Thursday Kicks: World Cup Draw Preview Edition

On a day when Palos Verdes Estates’ Kyle Nakazawa of UCLA was named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy Award and UCLA’s Sydney Leroux and Lauren Cheney, USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen, Palos Verdes Estates’ Christen Press of Stanford and Rolling Hills Estates’ Whitney Engen of North Carolina were all named semifinalists for the corresponding women’s award,it’s the pending World Cup draw Friday that has center stage.

Said Bruce over at DuNord: “My whole body is nearly shivering with nervous energy about the draw. This might be worse than day before big game jitter for me.”

Calm down folks.

Coverage begins at 9 a.m. on ESPN2 and 8 a.m. on Univision.

The breakdown:
Pot 1: South Africa (hosts), Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain.

Pot 2: Australia, Honduras, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, United States.

Pot 3: Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Cte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Paraguay, Uruguay.

Pot 4: Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland.

Technical details courtesy U.S. Soccer:

*The 32 qualified teams will be divided into eight groups. No two teams from the same confederation will be drawn into the same group, with the exception of Europe which can have a maximum of two teams in the same group.

*As hosts, FIFA announced that South Africa will automatically be positioned as A1, and the other teams from Pot 1 will be drawn into Position 1 in groups B-H. For the remaining pots, the teams will be drawn into groups A to H and Positions 2-4 during the draw.

Quotable:

“It’s a period when we’ll have a lot of work to do in terms of preparation,” said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley of what happens from now on once the draw is complete. “Certainly we will go to great lengths to prepare the scouting reports on our three first round opponents, there’s always going to be finishing touches on the details in terms of where we’re staying, our needs, what we want to put together in terms of our whole training schedule leading into the World Cup. And of course, we look forward to some of the opportunities when we’ll be together. The main one in 2010 will be the March 3 fixture date, the only one on the FIFA calendar, but there will be other times, of course starting in January, where we’ll have a chance to look at some other players and size up the depth of our pool.”

You can go live with Landon Friday. Joining him will be Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein of Los Alamitos, Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and the Crew’s Robbie Rogers of Rolling Hills Estates. With any luck, I’ll grab a quick word with LD Friday afternoon.

Also:

* Local viewing parties. Chivas USA players Claudio Surez, Mariano Trujillo, Gerson Mayn and Jorge Flores will all be at the event, BTW.

i-9805ca49e1c4344ba2b3345824069b5d-beckshiv.jpgUNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham poses for a photograph with local mother Tamara, who is living with HIV and her three-year-old son Sesiphi who was born free from HIV, during a visit to a clinic in Cape Town, South Africa. During the visit Beckham met and talked to young pregnant women and new mothers who are living with HIV. The UNICEF “Mothers to Mothers” program supports HIV positive pregnant women and new moms.

*Meanwhile, for Beckham it’s all about World Cup 2018.

Updated – the adidas World Cup ball unveiled:

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  • Studs Up

    There won’t be an easy group. We’ll have to beat some good teams to go thru. Worst case will be 2 European and one African team with us. Just don’t throw us in them I-talians again you soccer gods.

    Let’s hope we have some quick healers in Davies, Gooch and Jermaine Jones with the later starting to train already which is great news. It’s going to be an intense January camp at HDC. Any idea which teams might come in for a work out? Sweden is out, so they’ll be good again.