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Friday, April 23, 2010

Once in a century goal!

While much of the nation will be talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates, baseball, and the 4th worst loss ever (20 - 0, the worst game for the team in 124 years), there are other things to celebrate in sports.

Given I'm not a big baseball fan. Still I did notice the score. And the stats are horrendous.

  • The aggregate score of the three-game series was Brewers 36, Pirates 1
  • Ten Brewers recorded an RBI on Thursday. Pitcher Manny Parra(notes) ended the scoring with a RBI single in the ninth inning.

    But I'm lucky. When I do pay attention to baseball I am a Yankees fan. Who grows up in the Bronx and isn't?

    So for the fans of the Pirates, those that love world records, and fans of soccer (futbol) that are waiting for the World Cup, I present the first - and likely only ever - tandem bicycle kick goal.

    Pele may be the immortal image of a bicycle kick goal, but this is something you just have to watch more than once. I can't even imagine the odds of this. Forget about seeing it happen again.

    This is why Argentina is feared in the World Cup. They were the first team to play in the final World Cup round (with Uraguay, who won in 1930). They are the 4th most likely to win the World Cup based on the odds. They stand ranked 8th in the world right now. They have placed in the quarter-finals or better 7 times in the World Cup.

    So am I surprised that Argentian scored this once in a century goal? Not really. The real question is if this kind of amazing will to win is what will be on display in South Africa in the 2010 World Cup. I can't wait to find out.

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  • Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Odds on World Cup in South Africa

    There is still a bit of time to go, but the world is getting ready. On June 11th, the World Cup will begin. Television sets across the globe will fixate on just one thought. Who will win?

    Bookmakers are already paying attention. Like everyone else they are trying to figure out exactly who will be the best in the world for the next 4 years. It just doesn't get bigger in sports.

    Now while my personal favorites are Argentina, Brazil, and Germany the odds are not in my favor. For my fellow Americans that prefer Team USA things look even worse (though we should get through the first round, barely). Even England is looking a bit less like a contender than usual according to the odds.


    [The +/- Indicates the Return on the Wager. The percentage is the likelihood that response will occur. For Example: Betting on the candidate least likely to win would earn the most amount of money, should that happen.]

    It is nice to see America in the middle of the pack though. I wouldn't take the bet with an expectation to win, but $10 could turn into a tidy sum if the U.S.A. could win. Then again I think Europe would implode and South America would riot if we did. Which would be almost as much fun to see because of that kind of win.

    I still say it's Argentina or Germany to win. Brazil can never be discounted though. Spain on the other hand is overrated in my opinion. But how do you feel? Which team is your favorite?

    ** I want to thank for providing me with the odds for all the teams in the World Cup.

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    Friday, December 04, 2009

    What England is saying about playing team USA

    Well it only took a second before fans of the US soccer team felt a twinge of pain today. Once we found out that were were playing England in the first match of the World Cup group play the plan became who else might we have a chance against in the group.

    But there was huge commentary across the world. Well likely not about the US or our chances to win (though 66-1 is the best odds I ever recall for a World Cup), but about all the various match-ups. One thing I noticed was how British sports commentators were reacting to the news (I don't pay attention to American sportscasters when it comes to soccer).

    It seems that Team USA is giving some in England a pause, if only momentarily. Which might be the 2nd best result that could have happened. The best of course being an overly confident boasting - which there is still time for.

    There just isn't anything better than hearing anyone consider the American futbol team and use terms like tough and out-muscling. It's not as good as over-powering and strategic, but I take what I can get.

    But is this fear they are speaking of, or just a low scoring match?

    (Video contains the pre-group odds as well as commentary and dates of play times)

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    2010 World Cup groups and odds

    Well the time for idle speculation is over. The groups for the World Cup starting in June 2010 in South Africa have been determined. And this will be interesting.

    I will have a video with the odds of several of the favorites, and commentary about the USA vs. England match shortly.

    But starting with Group A - South Africa, France, Mexico, Uruguay - I expect South Africa to make history. Never before has a host country lost in group play. But I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen here. The probable winners in this group: France and Mexico.

    In Group B - Argentina, Greece, Nigeria, South Korea - This should be a cake walk for Argentina. I expect them to win every match. The real questio in my mind is if Nigeria or South Korea also advance. I'd have to nudge over and say Nigeria.

    Group C - Algeria, England, Slovenia, United States - Now this is a challenging group. There is a big question on what will happen. The fact that the US will be playing England first really sucks for the US, though the British commentators seem to think this might be a tough match. So assuming that we lose the first match, which is likely, our hope is to win against slovenia and tie Algeria. My bet, England and Algeria advance.

    Group D - Australia, Germany, Ghana, Serbia - An easy group for Germany. Sadly Australia will be out quickly. But I'm not sure about Ghana and Serbia. My guess is that Ghana will pull it out due to the homefeild advantage. Germany and Ghana advance.

