Alright here is the first attempt with a guest blogger. Today's guest, David Brown, and myself sat down and both listed 5 things to keep an eye on leading up to or during the WCP Cup. Here is goes.
1. Powerhouse Poland - Poland is this years France. A relentless juggernaut that crushes anything that gets in its way. As long as this team doesn't have to play Afghanistan they will roll through this tournament. Mark my words.
2. Prohibition - The #1 concern of every soccer fan is will there be alcohol? Where will it be allowed? Where will it be served? These are all very important questions. Let's face it some of these games require multiple drinks to be watchable.
3. The new teams - There are 4 new teams entering into the tournament. Somalia, South Korea, Hungary and Vietnam. What do these team have to offer - if anything? Will any have a Sudan-esque run. I sure hope so.
4. Player Integration - Always interesting to see how the new players react to this type of tournament. Its also fun to see a new acquisition on a new squad and how those acquisitions are utilized by the team. The new players ability to quickly integrate into their teams style of play may prove pivotal to a teams success.
5. Julio Hatred/Love? - Last year everyone was hating on Julio because of his blogging, (over?)confidence and style of play. I was more than a little surprised when the blog community began grumbling that the blogs weren't the same without him. Will be interesting to see if the perception of him has changed. Cheers or Jeers for Julio?
1. Group D - We get to see "Julio" square off against Greece and Norway! This promises to be entertaining. There has been a lot of banter over the past couple years and we will finally get to see it happen on the field. I see these being being high paced with some hard tackles being dished out.
2. Group B - Laos, Jamaica, Canada Afghanistan. Any 2 of these teams could make it out of this group. Although Columbia and Northern Ireland are known to cause the occasional upset I do not see them being able to make it out of this tough group. This group promises some of the best games in the round robin. I expect Laos to go through along with the winner of Jamaica vs Canada.
3. Who will win the golden boot? - My top three picks are Nathan Reis, Mike Collins and Jay Tomchuk. With an easy group I expect ROI to put away many goals with Mike and Reis leading the way. I don't see Poland scoring too many goals but all the goals they do get will be coming through Jay.
4. Keep an eye on the blog - The blog is just starting to take off, and it's only going to get better. As the games get closer and as they happen there is a lot of entertaining opinions on here! Although the majority of them are anonymous they still provide quite a few laughs.
5. The Fans - Whether its the Laos and Poland fans, the Ireland fans and their obnoxiousness, or the Chile fans and that damn drum its the fans who make this tournament. The atmosphere they create gives the out of town players, such as myself, the desire to play. Disappointed to be missing out this year!