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Friday Kickaround

*The World Cup draw is upon us. The festivities begin at noon ET (ESPN2, Univision), but the actual selections probably won't start until 12:45. Join me here on the Insider and on my Twitter feed for constant updates as the teams are placed into groups.

*FIFA has outlined the prize money, conspiracy theories re-surface and the USA weighs its best- and worse-case scenarios.

*Japan considers dropping its 2018 World Cup hosting bid to concentrate on 2022 and FIFA rejects a proposal to change the Olympic guidelines.

*Philadelphia's roster-building for its debut season in MLS continues with the acquisition of defender Danny Califf.

*Americans abroad:
Today
MF Michael Bradley and Moenchengladbach at Bayern Munich
Yesterday
MF Clint Dempsey 20 in Fulham's 1-0 win over CSKA Sofia

*In the NCAA men's quarterfinals tonight, defending champion Maryland visits second-seeded Virginia, which hasn't conceded a goal since mid-October.

*Introduding Jabulani, the official World Cup ball by Adidas:
worldcupballgood.JPG

By Steve Goff  |  December 4, 2009; 9:01 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , College Soccer , FIFA , MLS , U.S. men's national team , Women  
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Next: 2010 World Cup Draw

Comments

It looks like a volleyball.

Posted by: Ron16 | December 4, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Will this ball be used in MLS a la last WC?

Posted by: Logan_Circle | December 4, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Geez. Adidas has run out of ideas and has to resort to looking up baby names on-line.

At least they didn't pick Chelsea, McKenzie, Madison, or Kaitlynne.

Have the 32 goalkeepers started to compain about the ball's erratic movement and slipperiness yet?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 4, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

From the NY Times link

Zea said that the Jabulani would be put immediately into play by Bayern Munich, Hamburg and Schalke in the German Bundesliga; in the Argentine and Portuguese leagues; and would be customized with a different color scheme for use in Major League Soccer in time for its 2010 season.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 4, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 4, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

If attendees are lucky, this new ball's aerodynamic characteristics will produce a sound that at least partially cancels out the howl of the dreaded vuvuzeulas.

If possible.

Posted by: 22206no1 | December 4, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Looks less like a volleyball than that crack ball... Any opportunity to complain about something I guess.

I dig it. The graphics on the current MLS balls are whack, these will be nice.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone confirm if the WC draw is going to be streamed on-line?

Posted by: sbg1 | December 4, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

are the doughnut shapes painted on or are those sewn panels? if sewn panels, why is there a center piece cut out and resewn in? if painted on, why? the last world cup ball was funky looking, but the panels had a purpose. this is funky looking just to be funky looking, which is kind of stupid.

Joe: cue up some Parliament of Funk lyrics, perhaps?

for the olympics, I hate the u-23+3 format. directly counter to the olympic spirit (or at least what's left of it after being sold to Coca Cola, Adidas, and Toyota). I suppose I'm glad fifa blocked the reform since the proposal was to make it even worse.

Posted by: troy6 | December 4, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

reposted from previous thread:

U-17 friendly, USA-Portugal, Fox Soccer Channel
-------------
The U-18 match this past spring almost degenerated into a full-scale brawl. I hope they have legitimate refs this time. I also hope any holdovers from the spring game counsel the newcomers to expect the dirtiest play imaginable.

Posted by: troy6

Posted by: troy6 | December 4, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone confirm if the WC draw is going to be streamed on-line?
Posted by: sbg
--------------------

Pops up as the first item on espn360, so I'd say so.

Posted by: spidergoose | December 4, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

forgive my churlishness. just checked out the u-17 tournament: the games are in Arizona, so no corrupt referees and none of the players from the spring game are involved. and it is the player group preparing for the 2011 Cup. thus, the players are around 15 years old. mostly the bradenton crowd with a few others tossed in.

I checked out the Portugal roster. several of Greg Garza's teammates at Sporting are playing. it would be nice if Greg called coach Cabrera with some insight, not that it would make a huge difference.

Should be a good match. Big props to FSC for showing it.

