South Africa from Afar

Just starting to set up my bookmarks and twitter follows for the World Cup. Already friggin’ excited … just filled out my bracket, and I gotta say, I’m such a homer — I’ve got USA losing to Brazil in the semis.

Anyhow, the Washington Post is set to give us one new site, and one old one — both of which seem worthy of checking out (for now):

Steven Goff’s Soccer Insider here.

And the new Wapocup here.

Not so sure about this posterous site … plan seems to be for a group fan-blog chock-full of user-submitted content. Have seen that fail many times in many different genres before — especially with hedlines such as “Here we go!” — but maybe the power of the Washington Post combined with the World FRIGGIN Cup will be enough to give it at least a month’s worth of legs?

More click-worthy links TK for sure, as well as probably a few that turn out to be better suited for unbookmarking eventually.

Soccer Blogs from English Football People

I’m just starting to get my mind around this World Cup that’s ready to fall upon us. Perhaps shamefully, I missed the whole second half of this EPL season … playoffs included. (Do they call it “playoffs” in Europe?)

Big thanks to AlCantHang and Joe Speaker for sharing bits and pieces here so I could have at least a bit of a clue what’s been going on. (Go USA!)

Anyhow, I swear I’m not a soccer moron … I just happen to have been one recently. But thus, as I begin to figure out my World Cup Days, they will surely include regular visits to probably a half dozen or so soccer websites to see what’s up. Naturally, my first and last stops will be Soccerati … because, frankly, I trust you guys to keep me better informed and intelligently engaged than a website from some random hooligan.

But I will be seeking other perspectives, too, and one of them will come from a Brit pal of mine who happens to live in Germany. He’s @DaveAllan on twitter — Sang needn’t worry, he’s a Liverpool guy, not some douchethug Gooner — and he runs the Betfair Blog over on the poker side of the world.

He and his mate’s new soccer blog, er, sorry, an “England World Cup” blog is A2B World Cup. Check it out … as I will be because it should be particularly fun during the group stage.

BTW, since this is will be my first World Cup perusing the soccer blogosphere, let me know if there are any other sites — American or British — I should be sure not to miss … especially as it relates to Group C play.

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.

Soccer to Reunify Korea?

They’re thinking about it, at least. South Korea is supposedly ready to pass a resolution in September that will create a joint North Korea-South Korea football fan group — and part of that will entail KOR sending 300 fans from PRK to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Both North and South Korea have already qualified for South Africa 2010, making it the first time the two countries have ever competed in the same World Cup.

Source: Associated Press