World Cup Mock Draw

December 3, 2009

So the World Cup draw is less than 24 hours away. Players, coaches, celebrities are in Cape Town, South Africa preparing for what will take place tomorrow. We at International Football Talk have been having a Mock Draw marathon this week. With all the possible procedures FIFA may use. FIFA are using the same procedure they used in 2006 for the draw. However, Netherlands will be seeded and France will be not as FIFA decided to use the world rankings for seeding purposes instead of a formula of world rankings and past World Cup performance. With that said I did a complete draw this time around. Including group positioning with selecting A2, A3, A4, B2, B3, B4, etc. to determing when and where games will be played. I will layout the entire schedule below if FIFA were to draw this exactly. All times are local South African time. South Africa is 6 hours ahead of eastern time during the summer. So matches on the east coast would be 7:30a.m., 10a.m., and 2:30p.m. From there you can figure out game times depending on where you live.

Pot A – South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain
Pot B – Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, New Zeland, Honduras, Mexico, United States
Pot C – Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
Pot D – Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Group A
– South Africa
– Denmark
– Honduras
– Paraguay

South Africa v. Denmark Friday, June 11th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
Honduras v. Paraguay Friday. June 11th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town

South Africa v. Honduras Wednesday, June 16th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria
Paraguay v. Denmark Thursday, June 17th 1:30p.m. @Polokwane

Denmark v. Honduras Tuesday, June 22nd 4p.m. @Runstenberg
Paraguay v. South Africa Tuesday, June 22nd 4p.m. @Bloemfontein

Group B
– Argentina
– Cameroon
– Greece
– New Zealand

Argentina v. Cameroon Saturday, June 12th 1:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park
Greece v. New Zealand Saturday, June 12th 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth

Argentina v. Greece Saturday, June 17th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
New Zealand v. Cameroon Saturday, June 17th 8:30p.m. @Bloemfontein

Cameroon v. Greece Tuesday, June 22nd 8:30p.m. @Polokwane
New Zealand v. Argentina Tuesday, June 22nd 8:30p.m. @Durban

Group C
– Spain
– Slovakia
– North Korea
– Chile

Spain v. Slovakia Saturday, June 12th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg
North Kora v. Chile Sunday, June 13th 1:30p.m. @Polokwane

Spain v. North Korea Friday, June 18th 4p.m. @Cape Town
Chile v. Slovakia Friday, June 18th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

Slovakia v. North Korea Wednesday, June 23rd 4p.m. @Pretoria
Chile v. Spain Wednesday, June 23rd 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth

Group D
– Netherlands
– Ivory Coast
– Portugal
– United States

Netherlands v. Ivory Coast Sunday, June 13th 4p.m. @Durban
Portugal v. Unites States Sunday, June 13th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria

Netherlands v. Portugal Friday, June 18th 1:30p.m.@Port Elizabeth
United States v. Ivory Coast Saturday, June 19th 1:30p.m. @Rustenberg

Ivory Coast v. Portugal Wednesday, June 23rd 8:30p.m. @Nelspruit
United States v. Netherlands Wednesday, June 23rd 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City

Group E
– England
– Nigeria
– Australia
– Switzerland

England v. Nigeria Monday, June 14th 1:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
Australia v. Switzerland Monday, June 14th 4p.m. @Bloemfontein

England v. Australia Saturday, June 19th 4p.m. @Durban
Switzerland, v. Nigeria Satuday, June 19th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria

Nigeria v. Australia Thursday, June 24th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg
Switzerland v. England Thursday, June 24th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town

Group F
– Italy
– Uruguay
– France
– South Korea

Italy v. Uruguay Monday, June 14th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town
France v. South Korea Tuesday, June 15th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg

Italy v. France Sunday, June 20th 1:30p.m. @Nelspruit
South Korea v. Uruguay Sunday, June 20th 4p.m. @Bloemfontein

Uruguay v. France Thursday, June 24th 4p.m. @Polokwane
South Korea v. Italy Thursday, June 24th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

Group G
– Germany
– Slovenia
– Mexico
– Ghana

Germany v. Slovenia Tuesday, June 15th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park
Mexico v. Ghana Tuesday, June 15th 8:30p.m. @Port Elizabeth

