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5 Bold Soccer Predictions For 2010


In the past four years, the world has made significant strides in better broadband access as well as the latest in high-definition TVs and better access and programming to carry the beautiful game around the world. It’s no wonder then that next year is going to be the biggest World Cup in the history of the sport.

So, considering the next World Cup and the 2010 calendar year for the Premier League, let me look into my crystal ball and share with you my top five bold soccer predictions for 2010:

  1. Feelings are going to get hurt. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, prepare to be swept up in a tidal wave of Internet noise during June and July when soccer fans take over the Internet to cheer on their nation in the 2010 World Cup. Supporters of most countries will be civil, but some will not. When you’re visiting soccer message boards, blogs and social media sites, expect to read messages that you will make you laugh and cry, or make you feel like you’re on top of the world. And will make you madder than hell.
  2. Soccer fans will still want more. ESPN has stepped up the quality of the Premier League in the United States by being the first U.S. network to show most games in HD. Coming up next will be Fox Soccer Channel who plan on launching their HD signal in days from now. However, while that roll-out takes it time to become available throughout the United States, I predict that the majority of soccer fans will become inpatient and complain bitterly on message boards and blogs that Fox Soccer in HD is not available from his or her local cable or satellite provider. However, for those who do get to see most Premier League games in HD on Fox Soccer Channel in 2010 and beyond, I believe they’ll be ecstatic at first. But then the pressure will be on GolTV and Setanta Sports to quickly upgrade their signals to HD in 2010. It’s going to be a hot potato year for soccer networks in the United States.
  3. England are going to get the fright of their lives. Now I realize this is dangerous territory I’m walking on here, but I honestly believe that the United States is going to give England a huge shock on Saturday, June 12, 2010 in South Africa. As bizarre as it sounds, I truly believe that the United States will step up for this game in a major way to surprise England – either by taking an early lead, bursting through its penalty area and leaving the England defenders legless, or being under an incredible amount of pressure for a sustained period of the match. Despite all of that, I’m not sure the United States, however, can win the game. A draw is a distinctive possibility, but I don’t see the United States losing this game. Okay, don’t laugh.
  4. The Premier League will ignore America once again. Let’s be honest. Asia has received all of the love from the Premier League for the past six years since they hosted the first Premier League Asia Trophy to promote itself in the Far East. Since it’s debut in Malaysia in 2003, the Premier League has returned to Asia every single time (every two years) and most recently during this past summer in China. While the next Asia Trophy isn’t until 2011 at a yet undecided host country, the only love the Americans may see is the final of the Carling Cup and that won’t happen until as early as 2011. Even then, I don’t see it happening. While the Carling Cup is not the best loved tournament, those supporters who follow the teams to the final will not want to pay tons more money to fly to America and back to watch their team when they usually play at Wembley.
  5. The 2010 World Cup is going to make the Premier League even more popular than now. There’s one country that’s more likely to benefit than any other in the 2010 World Cup and that’s England. Not necessarily the national team, but the top English football division, the Premier League. Players from most of the major countries are playing week-in week-out for the Premier League. Spain wins. The Premier League wins thanks to Fernando Torres and several other top Spanish players plying their trade in England. And you can go on with similar examples for many of the major countries. After the World Cup is over in July, expect some of the biggest global TV ratings the Premier League has ever seen in August, 2010. Premier League computers, play nice and schedule a big match during the first couple weeks of the season to take the Premier League off the richter scale.

Thoughts or opinions? And what are your soccer-related predictions for 2010? Respond via the comments feature below.

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  1. Adrian

    January 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Dempsey is doing terrific with Fulham in the EPL, but he sure doesn’t bring his game consistently to the USMNT. It’s not a matter of talent or ability to compete, because Demsey clearly has both. He was such a dog for the much of the Confederations Cup that he should’ve been benched and only used as a late sub. Altidore and Beasley also just seem to dog it with the USMNT. Then again, Bob Bradley is a horrible coach…

    I think the USMNT could really have given England a scare if they had a Gooch and Charlie Davies healthy and fit. Davies is a huge loss for the team. Even so, maybe the US can surprise them with it being the first game and England being overconfident.

  2. Andrew J

    December 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I expect the USA to get a 2-2 draw controversially and the United States to make the quarterfinals after finishing second in Group C and deposing of Germany in the Round of 16 (redemption from 2002).

    Anyway, Beasley will not make the squad, but Charlie Davies WILL BE BACK from injury and so will Onyewu. In case no one has noticed, Davies has progressed significantly and the doctor who said “it will take 6-12 months to recover” also stated directly afterwards “Davies will return earlier due to his great fitness level.”

