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Soccer Insider: May 30, 2010 - June 5, 2010

Matchnight: RSL at United

It's a somewhat muggy day in D.C. today, 90 degrees and sticky here at RFK Stadium. It should test the fitness of both teams tonight, though I expect it'll cool off a bit by kickoff. It's been a soccer-heavy day for most American fans. The U.S. downed Australia, 3-1, in...

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 5, 2010; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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USA-Australia rewind

Oguchi Onyewu did not start, leaving him without a 90-minute performance in any of the three pre-World Cup friendlies. Is he ready to start against England? "We'll see," Bob Bradley said. "I think it was a smart to take things in step with me," said Onyewu, who played 139...

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2010; 5:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bob Bradley, Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu, World Cup  
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US vs. Australia - LIVE CHAT

Guys, we'll be live chatting all of the U.S. soccer games this World Cup, and I'd figure we'd get in our own 'friendly' before the World Cup starts... So join me here for this game, and of course for all the U.S. games beginning one week from today... US Soccer...

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 5, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Matchday: USA-Australia

Greetings from Ruimsig Stadium in Roodepoort, a tidy venue in Johannesburg's pleasant western suburbs. It's another heavenly day in Gauteng province, nary a cloud in sight, for the Americans' final test before next Saturday's World Cup opener against England. The vuvuzela brigade has arrived. So has USSF President Sunil...

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2010; 7:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Australia, Roodepoort, U.S. national team, World Cup  
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Saturday kickaround

The United States plays its final World Cup tuneup today against Australia (8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2, Galavision). Brad Guzan started in goal in the first friendly, Tim Howard in the second. Is it Marcus Hahnemann's turn? Perhaps the Wolves keeper in the first half and Howard after the break? All...

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2010; 4:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , D.C. United , England , France , Italy , Mexico , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Andrea Pirlo, D.C. United, Didier Drogba, Raymond Domenech, Rio Ferdinand, U.S. team, World Cup  
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Jozy Altidore's status unchanged

USA forward Jozy Altidore, who suffered a mild ankle sprain Wednesday, did not practice Friday and remains doubtful for Saturday's friendly against Australia. Officially, he is listed as day to day by the U.S. Soccer Federation. However, with the Aussies unhappy about the condition of the pitch in Roodepoort, risking...

By Steve Goff  |  June 4, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Jozy Altidore, World Cup  
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Didier Drogba out of World Cup? Ferdinand in doubt

Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba, one of the world's finest strikers, suffered an apparent fractured arm in Friday's friendly against Japan and has told teammates that he will miss the World Cup. Meantime, England captain Rio Ferdinand, projected to start in central defense, injured a knee at training and seems...

By Steve Goff  |  June 4, 2010; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , England  | Tags: Didier Drogba, Rio Ferdinand, World Cup  
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U.S. World Cup news & notes

Greetings from the farm. The roosters say hello. *U.S. forward Jozy Altidore, who suffered a mild ankle sprain Wednesday, received treatment Thursday evening and Friday morning and will be reevaluated at the training session in Pretoria later. There's no official word yet on his status for Saturday's friendly against Australia...

By Steve Goff  |  June 4, 2010; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley, Steve Cherundolo, Tim Howard, U.S. national team, World Cup  
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World Cup merchandise, legit and otherwise

For fans visiting South Africa, World Cup merchandise is available everywhere. Much of it, however, is cheap knockoffs undermining legitimate business. Exit the N1 -- the super highway linking Johannesburg and Pretoria and the equivalent of I-95 in the States -- and vendors are waiting at the traffic lights (the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 4, 2010; 4:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa  | Tags: South Africa, World Cup  
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Stalking the Big Five

By Liz Clarke Three days into our World Cup sojourn, and the score is nil-nil in my battle with Steve Goff to become first to spot all of South Africa's Big Five, in person. The Big Five, of course, are the nation's most powerful animals--trickier to name than you might...

By Liz Clarke  |  June 4, 2010; 3:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , South Africa  | Tags: Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Kak, Kruger National Park, Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, World Cup  
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Weekend soccer TV listings

What are you going to watch? FRIDAY Friendly, France-China noon ET, ESPN Deportes SATURDAY Friendly, Hungary-Netherlands 8 a.m. ESPN Deportes Friendly, USA-Australia 8:30 a.m. ESPN2, Galavision Friendly, Switzerland-Italy 2:45 p.m. GolTV MLS, Toronto-Kansas City 4 p.m. Direct Kick Brazil, Flamengo-Goias 5:30 p.m. GolTV MLS, D.C. United-Real Salt Lake 7:30 p.m....

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , MLS , TV  | Tags: MLS, World Cup  
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Jozy Altidore has mild ankle sprain

U.S. starting forward Jozy Altidore did not practice Thursday after suffering a mild sprain to his right ankle the previous day, the U.S. Soccer Federation said. Results of X-rays taken early Thursday afternoon were negative. Altidore will have a fitness test Friday to determine his availability for Saturday's friendly against...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2010; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Jozy Altidore, World Cup  
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Poll: Will South Africa advance at World Cup?

No host nation has ever failed to escape the group stage of the World Cup, but with a weak South Africa side stuck in a challenging quartet with France, Uruguay and Mexico, Bafana Bafana might very well become the first to falter. Vote! poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2010; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Poll , South Africa  | Tags: Bafana Bafana, South Africa, World Cup  
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World Cup news & notes

*Contrary to reports that surfaced Wednesday night in the South African media, Nelson Mandela is apparently not going to attend the World Cup opener next Friday. His grandson Mandla told Agence France-Presse: "It would be really a challenge to take him out in a cold winter day to go and...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa  | Tags: Dupont Circle, Nelson Mandela, North Korea, World Cup  
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U.S. keeper: World Cup ball 'a nightmare'

(From Liz Clarke) In the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, it's not politics that's causing the greatest consternation. It's the ball. The full range of opinion was on display when three principals of the U.S. team -- Coach Bob Bradley, midfielder Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann -- were...

