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Friday kickaround: Maurice Edu, Copa America, Women's World Cup, Americans abroad, college soccer

By Steve Goff

*Glasgow Rangers says American midfielder Maurice Edu's knee injury is not serious, though he will undergo a scan today and not play against Aberdeen on Saturday.

*The results of the draw for next summer's Copa America in Argentina, which includes guest sides Mexico and Japan:
A: Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Japan.
B: Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela.
C: Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, Peru.

*With semifinal victories by Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in African qualifying, the 16-team Women's World Cup field is almost complete. Remaining slots will be filled by two South American sides and the winner of the USA-Italy playoff. Equatorial Guinea -- which has had more than its share of controversy -- defeated South Africa, 3-1, with all the scoring in extra time. Nigeria routed Cameroon, 5-1, for its sixth straight Cup appearance.

*Americans abroad:
MFs Jose Torres and Marco Vidal and F Herculez Gomez for Pachuca at Necaxa (9 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes)

GK Luis Robles and Karlsruhe vs. Erzgebirge Aue

For more.....

*The ACC semifinals are tonight in Cary, N.C. Live video is available on the league's Web site:
#2 Maryland vs. #6 Virginia, 5:30 p.m.
Terrapins have won 11 straight, including 2-0 win at UVA on Oct. 29
#1 North Carolina vs. #5 Boston College, 8 p.m.

*The NCAA women's tournament continues tonight with Maryland, one of the four No. 1 seeds, hosting High Point at 5 followed by Georgetown and Siena at 8. In Charlottesville, No. 2 seed Virginia welcomes Lehigh.

By Steve Goff  | November 12, 2010; 8:56 AM ET
Categories:  Africa, Americans Abroad, College Soccer, Copa America, Scotland, U.S. men's national team, Women  
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Next: D.C. United coaching search update

Comments

I take issue with Soccer America's use of "controversial."

"Oil-rich Equatorial Guinea is accused of importing players and giving them citizenship to play for the national team."

Who doesn't do that these days? As long as the country's laws allow it and the players aren't cap-tied, this is not controversial.

"After Ghana lost to Equatorial Guinea, its captain Florence Okoe accused Equatorial Guinea star Salimata Simpore and two other players of being men."

That's not controversial either, just sour grapes. And by "sour grapes" I'm not referring to what you're thinking.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

So will Mexico be able to field their top squad for both Copa America and the Gold Cup next summer? I know they won't have a problem using their domestic players for both, but they have a lot of key pieces abroad these days.

Posted by: BooThisMan | November 12, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I really wish that the Gold Cup and Copa America would merge into one interesting tournament.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 12, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"Equatorial Guinea has one of the worst human rights records in the world, consistently ranking among the "worst of the worst" in Freedom House's annual survey of political and civil rights[8] and Reporters Without Borders ranks President Obiang among its "predators" of press freedom."

From the country's wikipedia profile:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equatorial_Guinea

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@BooThisMan: Mexico is sending their U-23s, w/ 5 overage players, to Copa America. I have no idea why we aren't participating in that tourney.

Posted by: me_ahogo | November 12, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@BooThisMan: Mexico is sending their U-23s, w/ 5 overage players, to Copa America. I have no idea why we aren't participating in that tourney.

Posted by: me_ahogo | November 12, 2010 10:20 AM

probably because we would have to send our U-23s w/ 5 overage players.

Posted by: VTUnited | November 12, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea why we aren't participating in that tourney.
Posted by: me_ahogo
===========

Because we weren't invited. Crashing a keg party is one thing, crashing a State Dinner is another, but you can't crash a tournament.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, we DID send a squad similar to that to the Copa America last time we got invited, everyone got taken behind the woodshed, the tournament organizers were unhappy and whattya know, the US doesn't get invited any more.
Still shows the difference in depth between the countries that Mexico can get away with it.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | November 12, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Barca should demand gender verification on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 12, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Smart move by Japan to take advantage of this opportunity. They looked great in South Africa, and playing in competitions like the Copa America will only make them stronger as they prepare for Brazil 2014.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF, that was uncalled for... and hilarious.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Equatorial Guinea's finest athletic moment (true story):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woYG6Uq6OVU

Posted by: rademaar | November 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Barca should demand gender verification on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Posted by: OWNTF | November

Florence Okoe accused Equatorial Guinea star Salimata Simpore and two other players of being men.

