Inside Pulse » FIFA A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Sat, 04 Jul 2015 02:56:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » FIFA U.S. Draws Jamaica For 2014 World Cup Soccer Qualifying Mon, 01 Aug 2011 00:00:35 +0000 The 2014 World Cup has officially begun.

In Rio De Janeiro, the United States drew Jamaica in their qualifying pool for the North, Central America and Caribbean region for the tournament, being held in Brazil.

The U.S. and Jamaica will join in Group A the winners of a preliminary group consisting of Belize, Grenada, Guatemala, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and another group consisting of Antigua and Barbuda, Haiti, Curaçao and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The United States’ matches in this round are going to take place from June 8 to October 16, in 2012.

Below is the list of the three groups in the North and South Americas:

Group A
• United States
• Jamaica
• Winner of Belize, Grenada, Guatemala, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
• Winner of Antigua and Barbuda, Haiti, Curaçao and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Group B
• Mexico
• Costa Rica
• Winner of Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Suriname
• Winner of Barbados, Bermuda, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago

Group C
• Cuba
• Honduras
• Winner of Bahamas, Dominica, Nicaragua, Panama
• Winner of Canada, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #122 – We didn’t get the World Cup issue. Wed, 08 Dec 2010 01:29:22 +0000 Australia didn’t get to host the World Cup Soccer. Apparently this is the end of the world. But it’s only soccer. I’m surprised the competing nations didn’t all get given a nil-all draw, and then be forced to shoot at a goal protected by a skinny man with gloves until some one finally managed to score enough to win the event. Oh, they did. But the goals were measured in dollars and the skinny man with gloves was just the intermediary between FIFA and everyone else.
            I’m not actually bitter. While it’s a blow for the tourist money and means many of our nation’s stadia won’t get upgraded, I think having the McDonalds of world sports here and giving them everything they want despite the fact that (judging by audiences) 80% of Australians don’t even care about the sport is just ludicrous.
            Of course, that’s just me and the soccer lovers (a nasty habit which can be broken by aversion therapy) will say having the WC is the best thing ever, letting me know via nasty emails and responses… although their comments will lack grammar, proper syntax, punctuation and anything even approaching decent spelling, making them as hard to understand as Glen Beck’s logic. Oh, I do continue this rant further down, if you want more vitriol.
            Now: The view!

Australia v England – 2nd Ashes Test
Australia 1st innings 245; England 1st innings 5(dec)/620; Australia 2nd innings 304
            England won by an innings and 71 runs.
Ten Thoughts on the Second Ashes Test:
1) The new Adelaide Oval grandstand looks so underwhelming on TV. All the charm and character of the Adelaide Oval of the past has been replaced by a generic small-ish stadium. And apparently this is “progress”.
2) 3 wickets for 2 runs! Australia were 3 for 2!? What in the holy hell was that shit? They dropped Mitchell, how about some goddammed batsmen while they were at it?
3) England should have gloated so much more in that first innings of Australia. They should have laughed at them and made them feel like they were pathetic. Because Australia deserved it. Hussey (93), Watson (51) and Haddin (56) scored some runs. Ponting got a duck. Clarke got 2. The 8 extras were the fifth highest score of the total! Gloat, England! You’ve earned it!
4) Early English wicket on day 2… then they decide to bat for a while… Australia better be ready for a lo-o-o-ong day. Dropped catches, missed run-outs… an even longer day.
5) Day 3 was stopped short due to a sudden thunderstorm with pelting rain. (Don’t I know it! Frantic dash outside to rescue the washing…) England were 4/551, with Pieterson 212 not out. You’d have to say England’s day again, and the rain may be the only thing saving Australia’s bacon at the moment.
6) Early on Day 4 and England declare at the mammoth total of 5/620. Australia will have to rely on the weather and dour batting to save this one.
7) Australia looked to be saved by the rain again after tea, but the skies cleared and then Australia lost a vital wicket in the last over, with Clarke gone for 80-odd, leaving Australia 4/238 at the end of the day with one day left and only rain there to save Australia.
8) Surely Ponting’s position must be up for review. Another double failure with the bat and, really, his captaincy is not inspiring. And North as well… and he was being touted as captain material not that long ago.
9) And doesn’t day 5 with Australia defending the meagre total start well for the Aussies with wickets falling regularly (Harris got a king pair… that’s two golden ducks… that’s no runs at all, dismissed on the first ball…). Australia clearly wants to beat the rain as much as the English! Hey, Australia, trying IS an option!!
10) England won and they thoroughly deserved it. Australia were outplayed, outcaptained and outclassed across the board.

