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Committee's Bid For World Cup Hopes To Bring Games And Culture To America

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

By Marc Parker

In two months when the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa it will bring with it a new level of attention and popularity for the game of soccer. The majority of the world is accustomed to the popularity of the sport since soccer is widely considered the "globe's game." However, in the United States, soccer is not as popular because American football, baseball, basketball, hockey and NCAA collegiate games all steal the spotlight first. The good news is that the love for soccer has been increasing in the U.S. and its’ popularity is spreading rapidly across a lot more American homes. As the World Cup approaches and talk of soccer picks up, Americans are rediscovering the importance of bringing the 2018 or 2022 World Cup to American soil.

The 1994 World Cup (the last time the games were held in the United States) was attended by a total of 3.6 million people, which is still a record even though the games have expanded. From a United States perspective, it was the highest attended single sporting event in U.S. history. That just goes to show you the power the games have even in a country where soccer usually plays second fiddle. With Team USA posed to begin their quest for their first ever World Cup, and America ready to root them on, 2018/2022 is the time to bring the cultural relevance of the world's most popular sport back to America.

The World Cup gives the United States a chance to bring together and play host for a variety of cultures, showcasing to the world that America is a global country - a quality that they’ve prided themselves on possessing since their inception. The United States Bid Committee understands the significance of hosting such an event and has pulled out all the stops to bring the games to America over other locations like England and Japan. The U.S. Committee's board of directors is made up of important figures like U.S. Soccer President, Sunil Gulati, Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Counselor to former President Clinton, Doug Band.

The latest addition of Doug Band to the U.S. Committee is a smart move on behalf of the committee because Band, an avid fan of the game, is co-creator of the Clinton Global Initiative, and has worked tirelessly to help millions across the globe, adding an internationally recognized face on America’s bid. Band's commitment and global understanding is exactly what the Committee needs to make the 2018/2022 World Cup in America a reality.

The United States wants to bring the world’s attention to America by hosting the World Cup and demonstrating their embrace for the international game of soccer. Billions of people come together under the banner of soccer and root for their country's team in hopes of holding the cup. Winning the World Cup bid will hopefully convey the message that America welcomes diversity and respects worldwide culture.

Do you agree with the team of the season?

Monday, April 26, 2010
The team of the year was for the Premier League was announced recently and although there was some I fully expected, there were some that surprised me.

Goalkeeper - Joe Hart
I agree with this choice. He has a fantastic season and is one of the main reason Birmingham weren't fighting relegation. Will more than likely be chased by the bigger clubs this summer.

Left Back - Patrice Evra
Its nearly always going to come down to Evra, Cole and Clichy for left back of the year in the Premier League. I think Evra got the spot this time round because Clichy and Cole both spent significant periods on the sideline.

Centre Backs - Thomas Vermaelen and Richard Dunne
Could not agree more. Vermaelen was an excellent signing, defensively solid and even had an eye for goal. Dunne arguably one of the signings of the season. The heart of Aston Villa's defence. City were fools to let him go.

Right Back - Branislav Ivanovic
This surprised me a little. Ivanovic was a solid right full, nothing more, nothing less.

Left Mid - Antonio Valencia
This also surprised me. He didn't really do anything worth his place in this team, especially considering the amount of money United spent on him. A bit of a let down to be honest.

Centre Mids - Francesc Fabregas and Darren Fletcher
Easy to see why Fabregas is in there. Terrific form all season, playing a pivotal role in Arsenals title challenge which fell apart after his injury. On the other hand, I thought Fletcher's inclusion was wrong. Fletcher or Lampard? Who would you choose

Right Mid - James Milner
Not surprised at all by this one. He really stepped up this season and was fantastic throughout. Would be shocked if he wasn't on the plane to South Africa.

Forward - Didier Drogba
Despite being injured at time, the Ivorian striker managed to score 25 goals and was a menace to all teams.

Forward - Wayne Rooney
Don't need to explain this one.

Should Fergie trade Berbatov for Huntelaar

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yes, he should. I mean its not like Huntelaar could be any worse than Berbatov. Reports today suggest Fergie would be interested in swapping the over-rated striker for Dutch ace Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

I will make it clear, Berbatov is one of the most over-rated players in the Premier League. £35 million? £3.5 million maybe. He just doesn't look like he cares. His facial expression never changes on the pitch, whereas you can see the passion on some players faces Berba looks like hes more interested in having a quick fag after the game.

Huntelaar on the other hand went to Real Madrid from Ajax with a massive reputation. However, the Dutch league is pants and he failed to have the same impact in Spain, which prompted a move to AC Milan where he has been a tad more successful but hasn't found the form of his Ajax days.

A move to England could be good for Huntelaar. Man United score a lot of goals, and if given the chance Huntelaar can finish so he could be a useful addition. Also, he will give 100% compared to the 50-60% you will get from Berbatov.

