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Entries Tagged as 'World Cup'

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. Soccer: A Deep Disappointment, Not a Disaster

October 10th, 2017 · 1 Comment · Football, France, Russia 2018, soccer, World Cup

OK, we can stop whining. A couple of hours of cursing and gnashing of teeth is understandable, but after that … time to move on. Weird things happened tonight and the U.S. national team is out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986. A 2-1 defeat at Trinidad & Tobago; Honduras and […]

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A Little Help, Please?

October 9th, 2017 · No Comments · Brazil 2014, Football, Russia 2018, soccer, World Cup

That’s what you say when the ball gets away and rolls into another court, in tennis or basketball. “A little help, please?” A request, not a demand. Which is what the U.S. national soccer team is asking of Mexico and Costa Rica. “A little help, please?”

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Srecko Katanec: A Big Deal in Slovenia

October 8th, 2017 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Football, soccer, Sports Journalism, The National, UAE, World Cup

As the ultimate international sport, one might expect soccer would offer all sorts of odd and interesting connections. This guy played for that guy, and later became coach of this team that I covered … It really is rather amazing, in a sort of “three degrees of separation” way. And I have noticed a few […]

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