Well it's that time of year again where Wcp Cup speculation begins and that can only mean one thing... time to start up the blog. Let's start off with some of the news/rumours floating around out there
May as well start it off with last years champs France. I have it on good authority that word out of their camp is they expect this year to be a cake walk. They have made several additions ie. (David Patterson) and believe that their strongest competition (Poland, who they "destroyed" in the final) will be at best, no stronger than last year. Combine that with fact that they will likely end up in the easiest group and its no wonder there is certainly no shortage of confidence in the France side.
Poland, last years runners have made some additions to their team in the form of Sam Mylymok and Bobbi Nicholat . That being said they have lost winger Dane Mcdougall and from the sounds of it may be missing other important figures for the knockout stages.... more on that to come.
Having finished in the top 4 last year it looks as though Afghanistan's roster has been absolutely decimated. Having possibly lost last years Golden boot winner Josip Coric, midfield trio Bobbi Nicholat, Ryan Contenti and Mitch Bauche, defender Shawn Olson and keeper Mark Diakiw its hard to envision them being much of a factor.
In what has become typical of Jamaica they have taken the one step forward two steps backwards approach. Moving into 2014 they have signed Adam Rolfe, Mitch Bauche and Cesar Santamaria to strengthen their team. However, it looks as though Mitch is unlikely to play and they have been unable to retain the services of David Brown, Jonah Gardiokitis, Carson Mcdonald and myself. They are currently searching for a keeper. With 17 days left til roster submission they need to get on that.
Jamaica's losses have turned into ROI's gains. All of the players mentioned above have made a return to ROI as they look to strengthen their squad from last years rather pathetic showing. If they play at their best semi finalists looks like a possibility for what was a weakening ROI team.
Canada is attempting to make some under the radars moves having signed former ROI player Brendan Garritty to their roster. Whether he will show or not is up for debate.
In talking to several of the Greece players it is my understanding that last year was more of a blip in the radar as opposed to something to be worried about. They have vowed to play and much more physical style game this year and to not rely so much on their flare.
Speaking of Greece, I have heard that the newly introduced First Nations Team is a team that may be better than many think. Greece is the closest comparison I have heard.
Last year was a very disappointing year for Laos and they will be looking to rebound in 2014. Though they will be returning fan favourites Boun Phoummabout, Adam Ailsby, Bryan Murrell, Tony V. (I am not trying to spell that) as well as adding Roman Doutkevich and Josh Northey it sounds as though they will still be without Steve Irinici and Chico.... take that for what you will.
Despite making multiple attempts to sign new players for 2014 Somalia was unable to increase their roster size from last years 5 players and are there for out of the tournament.
Germany have picked up the aforementioned Shawn Olson and former ROI and current masters player Garrett Meier. They have also lost Duncan Mcdougall again.
Oh and Sudan is out of the tournament. No word on why. Too bad they were a scrappy team who would fight to the bitter end.
That's it for now......