World Cup 2010 Injury Report: Spain Plagued with Injuries

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spain is the big favorite to win the World Cup but as we approach South Africa World Cup 2010, Spain’s coach Vicente Del Bosque is living a nightmare about the possibility that three of his stars cannot play the world championship due to injuries.

The possible absences of Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta in the World Cup are an important aspect to consider if you're a World Cup betting fan and Spain is one of your favorites.

Del Bosque will have to set a plan B in case he considers too risky to travel with some of these three players if they are not 100% ready.

Torres had a surgery on his right knee and his recovery will involve six weeks of inactivity. El Niño Torres scored the goal that gave Spain victory in the Euro 2008 final against Germany.

Torres has scored 18 goals in 22 matches with Liverpool. However, to fill the position of this player is forward Daniel Guiza, who has had good performances when he played at Torres' position in the last two years coming from the bench.

In addition, one of the great FC Barcelona’s players Andres Iniesta, is recovering from a torn muscle and could travel to South Africa World Cup 2010without fully recovering.

At age 25, Iniesta is a key player and a great contributor in the midfield of the Catalan team game, but he has had a difficult season in which he has not been able to give continuity to his game due to several injuries.

Finally, the last important possible absence is regarding Fabregas, Arsenals captain and midfielder who broke his right shin in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals played in London, he could be out for the same period of time as El Niño.

Portsmouth going down, Burnley next in line and several other fighting for survival

Monday, April 19, 2010

This years title race is set to go to the wire, and so is the race for survival. Its been an enthralling league campaign both at the top and the bottom. So far, Porstmouth are going down. That's guaranteed. Burnley are four points away from safety and Hull are three points away. Meanwhile, West Ham are three points clear, Wolves are six points clear and Bolton and Wigan and seven points clear.

As we all know, anything can happen in football. Any of these teams could go down, but at this point its not looking good for Burnely or Hull. Nevertheless, Bolton, West Ham , Wigan and Wolves will want to secure as many points as possible in order to secure their place in the Premier League next season.

Who do I think will go down? I would think the bottom three will stay the way they are come the end of the season. Personally I want to see West Ham stay up, as well as Wolves. Would have liked to see Portsmouth in the Premier League also but that's not going to happen.

It was Chelsea's to mess up and they did

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The title race is wide open again. It was Chelsea's to lose, and they did. A 2-1 defeat away to Tottenham saw them lose their 4 point lead to Manchester United, which now stands at just one point.

I have to admit I saw Chelsea losing this one. I don't know why, I just think Spurs have a very good team, capable of beating anyone on their day. It's fair to say though, Chelsea were poor. Very poor by their standards and the pressure of being league leaders got to them.

So now the title is still a realistic possibility for Manchester United, who beat Man City today is their local derby. A lucky victory though, one of the last kicks, or headers, or the game by Paul Scholes gave them the victory. Arsenal are also in with a chance. That is of course if they beat Wigan tomorrow, they would only trail Chelsea by three points. Will there be another twist in the title race, more than likely yes.

Arsenal really miss Fabregas

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Arsenal's title hopes went out the window last night after a 2-1 defeat away to Tottenham, which saw the Gunners lose their chance to close the gap on Chelsea and overtake Manchester United.

I watched the game tonight, and Arsenal desperately missed Fabregas. He is without a doubt the key to Arsenal's success, even though there has been a lack of it lately. He pulls the strings in midfield and was Arsenal's top scorer this year. When I seen Fabregas get injured, I never thought he had broken his leg, but to be honest when I heard he had I immediately thought Arsenal's season was over.

I'm not making excuses for Arsenal, but they have been desperately unlucky with injuries this year. No Arsenal player who would be considered starting 11 has gone this season uninjured. Tonight they were without a large number of key players e.g Fabregas, Gallas, Arshavin, Song and Vermaelen was taken off with injury. Its just very bad luck.

On the bright side, Robin Van Persie made his return from injury, and its fair to say, he was absolutely fantastic. You would never have guessed he spent 5 months on the sidelines. His first touch of the ball was incredible, and he made a massive difference to an otherwise poor Arsenal performance. Who knows what could have happened had he stayed fit.

Van Persie back after five months out

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie is set to make him comeback for Arsenal after spending 5 months on the treatment table. Van Persie was injured on international duty with Holland last November. Initially he was only suspected to be out for a month, but further analysis showed that he had ruptured his ankle ligaments.

Its fair to say that losing Van Persie cost Arsenal big time. Sure they are still in with a shout for the title but he was their main attacking threat and before his injury he was their top scorer. Losing him and Bendtner for months limited their attacking options to the abnormally small Andrey Arshavin and the misfiring Eduardo.