  3. Bishopville Red

    December 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I don’t think USA beating England is outrageous a all.

    Here’s my one bold prediction: during the World Cup we will spend far too much time using the words “replay”, “referee” “mistake” and “Blatter” . And it will all be Sepp’s fault.

  4. Rob McCluskey

    December 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    The thing is England are expected to beat the USA. But I keep feeling that it’ll be a tricky game, i’m pretty sure Capello won’t let the team be complacent though no matter how easy most English people think it will be

    If we are then we’ll pay as I watched USA in Confederation cup and theyre not a flashy side but they play well together, if Altidore could shoot with more accuracy he would be a great player.

    England have a good chance but we can’t go in thinking we’re the favourites, and most important for us is that Heskey is playing regularly. He gets slated a lot but theres no one better that can knock that ball down and hold it up for Rooney and we need someone like that

  5. Renegade_gooner

    December 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    For #5 who are the Several other top players for Spain that play in the EPL, i can think only of Renia(who doesnt start) and Cesc(who might be transfering to Barca immediately afterwards).

    • The Gaffer

      December 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

      Fabregas, Torres and Reina – so far. Plus there’s a good chance of more Spanish players coming over to England in January such as David Villa, and others.

      The Gaffer

      • ngog

        December 28, 2009 at 7:37 pm

        The problem with La Liga is that when you talk about Spain’s best players, their starters ONLY play for Barcelona and Real Madrid (with the exception being David Villa and/or David Silva for Valencia). It’s not like someone will see Spain in the World Cup, then decide to start watching fixtures between Getafe-Osasuna or Deportivo-Racing Santander. If they did, they wouldn’t recognize any of the players and would likely lose interest. I guess there are a few more La Liga players people recognize, but only Henry, Ronaldo, and Messi come to mind as memorable right now, and look what teams they play for.

        On the flip side, look at most of the countries and you will usually find that a lot of their top players play in England, but most notably for a wide variety of teams. I count 110 players featuring at some point for a wide variety of teams in the World Cup.

        Man U – Rooney, Valencia, Foster, Park, Ferdinand, Vidic, Nani, Hargreaves
        Chelsea – Drogba, Anelka, Lampard, A. Cole, Bosingwa, Ballack, Essien, Ivanovich, Mikel, Deco, Carvalho, Kalou, Ferreira, Malouda, Terry, Alex, J. Cole
        Liverpool – Torres, Gerrard, Kuyt, Agger, Skrtel, Mascherano, Babel, Kyrgiakos, Riera, Johnson
        Arsenal – Fabregas, Van Persie, Bendtner, Gallas, Sagna, Walcott, Diaby, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Senderos, Clichy, Eboue
        Fulham – Dempsey, Schwarzer, Pantsil, Etuhu
        Everton – Pienaar, Heitinga, Howard, Cahill, DONOVAN, Yobo, Yakubu, Neill, Anichebe
        Spurs – Lennon, Assou-Ekotto, Bassong, Jenas?, dosSantos, Palacios
        Man City – Barry, De Jong, Robinho, Santa Cruz, Tevez, Adebayor, Bridge, Toure
        Hull – Altidore, Olifinjana
        Aston Villa – Heskey, Milner, Young, Agbonlahor, Warnock?, Guzan
        Birmingham – Chucho Benitez
        Blackburn – Grella, McCarthy, Emerson, Nelsen, Jacobsen
        Bolton- Shittu, Lee Chung-Yong
        Stoke- Sorenson, Arismendi
        Portsmouth – James, Utaku, Yebda, Kanu, Dindane
        Sunderland – Mensah, Da Silva
        West Ham – Green, Franco, Spector, Jimenez, Bahrami
        Wigan – Kingson, Figueroa, Thomas
        Wolves – Milijas, Castillo

  6. David in MN

    December 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I agree with v, I think that Clint Dempsey is quite overrated. While he may be consistent in Premier League matches, he has yet to achieve form in international matches. Altidore, Casey, Davies (before the accident) and Beasley are all in higher form, in my opinion, than Dempsey. I might have to retract what I said about Altidore, following the Man U Hull City match, but I’ll wait and see. Meanwhile, Donovan NEEDS to get out of the MLS and start to play internationally. I feel like he’s at a pivotal point; if he can transfer to Germany after his loan spell, he will excel as a player, but if he can’t he’ll be forever a mediocre player. Don’t get me wrong, Donovan has promise.

    What the hell happened to Taylor Twellman? In the friendlies before the 2006 World Cup Twellman worked quite hard and produced goals. I was very surprised not to see him.

