The stadia are completed, the first round dates set, and an air of cautious optimism permeates South Africa as it prepares to host the continent's first World Cup, according to this nice article by Dave Durbach carried in the Korea Times.
Meanwhile the Taeguk Warriors were in London for a warm-up against a well-respected team from Ivory Coast, the only country, as my pal Jeff likes to point out, named for two brands of soap. Korea won 2 - nil, breaking the ice only four minutes in with a volley just inside the area by Lee Dong-gook. The Reds defense neutralized Chelsea star Didier Dorgba, and though Park Ji-sung didn't score, he gave the African defense all they could handle.
Speaking of Ji-sung, he has been busy the last few days, as he played last night at Old Trafford when Man U trounced AC Milan 4 - 0 in the Champions League. Not only did he score a goal--frankly, finishing is not one of his great strengths--but he won high praise from Sir Alex, and some great press from the Daily Mail, which had two photos of him in their online story (one of which I have copied below):
The caption reads: "New era: United old boy Beckham (right) couldn't get the better of Park"
'Park was the key to our game,' [Sir Alex] Ferguson told MUTV. 'We can talk about Rooney – and he was great – but Park’s discipline, intelligence and sacrifice won us the match tactically. Pirlo is such an important player for them.'
Club captain Gary Neville, who never gave Ronaldinho an inch, agreed with his manager, adding: 'I don’t know if it was easy out there [against Ronaldinho], but you have to look at the work Ji-sung Park did, stopping the forwards getting the service.
Finally, Dong-A Ilbo has a brief summary of the national team roster as it nears its final form. I think they have more internationals now than ever before. They'll need them, as being in the same group with Argentina makes victories over Nigeria and Greece essential if they are to pass through.