By Liz Clarke  |  June 3, 2010; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , FIFA , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bob Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Marcus Hahnemann, World Cup, ball  
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'Davy Crockett' at the World Cup

In Mexico, where he plays for Pachuca, U.S. midfielder Jose Torres is known as "El Gringo" because of his Texas roots. At the end of Thursday's media session here at Irene Farm, where the Americans are based for the World Cup, teammate and fellow east Texan Clint Dempsey was asked...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2010; 8:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Davy Crockett, Jose Torres, World Cup  
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Mandela to attend World Cup opener

Former South African president Nelson Mandela plans to attend the June 11 opening match of the World Cup, FIFA President Sepp Blatter confirmed at a dinner Wednesday night honoring the host nation's team, Bafana Bafana. "Madiba will be there," Blatter said, according to The (Johannesburg) Times. "It is the merit...

By Liz Clarke  |  June 3, 2010; 6:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa  | Tags: Nelson Mandela, World Cup  
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While Johannesburg sleeps .....

With a six-hour time difference between South Africa and the eastern U.S., I am fast asleep when the final whistle, buzzer, horn or out call sounds at American sporting events. Upon waking on this 43-degree morning in Johannesburg, I shoveled some coal into the trusty Internet machine and learned that:...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2010; 2:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , China , D.C. United , FIFA , France , MLS  | Tags: China, D.C. United, FIFA, Johannesburg, Les Bleus, MLS, South Africa, World Cup  
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Matchnight: D.C. United-Real Salt Lake

Greetings from balmy RFK stadium for tonight's U.S. Open Cup play-in game. This is Katie Carrera making a cameo appearance along the banks of the Anacostia with Goff in South Africa and Paul Tenorio covering Virginia region semifinal matches. While a berth in the U.S. Open Cup is up for...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  June 2, 2010; 6:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
Categories:  U.S. Open Cup  
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World Cup news & notes, Brazil video

*South Africa Manager Carlos Alberto Parreira's decision to not include all-time scoring leader Benni McCarthy on the World Cup squad was front-page news in the local papers here. McCarthy's lack of form and weight issues ended his hopes of a third World Cup appearance. In an editorial devoted to the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , Brazil , South Africa , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Benni McCarthy, Brazil, South Africa, World Cup  
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U.S. World Cup team, down on the farm

On their short stroll along the path from the U.S. team accommodations to the media briefing Wednesday, Jose Torres, Jonathan Spector and DaMarcus Beasley had to yield to another group passing: cows. While players answered questions from a dozen reporters, noisy roosters and chickens squawked outside the media tent. When...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: South Africa, U.S. national team, World Cup  
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Washington Post's World Cup coverage

With the World Cup set to kick off next week, The Post has introduced a variety of features, news feeds, videos and blogs to complement the coverage from South Africa. The main page provides access to all you need, including: *A global map with team news, matchups and group information....

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2010; 4:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: South Africa, U.S. national team, Washington Post, World Cup  
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Video: Netherlands 4, Ghana 1

In a World Cup tuneup in Rotterdam, the Dutch demolished the Black Stars, 4-1, on goals by Dirk Kuyt, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie:...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2010; 3:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Ghana , Netherlands  | Tags: Ghana, Netherlands, World Cup  
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World Cup Travelogue: Day 1

The journey to my fifth World Cup starts at Gate A14 at Dulles International Airport with Post colleague Liz Clarke and my best friend for the next 17 hours, Ambien. The seat randomly assigned by South African Airways doesn't exactly convey comfort: 62D. This promises to be, in more ways...

By Steve Goff  |  June 1, 2010; 5:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa  | Tags: Johannesburg, South Africa, World Cup  
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Walcott left out of England team

As Goff and Liz Clarke adjust to South Africa -- they should have landed by now -- the news of the day is the exclusion of Arsenal winger Theo Walcott from England manager Fabio Capello's World Cup roster. Other players dropped were Darren Bent, Tom Huddlestone, Adam Johnson, Scott Parker,...

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 1, 2010; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , England , U.S. men's national team  
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Reaction in England as World Cup nears

Fortunately for many World Cup-bound teams, the results of these tuneups are nonbinding. Portugal draws with the Cape Verde Islands? The Americans thumped at home by the Czech Republic? Serbia falls to New Zealand? Spain struggles against the Saudis? South Korea loses to Belarus? They do, however, provide glimpses into...

By Steve Goff  |  May 31, 2010; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , England , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Capello, England, World Cup  
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Freedom subdues Independence

Think about that headline for a moment. A strong challenger to the early MLS matchups between the Revolution and Mutiny, and Fire and Burn. First-half goals by Rebecca Moros and Abby Wambach propelled the Washington Freedom to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Independence in front of 3,762 at Maryland...

By Steve Goff  |  May 31, 2010; 8:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Freedom , Women  | Tags: Abby Wambach, WPS, Washington Freedom  
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USA-Turkey rewind

Sorry for the delay. The Cracker Barrel at the Delaware-Maryland border beckoned. What we learned from the United States' 2-1 victory over Turkey in front of more than 55,000 at Lincoln Financial Field: *The backline against England should be Carlos Bocanegra on the left, Jay DeMerit and, assuming he is...

By Steve Goff  |  May 30, 2010; 1:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Landon Donovan, United States men's national soccer team, World Cup  
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