Posted by: troy6 | December 4, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Can anyone confirm if the WC draw is going to be streamed on-line?"

Sure,
http://espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/index


They aren't really do-NUT shaped, they are shaped more like guitar picks and also happen to be the little holographic logo on all the new National team shirts adidas is selling.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I'd like the chance to play for two nations, USA and Ireland, against the cheating Frogs and, therefore, really, really want to draw them.

And to add to mindless predictions . . remember in 2002 defending champion France had a CAKE draw with Senegal (0-1), Uruguay (0-0) and Denmark (0-2). One point from that group? 3 and out?!

Posted by: delantero | December 4, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Journalist arrested for alleged bomb threat
Man arrested outside venue where World Cup drawing will be held today

His demands included that there be more scoring in football.

Posted by: GeneWells | December 4, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about a Group of Death. We can survive that. What we could not survive was having the team coached by Steve Sampson - that was suicide.

Posted by: GeneWells | December 4, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure DC beat San Juan Jabulani not too long ago in the Concacaf thingy.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 4, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

So has the "actual" draw been leaked yet?

Posted by: Josh86 | December 4, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Ben Olsen is on the Mike Wise Show right now.

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

And, of course, the new ball meets altitude

From the AP

A new study done by Adidas shows that altitude at the World Cup will have an impact of up to 5 percent on a ball’s speed. That means, according to the study seen by The Associated Press, that a free kick from 20 meters (yards) during the final at the Soccer City stadium in high-altitude Johannesburg will reach the goal line 5 percent faster than it would at the Moses Mabhida stadium in sea-level Durban.

The translates into a free kick traveling at an average 126 kph (78 kph) at high altitude to 120 kph (74 mph) at sea level.
ADVERTISEMENT

But if playing at high altitude has some drawbacks for goalkeepers, it also has its advantages. A goal clearance that travels 60 meters (yards) in Durban will travel 63 meters (yards) in Johannesburg. And even more importantly, free kick specialists will not be able to put as much spin on the ball because the thin air offers less grip to change course.

Among the nine host cities during the World Cup, Soccer City stands at 1,694 meters. The beach-side Moses Mabhida stadium is at only 8 meters.

Other stadiums higher than 1,000 meters include Bloemfontein at 1,351, Pretoria at 1,330, Polokwane at 1,230 and Rustenburg at 1,153. Apart from Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth are also coastal.

Posted by: delantero | December 4, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Jabulani a Robin Williams movie about a whacky board game?

Posted by: soccerman | December 4, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Steven:
I'm glad there's a mistake on your Yanks Abroad report. When is saw Clint's 20 minutes of time, i assumed he was injured. Did some digging, and i think he got subbed out in the 70th minute.

Posted by: Edison2 | December 4, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Jabulani means "Rejoice" in the the native south African dialet.

Posted by: adecool79 | December 4, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Anyone feel like they're watching a very special Outside the Lines?

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Leave out the cracks about hair, Bob...

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 4, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Pretty snazzy looking WC ball there. Makes me want to get back out on the pitch as soon as possible.

Here's why I haven't played soccer in a few weeks. Don't worry, pics are totally safe for work (or anywhere else for that matter)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff128/poopinpants/Before.jpg

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff128/poopinpants/PB220023.jpg

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 4, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Edison, Clint didn't start. Came on at 70.

Posted by: JkR- | December 4, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else practicing their Vuvuzela technique?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey PMcP, Were you riding with Tiger Woods?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 4, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Is FIFA's website down?

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

From the BBC:

1714: Uh-oh, it all kicked off in Cape Town earlier. US bid leaders reacted with fury after Luis Figo's arrival interrupted their video presentation of the their campaign for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The arrival of Figo, bid ambassador for the rival Spain/Portugal bid, led to a rush of reporters and photographers leaving the USA's video right in the middle of the presentation. "It was totally ruined," said Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | December 4, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Still stuck at work with limited access. If Goff isn't posting here, could someone do some running commentary or post any noteworthy happenings? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: danamabile | December 4, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

God willing, the US gets S.Africa, Chile, and Slovenia.

