World Cup Field Finalized; US Loses in Friendly

FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying Play Off soccer match, Ireland vs France - First Round

[Six teams qualified for next year's World Cup in South Africa today](http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=685287&sec=worldcup2010&root=worldcup2010&cc=5901), finalizing the field that will compete in the first World Cup in African soil.

France, Slovenia, Uruguay, Portugal, Greece and Algeria advanced to the finals ending the dreams of Ireland, Russia, Costa Rica, Ukraine and Egypt in the process.

That means that Costa Rican and current (for now anyway..) Fire Defender Gonzalo Segares will not participate in the World Cup, something that will be very disappointing for Gonzalo personally (he told me yesterday he was hoping Costa Rica would "come up with a big upset") and the nation of Costa Rica as a whole -- who looked to be a shoe in to qualify for nearly the entire CONCACAF Qualification process.

I've provided a full list of the 32 finalists after the jump but I wanted to share my early favorites here. My pick to win it all (and again this could change during the course of the next 6-7 months) is Brazil with Spain following up closely. My early sleeper is Serbia -- I think they could surprise a lot of teams next summer. Here's the full list of all 32 teams that qualified:

CONCACAF: United States, Mexico, Honduras

CONMEBOL: Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay

UEFA: Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland, Greece, Slovenia, Portugal, France

AFC/Oceania: Australia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, New Zealand

CAF: South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Algeria, Nigeria, Ivory Coast

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In other soccer news on the day, the U.S. lost 3-1 to Denmark in a friendly in Aarhus today. The Americans, who weren't playing with anywhere near a full roster, took the lead in the first half through FC Dallas striker Jeff Cunningham but gave up three goals early in the second half and weren't able to recover.

You can check out the full highlights below, but -- from the perspective of a U.S. fan -- there really isn't a whole lot to see.

Comments

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  • What happened to France and Henry's "Hand of Destiny"?

  • NOOOOOOO! I'm Irish and Ireland is my second team. We don't deserve this kind of exit after our qualifying campaign. This week is just not going my way, between the Fire and Ireland. Stupid Henry. Messing up everything with his dumb handball. Stupid FIFA. With their unfair seeding. Stupid France. Not getting into the World Cup earlier and taking advantage of the unfair seeding.
    You have just read a venting comment by patrickhattrick. GO IRELAND!

  • Bad no-call on the hand ball though it was a bit crowded and not completely obvious in the heat of the moment. This will push the call for replay review.

    But, my sympathy for Ireland is muted considering that France should have been given a penalty a few minutes earlier. So it's all karma.

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