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Are you ready for some....SOCCER?!?Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at 6:46 AM
I know that most of you are getting into the baseball season and thinking that there's not another sport going on. Well, I'll tell you what sport you'll be seeing the most on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3.com and ABC for the next month...SOCCER! Starting this Friday and ending on July 11, the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be played contested in South Africa.
This will be the first
32 of the world's greatest soccer nations will battle it out for an entire month to decide which country is the best of them all. A total of 64 matches will be played and I guarantee that every single one of them will be unforgettable. This is the one event that brings the world to the edge of their seats during every match and the action of this summer's World Cup will make you want to watch. I'll guarantee that you'll feel left out in the world of sports if you don't watch and pay attention to the World Cup. You can watch games live or, if you happen to miss a game, watch the replay anytime at ESPN3.com.
Now I know that soccer isn't a big deal in this area, but I promise you that you'll miss some of the best action in sports if you don't watch the World Cup. Being a former ESPN employee, I can guarantee you that they are putting more effort in to this summer's World Cup coverage than any other sporting event they've ever covered. You'll see nothing but soccer for the next month, but I promise that it won't hurt you; you'll enjoy all the action and it will draw you to keep watching until that final match is finished on July 11.
I want to give you just a little bit of information on the USA National Team and what to possibly expect from them this summer.
USA is in group C with England, Slovenia, and Algeria. USA will play their first match of the World Cup against England on ABC at 1:30 p.m. This is the game that American soccer fans have been waiting for since it was announced at the World Cup draw in December. We finally get the opportunity to possibly take down one of the World's best in England.
Head Coach Bob Bradley has assembled the best American players in hopes of advancing out of the group stage and competing in the knockout round. Some of the names of the players that will be representing include Landon Donavan (Midfielder), Tim Howard (Goalkeeper), Carlos Bocanegra (Defender), Jozy Altidore (Forward), and Clint Dempsey (Forward). These are just a few of the 23 men that will represent our country in this summer's World Cup.
As for my prediction for the U.S., I believe that they will beat England, go undefeated in group play, and make to the semifinals (at the least). As Americans, we should fully support our national team and wish them well in South Africa.
As for the rest of the teams in the tournament, there are several teams that are the front-runners for winning the championship. Spain, the reigning European champions, is by far the team to beat heading into the tournament. The only thing that hinders Spain is that they really haven't performed well in the latter stages of the World Cup, so they'll have to overcome that aspect if they want to win.
Another team to beat will be the Germans, who lost to Spain in the finals of EURO 2008. With the loss of their captain, Michael Ballack, the Germans will have to overcome the loss. I believe that the Germans have the best goal scorer in the game in Lucas Poldolski.
One other team to watch out for is Italy, the defending World Cup champs. They always perform well on the World's stage and look for the Italians to do everything they can to retain their title.
My overall prediction for the World Cup goes like this: I see the United States taking on Germany and Spain versus the Netherlands in the semifinals with Germany and the Netherlands advancing to the championship. Before the final match will be played, USA will defeat Spain in the third-place match, avenging their loss to the Spanish in the FIFA Confederations Cup final. In the championship, I've got Germany winning by one goal over the Dutch squad.
As far as the other teams are concerned, you can be guaranteed that all teams will give their very best on the field in every game. The World Cup always seems to bring out county pride all over the world along with introducing the game of soccer to people that wouldn't normally watch.
I hope that everyone gives the World Cup a chance and watch some games. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed with the competition. Just think of it this way, this is going to be the only thing on TV worth watching in the mornings and afternoons this summer, so just enjoy the action of the world's largest stage. The 2010 FIFA World Cup from South Africa will be a tournament for all to watch and remember. I'll be watching and hope you will too!
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