    In the end, England 3-2 USA. If they got their heads in the game, though, Donovan, Casey, Altidore, Oneywu, Bradley, and Feilhaber could turn the game, but whenever I think the US is put together, they always fall apart, and when I think they’re in for a defeat, they pull something out of nowhere (v Costa Rica).

    • ngog

      December 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm

      Did you just say Beasley is in form? From what, the two goals he scored in the past 2+ years for Rangers? Or the 5 games total he has played with them all season?

      Conor Casey? That is the person you find to be your most reliable?

      You think Donovan will excel as a player in Germany, why? After two failures there why would anything be different know? And you also say he will always be a mediocre player? What? Stop yourself.

      • BH

        December 29, 2009 at 6:44 am

        he has had a goos past 4 or 5 games. if he continues on this pace …

      • David in MN

        December 29, 2009 at 9:42 am

        My comments about Casey come after watching the confederations cup. If he continues in any sort of form as he was, then goals are sure to come. ANY goals that might come USA’s way would be welcome, as last World Cup for us was abysmal. Casey hasn’t featured on the US squad much at all, so I’m hoping he’ll be out to impress Bradley so that he can be in the starting 11 in the WC.

        Beasley is tired and looking haggard. He’s in no sort of form for the WC squad, you’re right, and hasn’t been in a while. Mostly wishful thinking, because he was working quite hard during the qualifications for Germany 2006. He has pace, though, when he’s in form, and he’s a US veteran. Maybe that last bit is a bad thing.

        About Dempsey: I’ll bite my tongue and see what happens with him. Looking at recent stats it appears I may have misspoke, so I’ll bow out.

  7. v

    December 28, 2009 at 9:34 am

    On 3, while I believe its entirely possible that the US could give England a run for their money or even a defeat, I lean towards a riot by England.

    First the US has no consistency anywhere on the field besides the back four, Donovan (surprisingly this last year his form has been amazing), and the men in Goal. The strikers can’t piece together any run of form at all, they’ll be spectacular one game, observers the next three. The midfield is clobbered together and relies too much on the individual rather than working cohesively together, not to mention lack any sort of creativity (in reference Bradley’s usual squad choices). The back four and goalie are more often than not the only world class part of the US team, but a good defense without the supporting front is nothing. And most importantly the coach utilizes idiotic tactics and horrible squad picks that rely too much on established players who to put it simply deliver lackluster performances.

    And am I the only one who thinks Dempsey is severely overrated? Maybe the views I get don’t show me enough, but he always seems to have no work rate and the goals he scores are usually just the ones that a monkey could put in the net.

    • Cantona

      December 28, 2009 at 9:47 am

      your right .. the USA has alot of overrated players.. but they do have Blighty beaten in one key area… KEEPER… there is no doubt the USA has a wealth of talent in this department.. 3 excellent Premiership keepers.. could this be the deciding factor?… this one worries me… but I still think we (England) have too much talent to not win this… its the right time, with the right manager… definitely a finals appearance.


    • masterblaster

      December 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

      Dempsey overrated? You’re really going to knock one of the two players who have been highly consistent in the Premier League?

      Dempsey has been class for the last two years for Fulham, playing with a team that is highly organized but doesn’t exactly boast the best overall players in the world. I think what you see in his performances for Fulham compared to his performances to the US team have a lot more to do with the difference in coaches and the difference in playing with the likes of Hangeland, Murphy, Zamora, Johnson, Pantsil, et al. instead of the likes of Jozy Altidore, DeMarcus Beasley, and Landon Donovan.

      • Laurence

        December 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm

        Has he really been consistent ‘class’ though? There have been wide criticisms of him because he hasn’t stepped up to the plate often enough. He does come to the fore though and he’s in my fantasy team. Whether he has been ‘class’ is questionable. Totally agree that playing with the quality of player that surrounds him has done him good though.

        KEEPER: Back Defoe against any of them.

        Gaffer was right though, feelings will get hurt. Ronaldo and Rooney for another bust up?

        • David in MN

          December 28, 2009 at 1:27 pm

          If they had another row it will be worse than last time, since Ronaldo isn’t returning to England afterward.

    • ovalball

      December 28, 2009 at 12:53 pm

      I’m not sure where you get the “overrated” bit. I don’t believe anyone has ever compared him to Fabregas or the like. He is a decent player starting on a decent side in the best league in the world. The USNT would be a whole lot better if we had a few more with those qualifications.

