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I am looking forward to this year's Olympic games for many reasons.  One if Micheal Phelps, one is the Tyson Gay/Bolt/Powell situation, and then there is the marathon.  And then I am really looking forward to soccer this time around.  And I'm also going to be looking forward to Handball, one of the greatest sports that America doesn't know anything about.  So let's get started with telling you about soccer.

 

Women's Soccer

Format: The tournament format is very simple.  12 teams will be divided into 3 groups of 4.  The top 2 in each group and the best 2 third-placed teams will advance to the Quarter-Finals.  Here are the groups.  For each team I'll give the player to watch.  This person is the team's important player.  Players can be as old as you like in Women's soccer.  No rule limit.

Group A

1. China PR (Zhang Ouying)

2. Sweden (Victoria Svennson- Captain)

3. Argentina (Maria Belen Potassa)

4. Canada (Christine Sinclair- Captain)

Group B

1. Korea DPR (Unable to find records, they are good however.)

2. Nigeria (Stella Mbachu)

3. Germany (Birgit Prinz- Captain)

4. Brazil (Marta)

Group C

1. Norway (Ragnhild Gulbrandsen)

2. USA (Wambach broke her leg, will it cost the US?)

3. Japan (Homare Sawa)

4. New Zealand (Kirsty Yallop)

My Favorites: China, United States, Germany, and Brazil.  Look out for Canada and Korea DPR to sneak up on the big dogs.

 

Men's Soccer

Format: In men's soccer the field will have 16 teams.  There will be 4 groups of 4 and only the top 2 teams from each group will advance to the Quarter-Finals.  In Men's Soccer, players must be under the age of 23.  Each team can also bring an additional 3 players that are older that 23.  But if that player's club doesn't want to let him go, then they don't have to.  I will also give the player to watch for each team in the Men's games.

 

Group A

1. Ivory Coast (Kolo Toure- Arsenal Defender)

2. Argentina (Lionel Messi- Barcelona Striker/Mid)

3. Australia (Adrian Leijer- Fulham Def)

4. Serbia (Stefan Babovic- Nantes Mid)

Group B

1. Netherlands (Ryan Babel- Liverpool Mid/Str. {injured, may not play})

2. Nigeria (John Obi Mikel- Chelsea Mid)

3. Japan (Koki Mizuno- Celtic Mid)

4. United States (Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore- Benfica and Villareal)

Group C

1. China PR (**** Fangzhuo- Man. U Striker)

2. New Zealand (Chris James- Tampere Mid)

3. Brazil (Ronaldinho and Robinho- AC Milan* and Real Madrid)

4. Belgium (Vincent Compay- Hamburg Def)

Group D

1. Korea Republic (Park Chu- Young- FC Seoul Striker)

2. Cameroon (Samuel Eto'o- Barcelona*)

3. Honduras (David Suazo if he plays- Inter Milan Striker)

4. Italy (Osvaldo- Fiorentina Striker)  The next superstar for Fiorentina.

* Denotes 1 of the these two things:

1. That he is an idiot that wants to play in Asia.

2. That he is has finally signed a contract with AC Milan.

 

 

 

Now it is time for the second-half of this preview.  Now for the handball preview.

 

Handball

In both the men's and women's games the rules are the same.  It is pretty simple and very fun to watch.  It has a whole lot more scoring than soccer and it is always moving. 

A player can keep the ball for a total of three seconds and the player can also take up to three steps with the ball without dribbling.  A player can be defended like basketball and you can also run "picks" for your guy.  If a defender makes contact and it's not in the front, then it is a foul.  If a foul is bad enough, yellow and red cards can be given like in soccer.

The goalkeeper is the only player that can dive in his area and no one is allowed into his area.  If a goalkeeper or another player fouls a player inside the crease then a Penalty is awarded and they get to throw from 7 meters out. 

Games are divided into two halves of 30 minutes.  If it is tied and in the knockout rounds then the game goes to 10 more minutes.  And if that is drawn then 10 more minutes will be played.  If the game is still tied it will go to Penalty Throws.  If you would like more info the please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handball or http://www.nbcolympics.com/handball/index.html.   

 

Format: In the Women's and Men's Handball Tourney, 12 teams will be divided into 2 groups of 6.  The top 4 teams from each group will then advance to the Quarter-Final round. 

 

Men's Teams

1.China (Host)

2. Germany (World Champions)

3. Egypt (African Champions)

4. Denmark (European Champions)

5. Brazil (American Champions)

6. South Korea (Asian Champions)

7. Poland

8. Iceland

9. Spain

10. Russia

11. France

12. Croatia

The bold teams are my picks to win it.  The women's field isn't quite set yet.  I will get you those when they are released.  Thanks for your time.  I really hoped you enjoyed this.  It's been Keeper and I'm out.

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