Germany v. Mexico Sunday, June 20th 8:30p.m. @Johannesbrg, Soccer City
Ghana v. Slovenia Monday, June 21st 1:30p.m. @Cape Town

Slovenia v. Mexico Friday, June 25th 4p.m. @Nelspruit
Ghana v. Germany Friday, June 15th 4p.m. @Durban

Group H
– Brazil
– Serbia
– Algeria
– Japan

Brazil v. Serbia Wednesday, June 16th 1:30p.m. @Durban
Algeria v. Japan Wednesday, June 16th 4p.m. @Nelspruit

Brazil v. Algeria Monday, June 21st 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth
Japan v. Serbia Monday, June 21st 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

Serbia v. Algeria Friday, June 25th 8:30p.m. @Bloemfontein
Japan v. Brazil Friday, 25th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria

Round of 16 (in bracket order)
A1 v. B2 Saturday, June 26th 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth
C1 v. D2 Saturday, June 26th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg
E1 v. F2 Monday, June 28th 4p.m. @Durban
G1 v. H2 Monday, June 28th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park
B1 v. A2 Sunday, June 27th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
D1 v. C2 Sunday, June 27th 4p.m. @Bloemfontein
F1 v. E2 Tuesday, June 29th 4p.m. @Pretoria
H1 v. G2 Tuesday, June 29th 8:30p.. @Cape Town

Quarterfinals (in bracket order)
A1/B2 v. C1/D2 Friday, July 2nd 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
E1/F2 v. G1/H2 Friday, July 2nd 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth
B1/A2 v. D1/C2 Saturday, July 3rd 4p.m. @Cape Town
F1/E2 v. H1/G2 Saturday, July 3rd 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

July 2nd winners Tuesday, July 6th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town
July 3rd winners Wednesay, July 7th 8:30p.m. @Durban

3rd place playoff
Semifinals losers Saturday, July 10th 8:30p.m. @Port Elizabeth

World Cup Final
Semifinal winners Sunday, July 11th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City


World Cup Qualifying UEFA Playoff Draw Preview

October 19, 2009

The main event in the footballing world this coming Monday, 19 October takes place at Home of FIFA in Zurich, with the spotlight focused on the eight European nations who have claimed places in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying play-offs. The draw for the final eliminators, to be played on a home-and-away basis on 14 and 18 November, will be held at 14:00 local time, with France, Portugal, Russia and Greece entering it as the seeded teams.

Fans, media representatives and football lovers around the globe can stay abreast of the very latest developments and follow the draw ceremony as it happens, by tuning in to our live stream here at the world governing body’s official website. The eight remaining nations have battled their way through to the play-offs, and will now go head-to-head for the four remaining spots at the 2010 finals:

France, runners-up at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, are determined to book their ticket to South Africa via the alternative route of the play-offs as they strive for a 13th appearance at the game’s showpiece event. The French were forced to settle for second place in European Group 7 behind a very impressive Serbia. UEFA EURO 2008 semi-finalists Russia are the second of the continent’s heavyweights going into the hat on Monday. The nine-time FIFA World Cup finals contenders, whose best placing was fourth at the 1966 tournament in England, missed out on top spot in Group 4 due to home and away defeats against eventual winners Germany.

The Republic of Ireland have made three appearances at the FIFA World Cup finals, most recently at the 2002 edition in Korea/Japan. With Italian coaching legend Giovanni Trapattoni at the helm, the team spearheaded by John O’Shea of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane are quietly confident of securing a spot in South Africa. Bosnia Herzegovina were the surprise package in Group 5, as they comfortably held off Turkey and Belgium to finish runners-up behind seemingly invincible European champions Spain. The Bosnians owe their place among the last eight hopefuls to their potent forward line, featuring free-scoring pair Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic, ably supported by the playmaking guile of Zvjezdan Misimovic. They are also the only one of the eight group runners-up who have yet to appear at the FIFA World Cup finals.