A-League Round 16 (cont)
Sydney 3 def Wellington Phoenix 1
Gold Coast United 1 def by North Queensland Fury 2
            1714 people bothered to turn up. So the so-called passionate supporters who so desperately wanted the World Cup in Australia couldn’t even go out and support the local league. “But it’s the World Cup!” they cry. And, sure, if Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Germany, England, etc play, the crowds will be there. But think about the final pool game between, say, Nicaragua and Nigeria, where neither team has won yet and won’t make it through to the next round… how many supporters are going to bother to turn up? Really? You say you would? Liar.
            And. Let’s be serious, you think FIFA didn’t look at this, only two days before the vote was taken, and take it into account? “They say the Australian people will support the World Cup, but they can’t even support the A-League!” Yes, sure, there’s corruption – there always is at this level of sport – but Australia got only ONE vote. That’s not corruption at work. That’s the rest of the world telling Australia that if you want a sport, you have to take it seriously. Crowds are down, TV ratings are down, interest is down, Soccer is the number 3 or 4 rated football code in the country.
            But, the apologists cry, 200,000 Australians play soccer! Yes, including children and juniors and indoor comps. And why? Because it’s seen as safe. But it’s not even the most popular sport (and no, it isn’t; the stats used are not comprehensive – soccer lovers use all forms of soccer in their stats, but ignore all forms for others) in Australia – cricket and netball vie for that honour. More kids ‘do’ swimming, even though they may not compete, than soccer. Counting kindergym (under-5’s gymnastics), more people do a gymsport than soccer as well. Of course, soccer apologists will say I am lying. They always do. Neglecting to mention they lie and that I have some decent stats on my side.
            The World Cup, they claim, is the biggest sporting event in the world. And yes, it is the biggest single sport event in the world. But the Olympics and Asian Games are both larger. Soccer claims the preliminary matches count towards its size; so why don’t Olympic preliminaries count?
            It’s soccer. They aren’t going to listen to criticisms. Their McDonalds sport is like a cancer on the world and they don’t care. It has led to wars, inherent corruption, cheating (ask Ireland about that one) and ridiculous amounts of crowd violence across the world. They think none of that matters. Why should the rest of us care?
A-League Round 17
Brisbane Roar 3 def Perth Glory 2
Melbourne Victory 3 drew with Brisbane Roar 3
Central Coast Mariners 4 hammered Sydney 0
North Queensland Fury 0 def by Newcastle Jets 2
Gold Coast United 3 easily def Melbourne Heart 0
Wellington Phoenix 2 def Adelaide United 1
W-League Round 5
Melbourne Victory o hammered by Brisbane Roar 4
Canberra United 4 hammered Adelaide United 0
Perth Glory 1 def Newcastle Jets  o

NBL – Round 8
Gold Coast 85 def Sydney 68
Adelaide 92 def Townsville 79
Cairns 80 def Wollongong 62
Melbourne 82 def Gold Coast 78
Perth 90 def Townsville 64
Sydney 80 def by New Zealand 94
WNBL – Round 9
Townsville 61 def AIS 46
Bulleen 87 def Dandenong 75
West Coast 65 def by Canberra 92
Sydney 59 def Townsville 57
Bendigo 70 def by Bulleen 83
Logan 80 def AIS 45
Adelaide 66 def by Canberra  97

V-8 Supercars
Sydney 500
Race 25
1st Jonathon Webb (Falcon FG)
2nd Jason Bright (Commodore VE2)
3rd Rick Kelly (Commodore VE2)
            Only one of the five drivers – James Courtney – fighting out for the championship even finished the race! And there are complaints that his car, which was badly damaged, was actually not roadworthy enough to be allowed out of the pits after it was very quickly repaired. This is really going down to the wire…
Race 26
1st Lee Holdsworth (Commodore VE2)
2nd Steve Richards (Falcon FG)
3rd Shane van Gisbergen (Falcon FG)
Final Standings:
1st James Courtney
2nd Jamie Whincup
3rd Mark Winterbottom
4th Craig Lowndes
5th Garth Tander

Brisbane 8 def Perth 1
Adelaide 1 def by Canberra 3
Adelaide 6 def by Canberra 11
Melbourne 1 def by Sydney 3
Brisbane 2 def by Perth 7
Adelaide 1 def by Canberra 6
Brisbane 3 def Perth 1
Brisbane 2 def by Perth 3
Melbourne 1 def by Sydney 2
Melbourne 1 drew with Sydney 1 (curfew closed game)

