Sunday, September 27, 2009

Still Talking about Argentina: Higuain Added

For months now, almost no national team has engendered as much conversation as that of Argentina.

Why? Because Argentina is one of the planet's leading soccer countries ... is coached by one of the sport's greatest stars ... and is at risk of not qualifying for South Africa 2010.

Hence, it is no surprise that the announcement of Argentina's player pool for its final two World Cup qualifying matches ... is a significant news story.

The biggest news here?

The call up of 21-year-old forward Gonzalo Higuain.

Argentina has been starved for goals, and Higuain already is getting lots of playing time with Real Madrid. So his addition to the team, by coach Diego Maradona, makes sense.

Argentina's situation: It is fifth in the South America standings. The top four finishers, after the matches of Oct. 10 and 14, go to South Africa. The No. 5 team enters a home-and-home playoff with the No. 4 team out of Concacaf for a berth in the 2010 finals.

Argentina is home to Peru on Oct. 10, and finishes at Uruguay on Oct. 14. The first match should be easy; the second could decide who finishes fourth, fifth -- or worse.

So that's why we are paying attention to Argentina's every move. It is impossible to think of the 2010 World Cup without it ... but it is quite possible to see how it could finish sixth in the South America standings.

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