    Group E - Cameroon, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands - I'm looking for an upset out of this group. Of course the Netherlands will win the group. Japan is the big loser. Again the question is Cameroon and Denmark. And I expect Cameroon to pull it out. I don't think many will pick that. Netherlands and Cameroon move on.

    Group F - Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia - Wow Italy got lucky. This may the easiest group in the World Cup. Italy wins easy, and New Zealand will be on the same plane home as Australia. The choice left is pretty easy. Paraguay takes the group after italy.

    Group G - Brazil, Ivory Coast, Portugal, North Korea - Well let me think. Brazil moves on, that's a no brainer. But I think that Ivory Coast will surprise some people. I think that they go to the next round after soundly beating Portugal and North Korea. My call, Ivory Coast and Brazil.

    Group H - Chile, Honduras, Spain, Switzerland - This may be the most exciting Group out of all the group play. There will be battles in this group. Spain will take it, but I think they will have more trouble than most expect. Chile will make a good try but Honduras will pull out the big win in the group. Switzerland will give it a good try but I think they are the loser of that group.

    Ultimately, I think the final match will come down to Germany vs Brazil or Argentina vs England. In either option I would go with the South American teams to win.

    Look for my video shortly.

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    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    U.S. beats Spain and goes to Confederations Cup finals

    Could it be that the U.S. is on the verge of becoming a real world competitor on the pitch of the futbol (soccer) world? Could we be on the edge of gaining respect from the international community?

    For more decades than I have been alive the joke has been watching the U.S. qualify for the World Cup, and not getting past the first round. Watching my home nation lose to some of the weakest teams in the world has never been fun for me. It was a serious source of pride, years ago, when the U.S. made it to the second round – and quite lucrative.

    But since then and well before there was nothing. Until now.

    Yes, now we have beaten Spain. A real team, with a reputation nearly as good as anyone in Europe. And we did it in the high profile, international Confederations Cup. A move that catapulted the team to the finals later this week.

    Win or lose, America has upped the game. We have laid down the gauntlet for the rest of the world to pick up. A challenge that will likely be on display at the World Cup.

    Spain, the European champion, had set an international record with 15 straight victories and had tied Brazil's record unbeaten streak of 35 games from December 1993 to January 1996. Which makes the win all the more sweet as prior to this we had been 1-7-1 against top international teams, beating Brazil in the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup and tying Argentina last summer in an exhibition at Giants Stadium. Not that exhibitions really count.

    So is this like shooting a piece of tissue paper with a .22 and having the bullet come back at you? An event that is mathematically probable, but realistically impossible?

    Maybe. Right this moment though I don’t care. Because America beat Spain, and the World Cup has a new underdog that might just win if all the stars align just right.

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    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Who Are You Betting for in the World Cup

    From its inauguration in 1930 the World Cup has grown to become the biggest football (soccer) competitiion in the world. The chance to call your country the world champions attracts a huge audience round the globe and is one of the most watched events on the planet. Yet the World Cup itself grew from more modest beginnings. The driving force behind the competition was FIFA president Jules Rimet and the trophy awarded to the winners was named after Rimet. The first competition saw Uruguay crowned the first world champions. They beat Argentina 4-2 in the final in Montivideo, however even back then the crowd for the match was 93,000, which probably even then gave some indication of how much the futbol (soccer) supporters of the world wanted this kind of competition.

    The next competition in 1934 and also in 1938 contained very few South American teams due to the difficulties and long journeys required in that era. The Second World War meant that competitive soccer was temporarily suspended, and the 1942 and 1946 competitions did not take place.

    In 1950 the competition returned and was won for the second time by Uruguay. The Competition comprised sixteen teams. Not until 1982 did the competition expand to 24 teams and was then expanded again in 1998 to 32 teams. This allowed more teams from Africa, Asia and North America to take part. The 2010 tournament will see a massive 204 countries trying to qualify, up from the previous record of 198 in 2006.

    Brazil holds the record of the most tournament wins, wining the Cup five times. After the third win, Brazil was allowed to keep the Jules Rimet trophy and a new trophy was introduced. Brazil; is also the only country to have appeared at all of the World Cup final competitions. The 2014 competition will be held in Brazil

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brazil have already been installed as the favourites for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They are followed by Argentina, Spain - the European champions - and Italy, the current champions who have won the competition four times. England have been named fourth favourites following their recent run of form under Fabio Capello. Germany, Holland, France, Portugal, and Russia make up the remaining places in the top ten favourites for the World Cup.

    Brazil are currently being quoted at 9-2 and Argentina at 5-1. European champions Spain will also expect to do well riding on the back of a wave of confidence following their Euro win. They are quoted at 15-2. Surprisingly England have been made fourth favourites at 8-1 above Italy and Germany who both hold the most winners titles after Brazil. England`s regular failure to progress much past the quarter final stage may well make them a difficult option, but their fans will be hoping that the success of British clubs in Europe can be reflected at the biggest competition in world futbol. To keep up with the best betting information, go to Free Bet Offers

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