US Host Cities for World Cup 2018/22 Bid

The US finalized its list of bid cities a couple weeks ago. Dallas, Philly, and Houston all made the cut. Hard to think how Dallas couldn’t with the new, ever-soccer-friendly Cowboys Stadium. Surprise omissions include Chicago and San Francisco.

Here’s the map of what spots will comprise the USA bid for World Cup 2018/22:

citiesmap

More info at GoUSAbid.com.

Charlie Davies Apparently Getting Better

The US striker had a major car accident in October, but he’s up and about these days, and says he should be ready to suit up for the South Africa squad.

He was seen recently playing $5/$10 no-limit hold’em at Bellagio in Las Vegas. No report on how well he wielded his stack.

davies-poker

[via BluffMagazine.com]

Accrington Stanley Does a Body Good

The lowest-ranked team left in the FA Cup — from League 2 — is currently battling Fulham at home. If they could win, they’d undoubtedly become the Cinderella story of the FA.

But who are they? That’s exactly why they are so ready to be a fan favorite:

UPDATE: Fulham scores. Boooo!

Worst Soccer Bet Ever (in Theory)

In-game betting can be dangerous … as one college student learned during an African Cup of Nations match between Angola and Mali.

Angola was up 4-0 when the student bet his entire £4,400 education loan on Angola holding on for the win. Had they been successful, he woulda won £44 via Betfair. Alas, the Mali-ans pulled off a miracle at the last second to draw.

[via CalvinAyre]

UPDATE: James in Dundee (aka @jambizzle) tweets in to say this story is not accurate:

This was outed as a joke between the Original poser (bettor) and a friend. No bet was made.

Bono on the World Cup

Bono has a semi-interesting Top 10 type of list in the New York Times — looking at 10 things that will shape the next decade — and one of them (I can’t tell if it’s #1 or #10) is soccer. Specifically the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

He says:

africa-world-cup-ball

Peter Arkle

The World Cup Kicks Off the African Decade

It’s getting easier to describe to Americans the impact of the World Cup — especially the impact it will have in Africa, where the tournament is to be held this summer. A few years ago, Ivory Coast was splitting apart and in the midst of civil war when its national team qualified for the 2006 jamboree. The response was so ecstatic that the war was largely put on hold as something more important than deathly combat took place, i.e. a soccer match. The team became a symbol of how the different tribes could — and did — get on after the tournament was over.

This time round, for the 2010 World Cup, naysayers thought South Africa could not build the stadiums in time. Those critics should be red-faced now. South Africa’s impressive preparations underline the changes on the continent, where over the last few years, 5 percent economic growth was the average. Signs point to a further decade of growth to come. Canny investors will put more capital there. This in turn has the potential to shore up fragile young democracies across the continent.

Liverpool Seeks to Indoctrinate American Children

liverpool-kids

Discovered something interesting while home in Dallas for the holidays … my brother-in-law has a niece who apparently takes her soccer pretty seriously. And her team: The Reds.

She’s very proud to play on Liverpool. My first guess was this has to be some sort of Tom Hicks gig. Sure enough — Liverpool FC America, “combining the traditions of Liverpool with the pride of Texas”.

Brilliant concept, really … considering how many bajillions of American kids play soccer, it’s a shame that none of us were taught about the greatness of the EPL until after our own play had been relegated to the Sega/Playstation/Xbox leagues. But now, American youth soccer players come with a team to root for right from the pre-pubescent git-go.

Will be interesting to see if this catches on and expands. I’d so want my (theoretical) children to go to Aston Villa Goalie Camp, for example.

UPDATE: Everton has something similar (out of Connecticut, I believe):

http://www.evertonamericact.com/

Sony to Show World Cup Games in 3-D

Not even sure what that means and whether or not you’ll have to wear funny glasses … but the techsters at Sony are using South Africa 2010 as the stage to show off their latest technology.

From the looks of things, however, we will not be able to view the special stuff in the USA.

http://www.brandrepublic.com/Global/News/971846/Sony-show-World-Cup-matches-3D/

What a 2-second Goal Looks Like

21-year-old Saudi striker Nawaf Al Abed scored on Saturday what papers in the UK are claiming to be the fastest goal ever recorded in a professional match:

Funky stuff always going down in the Middle Eastern leagues, no? Or is it just that they’re getting more coverage than before, and the whole internet thing, that we see more soccer from them over all?

Thanks, as often, to the PokerGossip, for keeping me abreast of the other big-money action out there.

Dirtiest Women’s Soccer Game Ever?

You know, maybe women’s college football really should think about going the hockey route … because while the following behavior is “inexcusable”, I gotta think the ferocity of the hard-fouling chick brutality in and of itself makes me more likely to watch BYU in their conference championship this weekend:

Thanks, Steve, for sending!

Sheringham Gunning for Poker Glory

sheringhamThey’re down to 20 players left in the main event of WSOP-Europe — a £10,000 no-limit hold’em tournament that drew 334 runners — and retired Man U striker Teddy Sheringham is currently sixth in chips.

He’s already in the money, but should he make the final table, then he’s in some real dough.

Click here to follow the action.

1st prize is more than £800,000 … or US$1.3 million.