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Entries Tagged as 'Fifa'

How the Draw Might Have Gone for the U.S.

December 1st, 2017 · 2 Comments · Fifa, Football, Landon Donovan, World Cup

The World Cup without the U.S. national team? Those who consider it a disastrous setback for soccer in America are badly mistaken. It’s 2017, not 1998! Soccer in the U.S., at the club level, is in fine shape and trending upward. If anything, sitting out Russia 2018 can serve as a wake-up call for the […]

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Sorting the World Cup Best from the Rest

November 20th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, France, Russia 2018, World Cup

The 32 teams are set. Last nation into the tournament was Peru, with a 2-0 aggregate victory over New Zealand in the inter-confederation playoffs. Here are the nations that will participate in Russia 2018 — 31 of them, with the host Russia making it 32. Let’s break these down into contenders, long shots, also-rans and […]

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Italy Out? Now ‘This’ Is a National Disaster

November 13th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, Italy, Rugby, soccer, Spain, World Cup

Italy went bonkers tonight. The national team, the azzurri, was held to a scoreless draw with good-but-not-special Sweden, and the home-and-away runners-up playoffs for the final four European berths at Russia 2010 went to Switzerland, Denmark, Croatia — and Sweden. Italy stays home. This is the biggest shock from this edition of World Cup qualifying […]

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Putting the ‘World’ into World Cup Qualifying

November 10th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, Russia 2018, soccer, World Cup

If you think about it, not much pertaining to the 2018 Russia World Cup has been of a global nature, so far. In qualifying competition, European nations played nations from the European confederation. Asian nations played other Asian nations. And so on. The 2018 World Cup has been a regional event, to date. That changed […]

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Help on the Way? A Good World Cup for U.S. U17 Team

October 21st, 2017 · No Comments · Brazil 2014, Fifa, Football, Landon Donovan, soccer, World Cup

Reaching the quarterfinals of a Fifa tournament is pretty much the definition of success, on the male side of the U.S. national soccer realm, and the Under 17 team just did it, at the U17 World Cup in India. And what does it mean for the senior side to have the kids get to the […]

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Today’s List: Ten Thoughts on U.S./World Cup

October 12th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, Lists, Russia 2018, soccer, Sports Journalism, World Cup

It’s time for a list. A lot of information and opinions banging around out there about the U.S. loss at Trinidad and Tobago, and subsequent failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Let’s see if we can pick out a few of the most interesting notions — and maybe introduce a few new ones.

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Populous Countries and Their World Cup Soccer Woes

October 11th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, Russia 2018, soccer, World Cup

China is the world’s most populous nation, with 1.38 billion people. India is second, at 1.28 billion. The U.S. is third, at 325 million. Indonesia is fourth, at 260 million. Further down the list, Pakistan is No. 6 with 203 million and Bangladesh is No. 8 with 158 million. Q: And what do those six […]

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U.S., Syria Salvage Late Qualifying Draws

September 5th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, Russia 2018, soccer, World Cup

The United States and Syria and their national soccer teams. Concepts never before found in the same paragraph, on this blog. Each hoped today for a victory. Each would be crushed by a defeat. Each will settle for draws, late in the making, draws that keep each team on a road to the Russia 2018 […]

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Iran and Syria, Russia 2018 and a Fix Risk

September 4th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, Russia 2018, soccer, World Cup

We like to think sports are above and beyond politics. We know that is not true, has never been true and never will be true. Political imperatives often threaten fair and free sports events, and anti-competitive forces tomorrow have one of the greatest opportunities in modern times to take the narrative in a pre-ordained direction. […]

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MLS: ’28th Strongest’ Soccer League in World

August 13th, 2017 · No Comments · English Premier League, Fifa, Football, soccer, Spain

Not exactly a rousing endorsement of Major League Soccer. The data guys at the FiveThirtyEight website have come up with a batch of calculations they believe indicate the “relative strength” of soccer leagues in Europe, North America and South America. (See the rankings, about a third of the way down the page.) In simplest terms, […]

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