The most experienced candidates in terms of play-offs for a major tournament are Ukraine. The east Europeans and their star name Andriy Shevchenko came up short at the same stage in 1997 (to Croatia) and 2001 (to Germany) in FIFA World Cup qualifying, and in 1999 (to Slovenia) in the battle for places at the EURO, before finally booking a place at the global showdown in 2006. FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal team-mates picked up form after a poor start to qualifying, ending up second to Denmark in their group. The Portuguese, who finished fourth at the 2006 finals and third back in 1966, now go into the eliminators searching for what would be only their fifth appearance at the world’s greatest sporting event.

EURO 2004 winners Greece and their veteran German boss Otto Rehhagel also find themselves needing to negotiate the play-offs after coming off second-best to Switzerland in Group 2. A ticket to South Africa would provide the Greeks with only their second tilt at the world crown. Their sole previous appearance was at the 1994 event in the USA. Finally, Slovenia complete the field for the play-off fray in mid-November. Striker Milivoje Novakovic and Co are also chasing their second finals appearance after sensationally qualifying for the 2002 tournament in Korea/Japan with a play-off triumph over Romania.

watch the draw here

Argentina v Uruguay Preview

October 14, 2009

Lionel Messi is convinced Argentina will beat Uruguay in Montevideo and book the final automatic South American berth in next summer’s World Cup finals.

The Charruas and the Albicelestes will go head to head to decide who clinches qualification and who will progress to a play-off against a CONCACAF nation – or worse, miss out altogether.

Diego Maradona’s Argentina will play in South Africa if they win or draw, barring an extraordinary performance by Ecuador at already-qualified Chile, while defeat could eliminate them should Ecuador win. Uruguay Must win to overhaul Argentina.

Messi said: ”We’ll play at the World Cup. We are risking everything in the last qualifier. I trust in my national team. We’ll do our best to clinch a win there, even though it won’t be an easy game.”

Maradona has already announced that Gonzalo Higuain and Martin Palermo, who scored the goals in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Peru, will not both start, with the Real Madrid striker looking the more likely to start.

Maradona said: ”Palermo and Higuain together? No. It is one of them. One or the other. They will play together only if we need to score to win.

”Our chances of progressing to the World Cup are intact. We must go to Uruguay to fight for our qualification. We’ll do that with pride.”

Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez, meanwhile, will send his side out with a do-or-die attitude.

”Winning is what matters,” he said. ”We’ll try to win. We respect Argentina, but we need the three points.”

Tabarez will try to keep his mind off the clash between Chile and Ecuador in Santiago, which could yet decide their fate should they fail to beat Argentina.

”We’ll not be thinking of what is going on in Chile,” he said. ”Chile will try to win to give joy to their supporters at home. We must win. A draw is the same than losing. We must win.”

Diego Forlan, who scored a penalty winner in added time in the crucial 2-1 win in Ecuador on Saturday, admitted he is shocked that Argentina have not already qualified.

”It is surprising, but this is the result of a number of matches in which they didn’t get the result they expected,” he said. ”Argentina are one of the best teams in the world, but there are no advantages on the field.

”It is the match I’ve always dreamt of. I want to play at the World Cup and it is up to us.”

Watch Argentina v Uruguay live for free here

courtesy of

Latest on Charlie Davis

October 14, 2009

WASHINGTON , D.C. (Oct. 13, 2009) – U.S. National Soccer Team forward Charlie Davies is in serious but stable condition and resting following several hours of surgery at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. to treat injuries suffered in a one-car accident on the George Washington Parkway early Tuesday morning in Northern Virginia.

Davies suffered a lacerated bladder and fractures to the tibia and femur bones in his right leg. He also suffered facial fractures and a left elbow fracture. Davies was air-lifted to the hospital where a team of doctors first repaired a ruptured bladder and then inserted titanium rods in both the tibia, the bone in the lower leg, and the femur, which is the thigh bone, with no complications. Davies will be hospitalized for at least a week and additional surgeries will be required to stabilize his left elbow fracture and possibly the facial fractures.

“Injuries of this nature usually require a recovery period of six to 12 months and extensive rehabilitation,” said U.S. Soccer physician Dr. Dan Kalbac, who is with the team in D.C. and collaborated with the treating doctors. ”Due to Charlie’s fitness level, his prognosis for recovery and his ability to resume high-level competition is substantially improved.”