After last week, here’s my top 10 favourite non-Australian International cricketers. Again, this comes from a little over 30 years of watching cricket, and these are my favourites, not necessarily the best.
=(10) Richard Hadlee (New Zealand). I didn’t see much of him, really, and I think I probably missed out here.
= (10) Clive Lloyd (West Indies). Ditto for this master batsman.
(9) Chris Cairns (New Zealand). First New Zealander to make me care about them.
(8) John Davison (Canada). Yes, a Canadian. And, no, he didn’t play tests.
(7) Malcolm Marshall (West Indies). Deadliest fast bowler ever.
(6) Larry Gomes (West Indies). Steady, reliable batsman.
(5) Kepler Wessels (South Africa). Okay, I know he also played for Australia, but I think he really came into his own with the South African team after all the years of world exclusion.
(4) Daniel Vettori (New Zealand). Efficient bowler and a damn fine captain.
(3) Ian Botham (England). Would have been the best all-rounder, were it not for…
(2) Imran Khan (Pakistan). Best all-rounder.
(1) Sachin Tendulkar (India). Greatest batsman I ever saw. Full stop.
            Agree? Disagree? Want to rip me a new one? Remember, these are my favourites, not necessarily the best. Feel free to leave a comment.

And that’s the View through to December 6, 2010.

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Soccer News: FIFA Trying Out Different Forms Of Goaline Technology Mon, 11 Oct 2010 17:11:51 +0000 FIFA is trying just about everything to help officials get the call right.

FIFA is going to study 13 different technologies in an effort to correct offciating mistakes that cost England and Mexico in the World Cup in South Africa.

The 13 companies who’s technologies will be looked at will present their plan to the International Football Assosiation Board next week as the IFAB gets ready to set their schedule for their annual meeting in March, which is the only time International soccer rules can change.

The technologies brought up are expected to include the camera-based Hawk-Eye system which is currently used in tennis and cricket, and a microchipped ball developed by the Cairos team that has been rejected twice in the past.

The IFAB will also expiriment with extra officials behind the net in the Champions League until June 2012.

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In Stores Now: FIFA Soccer 2011 (PS3, PS2, PSP, XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS/DSi & PC) Tue, 28 Sep 2010 05:46:31 +0000

FIFA Soccer 2011
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PS3, PS2, PSP, XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS/DSi, PC

FIFA 11 reinvents player authenticity – on and off the ball – for every player and at every position on the pitch with Personality+, an all-new feature that sees individual abilities reflected in game, enabling clear differentiation for every player.

With Personality+ a footballer’s abilities on the pitch is mirrored authentically in game, creating individual personalities. Players will be distinguished from one another through a sophisticated database that evaluates and grades each player’s skill-set over 36 attributes and 57 traits, compiled by 1700 scouts around the world. Real Madrid’s Kaka will deliver crisp, creative passes, Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta will utilize tighter turns and close control to dribble through defenses, Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney will hold off defenders and strike shots from distance with pace, and top-flight defenders like Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus will anticipate, predict and react to offensive players to win back possession.

Goalkeepers have also been injected with Personality+. The real-life personality of the keeper, whether acrobatic or traditional, will dictate his style in game. Dive attributes will determine the keepers with the ability to reach for further shots while reflex attributes determine reaction times, so a keeper like Petr Cech of Chelsea FC will show be able to showcase world-class skills.

Building on the FIFA 10 gameplay that won 50 sports game of the year awards, FIFA 11 introduces new Pro Passing where pass accuracy is determined by a gamer’s ability on the control pad, and player skill, situation and urgency on the pitch, yielding a deeply rewarding passing system. Plus, a series of new customization tools will enable fans to transform FIFA 11 in new and personally meaningful ways. Assign customized chants for every team and league and play music tracks from your existing library from within the game.×120.jpg

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Landon Donovan Joins Carlos Vela & Kaka as Cover Athletes for FIFA Soccer 11, Teaser Trailer Thu, 12 Aug 2010 07:54:50 +0000 EA has announced that Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy from the MLS will join Real Madrid’s Kaka & Arsenal’s Carlos Vela on the cover of FIFA Soccer 11.

Also, here is a teaser trailer for Kaka in the game. FIFA Soccer 11 hits stores on September 28.

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Soccer News: FIFA Won't Look Into Goalline Technology Until October Meeting Mon, 19 Jul 2010 15:31:48 +0000 Sepp Blatter originally said they would look into this week, but it’s been moved to October.

The International Football Association Board will meet in Wales on Wednesday to discuss the option of having a referee behind the goals, but won’t discuss video technology to determine goals.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said last month that IFAB would look at goal-line technology this week following his apology to England and Mexico for the officiating errors that helped eliminate them from the World Cup.

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World Cup Ends on a Low Note Tue, 13 Jul 2010 18:00:13 +0000 Well the World Cup is finally over, and Spain took home the trophy in a rather aggressive game filled with 14 Yellow Cards in all. The game for the majority of it was each teams inability to convert on some good chances. Arjen Robben with the best chances on a few breaks wasn’t able to beat the goaltender. The game finally got its goal in the latter half of the second extra time when it looked to be another final returning to the penalty box.