      • David in MN

        December 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm

        I agree totally, but again, I say that he is expected to carry some of the skill he has into international games, and thus far he hasn’t done so consistently. I feel as if Dempsey isn’t producing the results he could be in US MNT matches.

        • ovalball

          December 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm

          Fair enough.

          BTW, welcome to You’re right…it’s a great site. The articles are generally interesting and broad-ranging (Bank Holiday).

          The commentary is equally interesting/comic/civil/intelligent…..and sometimes off the wall.

          Enjoy. 🙂

          • David in MN

            December 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm


            The frustrating thing about Dempsey is when he shows up, it can change games. When he shows up he makes that run into space, or gets that assist that produces a goal. I haven’t followed Fulham, and the few games I’ve seen he was benched, so I’ll take your word that he is one of the consistent players in the EPL. This is one of the reasons Dempsey annoys me: I know that with him, the USA is a better side (like the 8-0 win against Barbados). When he’s on the pitch looking drunk, I feel like he’s just dragging us down.

          • ngog

            December 28, 2009 at 6:39 pm

            Umm, Dempsey has played in every fixture for Fulham this season, missing only a total of 37 minutes in 19 total games for his club and has started every game. He has 5 goals, 2 assists, and plays midfield for a team that has only allowed 18 goals in those 19 games and is currently 9th in the Premier League and has advanced in the Europa League.

            He has improved every year, so I’m not sure what else he can really do. Again, if someone plays this consistently for club in 38+ games how can anyone single him out for being overrated.

          • BH

            December 29, 2009 at 6:43 am

            lol Everytime I see Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi for their club teams they’ve been benched, but for their national teams, i feel they haven’t played as well as they should


      • Eric T

        December 29, 2009 at 6:04 pm

        I completely agree with Dempsey being overrated. He plays well for Fulham, but i feel like he could do so much more for the USMNT. I hated watching Dempsey in the Confederations Cup. He would play like shit for 99% of the time but score a goal so everyone would praise him. Once he scored, he always tried to get really cute with the ball, thinking he was Ronaldo or something. The one thing that made me love him was when he cried after the Brazil loss, I love seeing professional athletes who show they have the same passion for their country as I do. While he did come up with some clutch goals there, his winning of the bronze ball was absurd, no way he was the 3rd best player in that tournament, let alone the 3rd best player on our national team.

        • ngog

          December 29, 2009 at 8:56 pm

          Fine, so as you would have it, take Dempsey out of the US lineup and replace him. With who? Take one of the only players who has experience in the best league in the world and put in a HIGH QUALITY player from the MLS. Good luck.

          • Eric T

            December 29, 2009 at 9:51 pm

            No I completely understand that, I think he is probably our best option (that in itself speaks volumes about the talent pool here) yet I still think he is overrated and under achieves at the national team level. Maybe it’s to do with the Bob Bradley not getting the best out of him, the man is an utter idiot with as much soccer knowledge as a 2 year old in my opinion. Maybe it’s that Fulham is better than the USMNT (which I pray is not the case). Personally, I would put Holden on the right and move Dempsey up top, that is if Davies isn’t back for the WC.

            Side Note: When you brought up the mls reference i though i should mention how ridiculous our loyalty to the mls players is. Someone like Johnathon Bornstein or Brian Ching doesn’t belong anywhere near a national team camp yet for some reason not only do they get call ups, they get starts. Its absurd.

  8. Cantona

    December 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I agree.. this world cup will truly be the biggest sporting event on the planet.. the internet and technology make this truly a smaller world.. I agree with your point the Premiership will benefit by this .. this league can only get more exposure in the USA.. it WILL grow.. I think it will easily overtake Hockey within the next 2 years… as to your England point with the USA.. if this was Sven.. I would say you probably would be right.. but under Capello.. NO CHANCE.. this is the most disciplined England squad iI have seen for years.. they really have a chance… and with their best players maturing at the right moment… this is the best chance an England squad has had since 66.


  9. GoFutebol

    December 28, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Yes! Premier League will always caught more attention I think. There are debates on which league is better EPL or Spanish La Liga. Pool of top players in La Liga but EPL still attractive especially in Asia. I hope there are quality players grow in EPL and and I also hope that many top playes come to EPL.


  10. Jason

    December 28, 2009 at 6:16 am

    I always think it would be neat to see a American Premier League trophy, it could replace the MLS all star game with 3 EPL teams and a MLS all star squad. I find it amazing that Asia gets so much attention with the language barrier and all. Well if the NBA can make it big in China so could the Premier Leauge I guess.

    • BH

      December 29, 2009 at 5:14 am

      they speak a good amount of english over there

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