Posted by: I-270Exit1

It'd make for an uncomfortable pre-game equipment check, really. "No earrings or rings? Check. Shinguards? Check. Metal cleat exposure? Check. . . and uh . . . hold still a minute . . "

Posted by: delantero | November 12, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Cool story on NFL kickers with a buncha futbol references:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111201304.html

Posted by: Juan-John1 | November 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Did y'all read the piece linked on mlssoccer -- about how Qatar seems to heave replaced the USA as the most likely winner fo the 2022 derby? Very concerning. I'm sure they have the money to build gleaming, climate-controlled stadia, and can probably build the facilities to handle the hoped-for tourist boom.

The question is why? I get the p.r. appeal of having a small Middle Eastern country host instead of the bog, bad USA -- but it ignores realities. One, the stadia in Qatar would be wasted. There's no real prospect of having any use for them after the Cup. Two -- there are lots of soccer tourists, but how many really want to come to Qatar? I've seen the soccer tourists -- they come for the games, the sightseeing and the partying. Qatar could offer only the games. There will be many more unsold tickets than there were in Korea and South Africa. It's just not a good idea.

Posted by: fischy | November 12, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the typos -- didn't mean to make anyone "heave".

Posted by: fischy | November 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

would love to hear/see some critical editorial about the importance of MNT playing regularly in copa america. there is very little left to gain from conquering mostly under-equipped CONCACAF opponents. personally i would rank regular meaningful competition with south america as the number one priority of USSF (ahead of overhaul of youth development). left to play truly class competitive games only every 4 years has and will continue to be a massive hindrance to the development of the program...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 12, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: Qatar . The question is why?

A Billion oil rich Riyal's why.

Although FIFA can not possibly turn down the cash they would make from the U.S. I have a hard time thinking Qatar can really match the profit.

Posted by: delantero | November 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Qatar? Seriously???

But I suppose it's a dry heat.

Posted by: benonthehill | November 12, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@rainORshine - the Gold Cup this year is the pathway to the Confederations Cup, which some would argue is better WC prep than the Copa America. there.

@delantero & Fischy - I don't think I am making this up, but isn't there a rumor out there that China is interested in hosting 2026 (they are currently tied up bidding on the 2022 Winter Olympics)? FIFA surely wouldnt preclude China from the either the 2026/30 discussion by selecting an Asian (Qatar or the Aussies) nation for 2022...would they?

Posted by: VTUnited | November 12, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Of course, over at Ives' blog, people are whining about USA's C team at the last Copa America. Sigh.

Posted by: Reignking | November 12, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

There's no real prospect of having any use for [Qatari stadiums] after the Cup.
Posted by: fischy
==========

The Qatari FF plans to dismantle some of the stadiums, mainly the upper decks, and send them to third-world nations in need of soccer facilities. They made no mention of sending grass, equipment, not to mention funds for education and health care.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

VTU - Confed is a valuable reward for CONCACAF (GC) champ for sure. but:

a) not something we can count on every cycle.
b) dont think truly compares to a valued regional competition like copa america. as amazing as it was to shock spain and play brazil in the final, there is a question of motivation regarding teams in that tournament? potential for growth comes from having regular opportunities to compete under pressure/scrutiny - where every team is totally committed to the best possible result.

confed cup was designed to be a world cup audition and that is what it is. sure everyone wants to do well, but that is not necessarily the ultimate priority of every team. not a coveted trophy...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 12, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

confed cup was designed to be a world cup audition and that is what it is.

Posted by: rainORshine

thats exactly my argument in favor of the Confed Cup over the Copa America. Participating in the CC allows what likely would be the core of your WC squad an exclusive preview of the tournament, at least in regard, to travel, stadia, climate, etc. Several US players mentioned how comfortable they were at SA10 because they had just been there for the Confed Cup. For a team that is still a ways from becoming a soccer power, small advantages like that are invaluable. I do completely understand the counter to my point though that playing in truly meaninful competitions like the CA are how you become a soccer power, so yeah...

Posted by: VTUnited | November 12, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

dont think confed/copa should be either/or. move gold cup to even non-WC years and petition CONMEBOL for regular inclusion in year-after-WC copa touney. you would think SA would be happy to have regular participants (US and Mexico) rather than randon entrants(ie japan). could go so far as to invite 6 CONCACAF teams to create 16 team tournament. under current CONCACAF format, you could include hexagonal teams from previous WCQ. either way, have CONCACAF teams actually qualify for copa through WCQ process.

plus, is there really any need for gold cup every two years, on top of WCQ? every 4 is plenty...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 12, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

move gold cup to even non-WC years
Posted by: rainORshine
==========

Not likely. The same reason for the new CONCACAF qualifying format (more games for the tiny island teams) will keep the Gold CUp just how it is. Remember, the tiny island teams outnumber USA and Mexico when it comes to voting.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

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