Personally, I'm delighted to see Van Persie back in the side. He is a fantastic player and will no doubt give Arsenal a much needed boost. To be fair, Nicklas Bendtner has performed very well as the lone striker and he will provide Van Persie with stern competition, Wenger could even be tempted to start the two of them up front, but you never know what the French tactician will do.

Do Portsmouth deserve to play in Europe?

Monday, April 12, 2010

As you have all probably heard, Portsmouth are fighting for a licence to play in Europe next year. As a bonus of making the FA Cup they are entitled to a chance to play in Europe, but personally I don't think they deserve it.

First of all, how must the staff and players of teams who battled hard all year in order to secure a spot in Europe feel when the team last in the league and in administration get the chance ahead of them. OK, making it to the FA Cup final is impressive, but I don't think they should get the chance to play in Europe because of it.

Portsmouth have been muck this season, bar there FA Cup run which was questionably easy. They are in administration, in absolutely massive debt and will probably have to sell all their semi-decent players this summer, so more than likely they will fail miserably in Europe. Why not give a team who has fought all year to make Europe, instead of a team who is more than 16 points away from safety.

Its Chelsea's title to lose

United's slip up at the weekend away to Blackburn has given Chelsea the upper hand on this years title race. They now lead United by 1 point but with a game in hand and a better goal difference, albeit only four goals.

Manchester United have dominated the English Premier League over the past few years, with Chelsea usually second or third. However, this year Chelsea have matched United stride for stride and now with only a few games remaining may knock the reigning Champions off their throne.

Technically, Arsenal have a better chance of glory than Manchester United. They trail Chelsea by 3 points, but have played the same amount of games. That means that if Arsenal win their game in hand, they will leap above Manchester United in the table. This in itself would be an achievement for the Gunners.

The most worrying thing for United however, is that in the last three games they have lost twice and drawn once. And Wayne Rooney was injured for two of the games and the other he definitely not 100%. A bit unfair to say they are a one man team, but he was sorely missed.

So, nearing the end of the Premier League, is it Chelsea's to lose? Well, win the rest of their games and their Champions, so yes its theirs to lose. You can't help but feel there is another twist in the tale though.

Fergie claims to still have trust in Berbatov

Friday, April 9, 2010

Manchester United chief Alex Ferguson has claimed that he still has trust in Dimitar Berbatov's abilities, despite leaving him on the bench for most of the season. Berbatov has yet to nail down a place in the Manchester United first 11, mainly due to the devastating form of Wayne Rooney.

Even when Rooney was 'injured', he still made the team and Berba was left to sit on the bench. A very poor decision from Ferguson if you ask me. Rooney was clearly not 100% and will now miss the game against Blackburn at the weekend after aggravating his injury. If Ferguson still has faith in Berbatov why did he wait for the last ten minutes to bring him on?

"Yes, I still trust him. He is a good player and there is absolutely no reason why we should doubt that.''

Despite the faith Fergie has in Berbatov, he has already boosted his attacking options for next year by signing Javier Hernandez, a young Mexican striker. Although he will never admit, I think Fergie knows he made a mistake is spending £31 million on a striker who does not offer a lot on the pitch. He has the talent, but he is far to lazy and is obviously lacking confidence at the moment. Unless he starts playing games, he will stay lazy and inconsistent.

Is Gerrard's time at Anfield over

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Steven Gerrard has been the backbone on LFC for many years now. An inspirational captain, their best player and a real leader. However, with Liverpool's Champions League hopes hanging in the balance, will Gerrard be packing his bags if he won't be playing in the Champions League.

I can't say I'd blame him. OK he is captain of the club whom he supported as a kid and played there his whole life. There is no doubt that he loves Liverpool and always will. He is 29 years old now and he may feel he has to move on in order to get his hands on the Premier League trophy, a trophy which has so far in his career eluded him.

The real question is, if he does leave where will he go. Chelsea have expressed interest in him before but lets be honest, there wasn't a chance they would have signed him before now. You can expect them, Real Madrid, probably AC Milan and definitely Man City to be keen on signing him. That is if he decides to leave.

Arsenal will not win the Premier League this season

Friday, April 2, 2010

They have been written off many times this season. Once after losing to Man Utd and Man City successively, another time after losing to Chelsea 3-0 at home, again after losing to Chelsea and again after losing to Man Utd. Now, after drawing to Birmingham, losing Fabregas for the rest of the season along with Arshavin and Gallas, things aren't looking to good for Arsene Wenger's men.

Nobody really expected Arsenal to be where they are now at the beginning of the season. They didn't really do much in the transfer window and were a long way off the pace last season. However, despite losing star striker for most of the season and been written off on numerous occasions, they remained in the title race.

However, after a long hard season, I think its finally over for the north London club. No Fabregas, Arshavin, Van Persie or Gallas leaves Arsenal a little bit short on influential players. They also trail Man United by four point which means they need to lose and draw for Arsenal to have a shot. I don't think it will happen this year, but miracles can happen.