Davies is in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. National Team as the squad prepares for its final 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, taking place tomorrow against Costa Rica at RFK Stadium.

Davies, who has played 17 matches for the USA while scoring four goals, started and played 78 minutes in the USA’s 3-2 victory over Honduras in San Pedro Sula last Saturday that clinched a berth for the United States to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

courtesy of and Associated Press

Charlie Davies car crash incident

October 13, 2009

(Associated Press) ARLINGTON, Va. — U.S. national team forward Charlie Davies was in serious condition Tuesday evening following a one-vehicle accident in which another person was killed.

Davies underwent several hours of surgery at Washington Hospital Center Medstar. Hospital spokeswoman So Young Pak said Davies’ condition was serious but offered no further details.

U.S. Soccer Federation spokesman Neil Buethe earlier said that Davies’ injuries were not life-threatening. The federation was expected to release a statement later in the evening.

“Obviously, as a team we were saddened to learn this news,” coach Bob Bradley said after learning of the accident. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and his family, as well as the other person in the car and the families of the others involved. … We are relying on each other in a moment that has for sure hit us all hard.”

U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said the accident took place at about 3:15 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia. Schlosser identified the fatality as Ashley J. Roberta, 22, of Phoenix, Md.

Schlosser said there were three people in the car, and that Roberta was not the driver. Davies and the other person in the car were taken to the same hospital, one by land and one by helicopter. Schlosser did not say who was driving the car, and the cause of the accident remained under investigation.

Buethe initially said that Davies’ injuries were “possibly” career-threatening but later clarified the remark.

“At this point, we just don’t know the extent of the injuries, so we can’t comment on how this affects Charlie’s future,” Buethe said while Davies was still in surgery.

The U.S. team is in Washington area for Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifying game against Costa Rica.

The 23-year-old Davies has four goals in 17 international appearances. He started and played 78 minutes in the Americans’ 3-2 victory over Honduras on Saturday that clinched a berth in their sixth straight World Cup. He made his first U.S. appearance on June 2, 2007, as a substitute against China.

Born in Manchester, N.H., Davies played for Boston College before turning pro in 2006. He was a member of last year’s American Olympic team and currently plays for the French club Sochaux. Davies’ parents were in route to Washington on Tuesday, USSF spokesman Michael Kammarman said.

The U.S. team had an optional breakfast at its hotel Tuesday, and officials were informed of the accident around 11 a.m., just as Davies’ surgery was about to begin. Bradley informed the players of the news as they gathered for lunch.

The players were not made available for comment, but many in the U.S. soccer community expressed somber thoughts via Twitter.

“OMG please pray for Charlie Davies and the people involved in the car accident in dc,” was the message from Freddy Adu, also a member of the national team’s player pool.

“Obviously, the players are saddened by the situation and, obviously, hope the surgery goes well for Charlie and that he has a quick recovery,” Buethe said.

Charlie Davies injured in fatal car crash

October 13, 2009

United States forward Charlie Davies was injured in a deadly single-car accident in Virginia early on Tuesday.

Davies, 23, was in a stable condition having surgery and his undisclosed injuries were not considered life-threatening, said US soccer spokesman Neil Buethe, adding that a person in the car was killed.

“As a team we were saddened to learn this news,” U.S. coach Bob Bradley told reporters. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Charlie and Charlie’s family as well as the people in the car and the families of the others involved.”

Buethe said the accident occurred at about 0315 local time on the Virginia side of the George Washington Parkway. He was unable to say if Davies was the driver or a passenger.

The U.S., who have already clinched a place at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, face Costa Rica on Wednesday at RFK Stadium in Washington in their final qualifier.

Davies, who also plays for French Ligue 1 side Sochaux, has made 17 appearances for the U.S., scoring four goals.

USA to play Denmark

October 13, 2009

Well it looks like those friendlies for the World Cup are being planned.  The Danish Football Association has announced that they will be taking on the United States on November 18th in Aarhus, Denmark at NRGi Park.

The U.S. mens national team will likely schedule a friendly against another European side on November 14th.  Which is the other fixture date in November.  They have already scheduled a friendly to play Netherlands in Eindhoven on March 3, 2010.