Paul the Octopus has predicted a German victory over Uruguay. (Getty Images)

The final round is here, and Paul the Octopus has weighed in. He has agreed with our staff, picking the Germans to take 3rd place and the Spanish to win it all. While Germany is a unanimous pick, the Netherlands were favored by two of the seven experts to win, perhaps because we (in general) think the Finals will be decided deeper than the German game.

It’s been a rough month for many of the teams so far, and I think the North Korean squad was sent to live on a farm upstate by now, but six of us have stuck with you throughout all of it. Check below to see how we all think the final round will turn out. And be aware that not only are we all picking the MVP of the tournament, but all point values are doubled!!! That means that picking the game winner and the minute of the winning goal to within five is worth four points, and picking the MVP and the minute of the winning goal to within fifteen is worth two points.

And just in case a tiebreaker is needed, we’ve also picked the minute in the Spain vs Netherlands match-up in which the first yellow card is given. Whoever gets closest will break the tie, or if no yellow card is given, whoever guessed the latest time will do so. Continue reading 2010 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Finals »

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Raymond Domenech Refuses Handshake (Photo by Fotosports.com)

With the World Cup coming to a close, it is clear that soccer fever is finally sweeping the country. The best players in the world are on display throughout American living rooms and bars in record numbers. Is it for real or just a four-year novelty?  Even though the United States has been knocked out, ratings are still up. Soccer is finally starting to catch on. But the sport’s forward momentum in this country has survived serious lack of sportsmanship, and surplus of whining.

So far this World Cup, the beautiful game has been just that inside the chalk, but the likes of Raymond Domenech and Rafik Saifi have made it look ugly off the pitch. With the media circus taking shape early on in group play, it essentially became a litmus test for bandwagon American fans: Do they care more about the flagrant off-field actions or the play itself? Continue reading The New American Soccer Fan, Thanks to France and Algeria »

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The Netherlands will take on Spain for the World Cup Championship. (crossed-flag-pins.com)

Paul the Octopus was right again; the cephalopod has now correctly picked the results of all six of Germany’s games in this World Cup. Remind me never to bet against a mollusk again. It was a hard fought match, but Spain prevailed 1-nil. The Netherlands won 3-2, though Uruguay made things a little interesting in stoppage time.

In this Semifinals, Spain’s performance did well by Brian and Teddy, and surprisingly enough, everyone scored at least a point on that game’s timing of the goal. Dan is still leading comfortably, with Brian trailing right behind. But the top three spots on the podium have yet to be definitively decided, so it’s still up for grabs. The Netherlands upset Brazil and Spain halted Germany’s offense, thanks to a very knowledgeable octopus, so there’s plenty to think of. To see what we all here were thinking of, check below. Continue reading 2010 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Semifinals Results »

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Germany is quickly becoming an irresistible force that they haven't been since, let's say the 1940s. ("Balls of Fury," 2007)

The Final Four of the soccer world is known, and they’re all hungry for victory. Uruguay is representing all of South America now, but the Dutch will look to build on their upset of Brazil. The Germans have been on an absolute tear, and have some beef with Spain over the European Championships. But of course, anything can happen, so be sure to keep watching.

According to our staff, the Netherlands will definitely move through, and relatively quickly at that. The Germans should also win, but later in the game and not without a challenge from Spain. And if your name is towards the beginning or end of the alphabet, you’re more likely to disagree with the others. Interesting trend, eh?

As usual, picking a game winner and time of the winning goal (to within five minutes) is worth two points. Picking the timing of the winning goal to within fifteen minutes is worth one point instead. We’ve still got plenty of points on the table and the final round to go through, so check below for the latest picks and stay tuned later in the week for our exciting conclusion. Continue reading 2010 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Semifinals »

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Windmills and weed were good enough to come from behind and beat Carnival; Netherlands beat Brazil, in case you weren't following. (erickwicaksono.com)

We’re down to the Final Four, and anything could happen. That’s mostly because the referees keep interjecting themselves in controversial moments, especially in the Spain/Paraguay game. Uruguay defeated Ghana in penalty kicks while the Netherlands beat top-ranked Brazil, both from behind. Germany dissected Argentina, and Spain overcame a bevy of penalty kicks to beat Paraguay in regulation 1-nil. It was a tough round for many teams, but a blessing for others, just as it was for our staff.

Robert was the only one to guess all four winners correctly, and even guessed the timing of the Netherlands’ victory well enough to help vault him from worst to third. Teddy, KC, and myself had a rough time of it, but are still in the running, and all are legitimately in the running to finish in the top half of our draw.

Next up is the Semifinals. It’s coming down to the wire, so there’s bound to be even rougher play and even more terrible pretend injuries, so stay tuned. You know our staff of experts will be tuning in, in an ever-increasingly harsh war to get more points. But for the time being, check below to see how things have turned out so far. Continue reading 2010 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Quarterfinals Results »

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Based on our rankings, Spain is the favorite in multiple sports going on now. (topnews.in)

Here we are at the Quarterfinals. This was the round that doomed Roger Federer twice in a row, and our staff of experts narrowly thinks the same will happen in the same round to #1 seed Brazil. Only the Dutch could be such favorites, at least before Spain gets a crack. By the way, Spain is the only team that’s favored unanimously by our staff to win. Germany is getting a fair amount of love over Argentina, and Ghana is still getting votes, but Uruguay is still the choice.

In fact, only two of us are in agreement over the four winners. There are 16 permutations of the remaining teams, and seven of us, but you still had to think this would happen, with the better teams getting those nods. Before you know it, the tourney will be over, but there’s still plenty of room for those on the lower part of the standings to move up, so it’s still very much anyone’s game. To see how everyone’s picking the next round to go, check below. Continue reading 2010 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Quarterfinals »

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I know it’s disappointing. The USA did not pass what was seemingly an easy challenge against Ghana. Still, do not get discouraged with the World Cup. There is still plenty of great football… err… soccer, to be played! What If I told you there were two matchups happening that were worthy of the finals?

That’s what we have with the quarterfinals, some potentially great matchups against pre-tournament favorites. So dust off your vuvuzela, because the World Cup continues. And some of these matchups are a doozy.

THE NETHERLANDS VS BRAZIL:

If this was the final match, no one would have been surprised. Both teams have an excellent soccer history and have played brilliantly this World Cup. It is almost a shame that one of these teams will have to go home early, but that’s the luck of the draw. While most of you will think Brazil will crush the Dutch, do not underestimate the men in orange. Continue reading 2010 World Cup Preview: The Quarterfinals »

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