The tournament proved to be a rather droll one, not really living up to the expectations of many, but fans in South Africa and Spain will for sure. Countries like Italy and France, the previous finalists, were both sent home as fast as possible barely putting together a proper game. There were upsets, when the Netherlands beat Brazil, or with Argentina’s defeat to Germany, while Ghana, the lone African team after the first round shocked the US to make it to the quarters where they were knocked out by Luis Suarez’s hand ball in the last minute of the match.

The tournament had many draws in the first round with goals hard to come by, while cards and penalty kicks were given often. From the ejection of Kaka against the Ivory Coast, and the goal canceled out by the USA, officiating was called into consideration, and the need for video replay’s rose throughout the tournament. This lead to the extremely passive English referee in the finals, who was chosen for his lack of giving red cards and penalties.

Many of the worlds stars like Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Christiano Ronaldo did not really prove their money’s worth, stars like the Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan who showed his ability to guide his team to the semifinals with some superb goals as well as Golden Boot winner Thomas Muller who was integral in helping his team to the Bronze medal. Younger teams tended to do better at this world cup, with many showing their fans that their respective countries have a lot to look forward too.

The ceremonies to open and close the world cup for entertaining as well as the visit of Nelson Mandela, but these events were the highlights of the tournament. From English players getting robbed, to people being arrested for advertising by wearing orange, the most entertaining part of the world cup happened off the field. I watched the majority of the games though many of them were a bore, but however bad it gets its still the world cup and ill be there to watch it in 2014.

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Soccer News: FIFA Plans To Look Into Replay Again After World Cup 2010 Tue, 29 Jun 2010 14:48:57 +0000 After two blatantly missed calls in the round of 16, pressure is mounting on FIFA to do something.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the organization will look into instilling some form of instant replay after the World Cup tournament.

Blatter said Tuesday that FIFA deplores “when you see the evidence of refereeing mistakes.” It would be “nonsense” not to consider changes.

Both games on Monday featured a controversial goal. England midfielder Frank Lampard struck a ball that went off the top bar and down across the goal line before being knocked out by the keeper, but the referee didn’t see the play so he called no goal. The goal would have made the score 2-2, Germany went on to win 4-1. Later in the Argentina vs Mexico game, Argentina scored a goal on a play where Carlos Tevez was clearly offside, but the play stood and Argentina went on to win 3-1.

Blatter was at both games and said he apologized to English and Mexican officials.

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FIFA First Round Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:45:41 +0000 Brazil, Spain, Argentina, the three favorites made it through the first round all with relative ease though the Spanish suffered a lone loss. These are the three teams who are considered to be betting favorites with little doubt as to why.

There was one major upset with the Italians struggling and failing to win a game while drawing two in their group. The other 2006 world cup finalist got what they deserved, being sent home quickly and putting up no real threat to Group A, making the world cup on Theirry Henry’s hand ball that lead to the victory against Ireland in the qualifiers.

Only one African team advanced, Ghana which pulled of a win against Serbia and showed that they will be able to compete, and will face the USA who advanced due to the mistake by English goal tender Robert green in the first game of the group.

The English, considered as viable threats every time around, were on the verge of being eliminated but will now face Germany, who topped their group.

The most entertaining and watched matches will be between the Spanish and Portuguese who both have been able to fend of tough challenges, with Portugal not allowing a goal through the first round though facing a tough task from Brazil. The other game to watch will be the Netherlands who swept the first round and could be through to the semifinal facing an easy task in Slovakia.

The big name players have come to play but not many have been able to put the ball in the net, though they have come close, case and point Lionel Messi who has multiple shots of the post, while Kaka got sent of for a cowardice play by an opponent. These players should step up and prove they earn the money they are paid when it counts the most.

The majority of the first round was low scoring games, with teams like New Zealand, Australia and Ghana showing that they can compete when they were though to be the bottom dwellers, while teams like the Azzuri and French dropped off quickly. Hopefully the suprises continue as well as the goal scoring, which started of slow but is on pace to top the last Cup. The favorites are still in the tournament and should meet in the semis or the final which should make this a much better final than the last one.

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Soccer News: FIFA Won't Ban Vuvuzelas From World Cup 2010 Mon, 14 Jun 2010 14:57:47 +0000 As someone who has expirence working in broadcasting, I’ll tell you to fix this. There is a slider on the mixing board that operates the crowd mic, turn it down and boom, you’ve fixed it. <--more-->

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has defended South African fans’ right to blow their vuvuzela horns at World Cup matches despite global criticism from television viewers of the constant blaring noise.

The head of soccer’s governing body says Africa has “a different rhythm, a different sound,” and the fans’ tradition shouldn’t be stopped.

World Cup organizing committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo said South Africa’s guests should embrace its culture and how its people celebrate.

I’ve watched a couple matches, and while the horns are prevleant, I haven’t been annoyed by them and I don’t think they’ve been that loud.

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