Tuesday, May 02, 2006

World Cup News - May 2

This is a big World Cup news day in the USA as Bruce Arena will announce his 23-man squad at 6pm ET on ESPN. Still, there is plenty of other news, so let's take a look at that.

The star injured player of the moment is Wayne Rooney who will miss at least 6-weeks with his broken foot. However, to try and help cut the time down a bit, the Sun is reporting that he will sleep in an oxygen tent. Even if that is not true, Rooney still hopes to be back in time to help his country. Side note, England's odds in of winning it all have gone from 5/2 to 6/1 due to this injury.

Italy coach Marcello Lippi has named a 29-man squad for a two-day, pre-World Cup camp in Rome this week. He did not call any players from Roma or Inter Milan since they will play in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday. In an interesting move he called 32-year old AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi into camp. This is the first time he has been called in since Oct. 2003. Here is the full list:

Goalkeepers Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Udinese), Marco Amelia (Livorno), Angelo Peruzzi (Lazio)

Defenders Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Palermo), Andrea Zaccardo (Palermo), Fabio Grosso (Palermo), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina), Massimo Oddo (Lazio), Daniele Bonera (Parma), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Gianluca Zambrotta (Juventus)

Midfielders Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Franco Semioli (Chievo), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Simone Barone (Palermo), Fabio Liverani (Lazio), Mauro Esposito (Cagliari), Marco Marchionni (Parma)

Strikers Luca Toni (Fiorentina), Alberto Gilardino (AC Milan), Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Udinese), Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Francesco Tavano* (Empoli), Cristiano Lucarelli (Livorno)

Costa Rica cut their provisional World Cup squad from 28 to 24 players and have given injured defenders Harold Wallace and Michael Rodriguez until the end of the week to recover or miss out on Germany. Wallace is recovering from a thigh strain and is expected the make the deadline while Rodriguez has an injury to his right knee. The four players cut are goalkeeper Adrian de Lemos, defenders Cristian Montero and Carlos Johnson and forward Bryan Ruiz.

Jason Scotland’s chances of playing for Trinidad and Tobago in their World Cup warm-up match against Peru a week tomorrow have increased with the news that Cornell Glen is unlikely to play due to injury.

On the "trying to add possible names to the roster" front, Angola wants FIFA Portuguese-based players Pedro Emanuel and Chainho to play for their side, however both played for Portuguese under class teams, but never the senor squad. FIFA's rules say, "players with dual citizenship or nationality who have not played international soccer above under-23 level have been eligible to apply to change the country they represent. But they must make the application before their 21st birthday. Since both players are 31, this might be a problem.

Wondering what youngster might break out of the pack and becoming a star in Germany? If so, MSNBC has a few suggestions of people to watch.

But enough about players, lets talk about teams. Who is the favorite to win the cup? If you said Brazil, Vinicius de Souza Barreira, a systems analyst, thinks you are wrong. Why? whenever South America or Europe take the lead in all-time World Cups won, the other continent wins the next tournament to even the score:

1930: Uruguay (South America 1, Europe 0)
1934: Italy (South America 1 x 1 Europe) * TIE *
1938: Italy (South America 1, Europe 2)
1950: Uruguay (South America 2, Europe 2) * TIE *
1954: Germany (South America 2, Europe 3)
1958: Brazil (South America 3, Europe 3) * TIE *
1962: Brazil (South America 4, Europe 3)
1966: England (South America 4, Europe 4) * TIE *
1970: Brazil (South America 5, Europe 4)
1974: Germany (South America 5, Europe 5) * TIE *
1978: Argentina (South America 6, Europe 5)
1982: Italy (South America 6, Europe 6) * TIE *
1986: Argentina (South America 7, Europe 6)
1990: Germany (South America 7, Europe 7) * TIE *
1994: Brazil (South America 8, Europe 7)
1998: France (South America 8, Europe 8) * TIE *
2002: Brazil (South America 9, Europe 8)

Mexico is on a mission to better their best World Cup showing. They think they will be able to do thus because of their impressive form in last year's Confederations Cup in Germany where they finished third including a 1-0 win over world champions Brazil. Odd, they don't mention coming in second in CONCACAF qualifying.

As any coach will tell you, experience is needed all over the pitch if your team wants to win. The same can be said for the referees. This cup will only see a few refs in their 30's with most of them in their early 40's. This age issue has a lot to do with proving you can call a good game but also with proving that you can stand up to the pressure of the players and the fans.

The World Cup trophy ended its global tour this past weekend at a mall in Saudi Arabia.

Farsi may not be the most common language in Saudi Arabia (it is mostly heard in Iran), but if you happen to speak the language, you will be able to watch all 64 World Cup games in the tongue in the USA as Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm of Major League Soccer, sublicensed US and Canadian TV rights in Farsi to Iranian-American broadcaster Tapesh TV.

As for the Iranian national team, German and Iranian authorities will cooperate over any possible threats to the Iran national soccer team at the World Cup, according to a senior German politician. These threats include being on the alert for Neo-Nazi activity or racist disruptions from Eastern European hooligans.

But enough of all the serious stuff, it's time for another example of 'we'll do anything to tie our product to the World Cup.' This week we have the Matsunichi Kicks Off MP3 Player, which is shaped like a soccer ball.

Want to bone up on some 1930/34 World Cup trivia? Here are a few things you might want to know, including the fact that Angelo Schiavio scored the 100th goal of the competition in Italy's 7-1 battering of the United States in Rome on May 27. That's okay, the US will return the favor in June.

So what to drink when you are celebrating the USA's win over team Italy? How about 'Goooal!'

Finally, is Goleo VI the lion (pictured) an abusive, whore-mongering male slut? One web site dares to look into it.

Only 38 days till kickoff...

Update: If you are looking for the actual US World Cup roster, look here.

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