The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

JULY  2012

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.


2012 Summer Olympics

by Jerry Keys

The Olympic Gold in soccer (football) is the most vaunted award outside of the World Cup. At least every other summer does give soccer fans a chance to see the best in the world go toe to toe. There will be sixteen teams for the men's tournament. Unfortunately the United States is not one of them. The sixteen teams are categorized in four groups and the top two in each group following the first round will advance to the knockout round, similar to World Cup action.
The four groups are as follows:

Group A:  Great Britain, Senegal, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay
Group B:  Mexico, South Korea, Gabon, Switzerland
Group C:  Brazil, Egypt, Belarus, New Zealand
Group D:  Spain, Japan, Honduras, Morocco

Jerry Keys

The United States did qualify for the CONCACAF tournament. In fact they were given automatic bids along with Mexico and Canada (North American Zone). The Central American Zone competed for three spots with El Salvador, Honduras and Panama advancing. The Caribbean Zone was given two qualifiers, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago.

By winning, drawing and losing one game each, the U.S. did not advance to the four team knockout round. Canada and El Salvador advanced by winning one game and drawing the two others. This gave each team five points, whereas the U.S. collected only four. The two winners of the first knockout round faced off in the finals but most important, earned an Olympic berth.

In recent Olympics, the U.S. were able to qualify. In the 2008 Games, the U.S. were unable to make it past the first round. In 2000 the U.S. won their first round group play and their quarter-finals match with Japan. After losing to Spain in the semi's, the team fell short in the third place match with Chile. In the 1996 Games in Atlanta they were unable to make it out of the first round, nor did they in 1992.

The U.S. women's tourney has twelve qualifying teams, four in three groups.

Group E:  Great Britain, New Zealand, Cameroon, Brazil
Group F:  Japan, Canada, Sweden, South Africa
Group G:  United States, France, Colombia, North Korea

The time and dates for the U.S. women's three first round games are: July 25 vs. France at 5:00. (Keep in mind this is London time and are five hours ahead of the EST, hence the game will be aired here at noon.); July 28 vs. Colombia at 5:00 (noon); and July 31 vs. North Korea at 5:15 (12:15).

As with the World Cup, the women's team has had much more success in the Olympics than their male counterparts. They won Gold in the 2008 Games, 2004 and 1996. They failed to win in 2000, losing to their arch-rival Norway in the finals. (The women's team roster is to the left.)