Posted by: Realness1 | December 4, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Jubulani the former mayor of NYC?

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | December 4, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and yes, my injury is soccer-related. Head to head clash while going for the ball.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 4, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey PMcP, Were you riding with Tiger Woods?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 4, 2009 12:10 PM

I wish. I'd have a lawsuit going against him in a heartbeat if it were the case.

Unfortunately it's just from playing soccer. Oh well.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 4, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Any Soccer Insiders in Nevada Smith's?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

reposted from previous thread:

U-17 friendly, USA-Portugal, Fox Soccer Channel
-------------
The U-18 match this past spring almost degenerated into a full-scale brawl. I hope they have legitimate refs this time. I also hope any holdovers from the spring game counsel the newcomers to expect the dirtiest play imaginable.

Posted by: troy6

Posted by: troy6 | December 4, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse


im sorry...is there a U17 friendly match between us and portugal coming up on FSC?

if so, when is this so i can set my dvr to record it?

Posted by: deadskin | December 4, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Summers get as good a crowd as Nevada Smith's?

Posted by: GeneWells | December 4, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

When do we get to the fire works factory?

Posted by: Realness1 | December 4, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I saw one of my co-workers in one of the shots of Nevada Smiths. WTF?

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Get on with it!!

Posted by: RedDevil1 | December 4, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

i tend to avoid Nevada Smith's if at all possible, so i'm just following along here and via Twitter. getting nervous!

there's a nice new pub in Brooklyn that's easy walking distance from me that shows a lot of games and is an official WC2010 Partner Bar or whatever. watched some EPL there last weekend and really liked it:

http://www.blackhorsebrooklyn.com/

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@Gene: sure, but Rob Stone isn't posted up at Summer's.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

This 'production' is unbearable!

One of South Africa's greatest fast bowlers? WTF?

Posted by: combedge | December 4, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

right on dimes, I was just wonderin' as they've been showin' the crowd at NS's.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

C'mon USA!

Posted by: combedge | December 4, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Are you f***ing serious? Mexico?

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Dang. Mexico got a gift.

Posted by: combedge | December 4, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Mexico gets South Africa. i'm going to puke.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes!!! England!

Posted by: combedge | December 4, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

USA in England's group.

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

USA - England. bring it on you underachieving b*str*ds! (i'm talking about England there, not the USA).

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

that said, England's midfield could pwn us.

Italy getting New Zealand is the real gift.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Group of Death possibilities narrowed down to B, C, D or E.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Group C - England, USA, Algeria...

Posted by: combedge | December 4, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Algeria. I'll take it.

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Slovenia the final team...nice.

Posted by: combedge | December 4, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Mexico gets Uruguay and a French team in disarray. US gets Algeria and Slovenia. not sure if i would trade places with them or not.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The ESPN crowd shots are weak.

I can live with Slovenia.

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes!!!!!!!

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I wish Sherm Lewis was part of this draw.

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Man, Group D is tough - Germany, Australia, Serbia, and Ghana.

But man, Brazil, Portugal, Cote D'Ivoire (and N Korea) is tougher

Posted by: combedge | December 4, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Group G = Group of Death?

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

can't decide between D and E for GoD. Maybe even Group G with Portugal in there (should be a great showdown between Brazil and the colonizers!).

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Group G will be the GoD only if the North Koreans get food to eat in the week before the first match.

Posted by: GeneWells | December 4, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

yeah, it's hard to have a GoD that contains possibly the worst team in the tournament.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it a conflict of interest to have a man with a moronic haircut responsible for drawing balls?

Posted by: GeneWells | December 4, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

(should be a great showdown between Brazil and the colonizers!).

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 4, 2009 1:29 PM
__________________________________________

Couldn't that refer just as well to England-USA?

Posted by: universityandpark | December 4, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Could also refer to France-Mexico- Cinco de Mayo is actually the anniversary of the Mexicans kicking the French Army's ...

Maximillian was never quite the same...

Posted by: captainwierd | December 5, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

One of South Africa's greatest fast bowlers? WTF?

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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