Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Don't feel dupped!

We stated that in this blog we would talk about anything and everything inside and outside the chessboard. So today, we will focus on soccer.

Team USA will be playing Spain today at 1:20 p.m., central standard time, on ESPN and Univision in the Confederation Cup.

The next question you will be asking is what in the world is the CONFEDERATION CUP?

Thanks for asking, I was dying to answer that question. Soccer just like chess, at the international level, is divided into zones. Each zone has a zonal.

Still with me?

Ok, great!

Each zone has their zonal every four years, the zone we live in is called CONCACAF and it is formed by the North and Central American nations as well as every carribean island. The zone holds an elimination tournament to decide who goes to the Confederation Cup.

The final was between Mexico and the United States of which Mexico got beat. This is how Team USA gained its ticket to the "quasi big dance" because the "big big dance" is the World Cup.

Ok, keep up with me.

So, while our zone was having its zonal, so where the other 4-zones. Each one produced a winner and joined the host nation, the European Cup Champion and the World Champion.

This makes a tournament of 8-nations.

The Confederation Cup is always held in the country where the following year the World Cup will be held. In 2010, it will be South Africa who will host this world event becoming the first african nation in history to hold such tournament.

Therefore, the Confederation Cup is somewhat of a rehearsal for the World Cup where the top 32-nations on earth participate for almost four weeks until only one survives.

CONCACAF is viewed universally as a weak zone being that only the United States and Mexico are mostly the only countries that can stand-up to the european teams as well as Argentina and Brazil. So the simple fact that in this Confederation Cup Team USA qualified to the semi-final is a major feat!

I hope this brief soccer lesson helped you understand what in the world will happen today in South Africa.

Will Team USA be able to defeat Spain, today?

Spain arrives with a 15-game winning streak to today's match. However, american sports thrives on the thrill of achieving the impossible.

Let's watch and see what happens.

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