International Soccer

February Sucks, Why Aren’t We All At The Beach Soccer Championship?

As temperatures drop below freezing and blizzard warnings grip the Midwest, it feels as though winter has been here forever and shows no sign of abating. So it’s with an envious eye that we follow the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship in the Bahamas. 

The tournament, contested by 16 nations from February 20-26, will crown the region’s champion and decide which two teams will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. On Friday, the quarterfinals will be contested and it looks like everyone is having a helluva time.

NWSL Stars Set To Feature At The 2017 Cyprus Cup

Prior to the start of the 2017 NWSL season, several key players will have the chance to represent their countries in the 2017 Cyprus Women’s Cup. The months of February and March mark a quiet period for some of the world’s biggest leagues, including the United States, England and Australia. This creates the perfect time for international friendly competitions to take place, including the SheBelieves Cup in the US and the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

The competition features 12 teams placed into three groups of four. 

Group A 

The USWNT Will Play 2 Friendlies Against Russia In April

Without a World Cup, Olympics or a qualifying campaign, all the uSWNT's matches in 2017 matches will be friendlies. However, the collective bargaining agreement that is still to be agreed to with US Soccer remains the main talking point. 

For the players, they will likely take the chance to focus instead on the game itself, especially the young players hoping to stand out in 2017. The USWNT’s next action comes in March against England, Germany and France in the SheBelieves Cup, a friendly tournament hosted by the USA and featuring top-10 FIFA-ranked teams. 

Eight Iranian Women Dress As Men To Sneak Into Men-Only Football Game

In Iran, women are banned from attending soccer games in a co-ed setting. Even though the sport is popular across both sexes and there is no official ban on women going to sporting events, soccer stadiums are a male-only affair. Women are regularly denied access at the door, making it impossible for them to attend any sporting event. 

Iran argues that the ban against women in the same sporting stadiums as men is necessary because it protects them from fighting and rude language that might spread within the stands.

The Latest FIFA Rankings Are Out So We Don’t Even Have To Play Anymore

The FIFA rankings are a strange sort of beast, like Dr. Seuss’s Foo-Foo the Snoo. They don’t have any bearing on reality, and usually distort it, but they’re frequently referenced and even used as the framework to seed international competitions.

The latest FIFA World Rankings came out today and saw no changes in the top five.

FIFA World Rankings (2017)

1. Argentina

2. Brazil

3. Germany

4. Chile

5. Belgium

Dominant Mexico Defeats Iceland 1-0 In Las Vegas

These February friendlies are always a bit of a wild card. Diluted squads, unusual locations and the determination not to get injured can often lend to a less than desirable match. Even with these issues, as a professional player, every time you put on that national team jersey, it’s an opportunity. With both teams fielding squads of mostly fringe players, El Tri were the only side to seize the chance and turn up in a one-sided affair.

2022 World Cup Preparation Is Costing Qatar $500 Million Per Week

Qatar, the small country on the Arabian Peninsula with a population less than that of Nevada, is spending almost half a billion dollars per week in preparation for the 2022 World Cup according to the country’s finance minister.

As reported by World Soccer’s Jamie Rainbow, this will amount to more than $200 billion by the time the tournament rolls around. 

Canada And Mexico Faced Off In An Olympic Celebration Friendly

The Canadian women’s national team had an impressive run at the 2016 Rio Olympics. After losing to eventual champions Germany 2-0 in the semifinals, Canada would go on to defeat the host nation Brazil in the bronze medal match, 2-1. 

The result tied their best-ever Olympic performance, which was another bronze in 2012. As the nation’s player pool continues to grow with talent, the success of the last five years will be an encouragement to both young players and investors. 

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