh), Anthony Rougier (Petrotrin), Anthony Wolfe (Jabloteh), Densill Theobald (Falkirk), Carlos Edwards (Luton Town), Dwight Yorke (Sydney FC), Russell Latapy (Falkirk), Stern John (Coventry City), Kenwyne Jones (Southampton), Collin Samuel (Dundee United), Jason Scotland (St Johnstone), Cornell Glen (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Dwight Yorke is looking to captain T&T in his first and last World Cup.

Yorke might be happy to just end his international career in a cup, but Frenchman Zinedine Zidane wants his final big show to result in him again becoming a World Champion.

Another player trying hard to be ready for the finals is Paraguayan international striker Roque Santa Cruz, who recently returned to his club early from a ligament injury. He has played in Bayern Munich's last two matches and has told his team that he is willing to play in reserve matches if it will help him get his match fitness back. That's a great attitude to have.

Off the pitch, FIFA President Joseph Blatter says the World Cup, for one month, will allow people to forget the misery of the world. He also predicted a safe and clean tournament.

Germany is hoping the month goes well and that it gives their economy a nice kick. Everyone is getting ready for the oncoming fans, including the sex industry.

But Germany does not just want to take your money and give you STDs, they also want to change the image of their country, which has lingered since World War II. With that in mind, Berlin is stepping up to present a friendly face to the thousands of visitors.

If you are not able to make it to the new Germany to view games, why not take a cruise. Royal Caribbean International has won the rights to broadcast all 64 matches on their ships sailing in Europe.

If you don't want to take a boat, you can always walk your way to Germany. Yesterday, in a, "wow, I'll do anything to attract attention" move, a Sun feature writer started a 600-mile walk by foot to Frankfurt. Each day he has to file a story, write a blog, check his emails, produce a videolog and contribute to a dedicated MySpace site. He should arrive on June 10th, the day of England's first match.

That match, as with all the others, will see FIFA use new technology for the first time. No, it won't be on the pitch, it will be in the ticket as each one will have an embedded RFID (radio frequency identification) chip containing identification information, to be checked against a database as fans pass through entrance gates at all 12 stadiums in June. One problem, the organizing committee will not say what information will actually be on the smart tag.

Actually, there will be new technology on the pitch and it will even be on the ball. Adidas has designed a ball that has fewer seams, thus it is rounder and bounces higher and will be more accurate during flight. This marks a huge improvement over the ball used in the 1930 World Cup (pictured). Here's some more history of World Cup balls.

Turning our eyes to 2010, the location of Cape Town's stadium is causing a lot of anger as locals want alternative locations to be looked at.

Finally, a word of congratulations to John over a Pseudo Corner Kick who has recently got engaged and got tickets to all three US matches. However, a word of warning, you might want to keep your beloved away from Switzerland. Those cheeky bastards.

57 days till kickoff...


Anonymous john said...

Thanks Mike, you da man.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can not believe that today that the FIFA, had the list of the best Soccer[football] teams and the USA IS # 4!!!!!!!!! nobody mentions it!
I am sending emails to CNN, and the rest demanding that they congratulate this team.

6:50 PM  

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