Sports

Soccer Watch

U.S. Men's team replace Bob Bradley, and more

Though it's almost a year until their next meaningful game, it was a huge week for the U.S. Men's national team. First off, they fired head coach Bob Bradley – who had passable success during his five-year tenure but was often criticized for his player selections and the team's slow starts and grinding style – and replaced him with Jürgen Klinsmann, once a World Cup winner as a striker for Germany, now a South­ern California free spirit who led Bayern Munich through yoga classes in his last job. His first test: The U.S. takes on archrival Mexico next Wednesday, Aug. 10, in Philadelphia (8pm, ESPN2 and Univision). Hard to tell what sort of lineups we'll see – most of the first-team players are well into training for their fall seasons – but what might normally be a meaningless exhibition may gain some urgency with the new coach looking on (and given that Mexico has pretty much dominated the rivalry in recent meetings)... Also this week, the draw for World Cup 2014 qualifying was announced; the U.S. will start play next June in a third-round group with Jamaica, and likely Guatemala and Haiti as well; see the full draw online. Qualifying continues through October 2013.

Dallas clubs won three of the six national titles at the girls' U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships last weekend: Sting's Under-14s and U-16s, as well as the U-19 Dallas Texans Red, lifted trophies. It was the Sting's 11th national title – the most for any girls club in the country. No Texas boys teams made it to a title game.

WORLD CUP 2014 DRAW

CONCACAF (3.5 teams qualify)

Second Round (Sept. 2-Nov. 15, 2011)

Group A: El Salvador, Suriname, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic

Group B: Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Bermuda

Group C: Panama, Dominica, Nicaragua, Bahamas

Group D: Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia

Group E: Grenada, Guatemala, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Belize

Group F: Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Curaçao, U.S. Virgin Islands

Semifinal Groups (June 8-Oct. 16, 2012)

Top two in each semifinal group advance to the final "hexagonal" group.

Group A: USA, Jamaica, winner E, winner F

Group B: Mexico, Costa Rica, winner A, winner B

Group C: Honduras, Cuba, winner D, winner C

Final Group Stage: (Feb. 6–Oct. 15, 2013)

Top three teams qualify for the WC; fourth-place goes to a playoff against the Oceania winner.

EUROPE (13)

Winners advance; top eight runners-up go into a playoff.

First Round (Sept. 7, 2012-Oct. 15, 2013)

Group A: Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, Macedonia, Wales

Group B: Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta

Group C: Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan

Group D: Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Andorra

Group E: Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland

Group F: Portugal, Russia, Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg

Group G: Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Latvia, Liechtenstein

Group H: England, Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, San Marino

Group I: Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia, Finland

AFRICA (5)

Winners of each group advance to a third round of home-and-home knock-out ties.

Second Round (June 1, 2012-Sept. 10, 2013)

Group A: South Africa, Botswana, Central African Republic, Somalia or Ethiopia

Group B: Tunisia, Cape Verde Islands, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea or Madagascar

Group C: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Gambia, Chad or Tanzania

Group D: Ghana, Zambia, Sudan, Lesotho or Burundi

Group E: Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, São Tomé and Príncipe or Congo

Group F: Nigeria, Malawi, Seychelles or Kenya, Djibouti or Namibia

Group G: Egypt, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Comoros or Mozambique

Group H: Algeria, Mali, Benin, Eritrea or Rwanda

Group I: Cameroon, Libya, Guinea-Bissau or Togo, Swaziland or Congo DR

Group J: Senegal, Uganda, Angola, Mauritius or Liberia

ASIA (4.5)

Semifinal Groups: Top two in each group advance to final group stage.

Third Round (Sept. 2, 2011-Feb. 29, 2012)

Group A: China, Jordan, Iraq, Singapore

Group B: Korea Republic, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon

Group C: Japan, Uzbekistan, Syria, Korea DPR

Group D: Australia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand

Group E: Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Indonesia

OCEANIA (0.5)

Group winners play home-and-home series; winner plays CONCACAF fourth place.

Second Round (June 1-12, 2012)

Group A: Vanuatu; New Caledonia; American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, or Tonga; Tahiti

Group B: Fiji, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea

SOUTH AMERICA (5.5)

Brazil qualifies automatically as host. The other nine teams play in a single league: top four qualify, fifth-place plays Asian fifth-place.

First Round (Oct. 7, 2011-Oct. 15, 2013)

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela

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