Jan 11, 2013, 2:38 PM EDT
There are loads of reasons to watch the upcoming African Cup of Nations.
You can start with ample stores of great players, none as well-rounded as Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, who will guide the Ivory Coast efforts.
There are favorites and underdogs. (No matter what competition, no matter the sport, don’t we all love to root for the lesser heralded sides?) May we suggest Ethiopia, returning to the tournament for the first time in 31 years.
There’s good soccer, starting with the oddsmakers choices to take the crown: Ivory Coast, followed by Ghana, Nigeria and host South Africa.
Alas, for MLS followers, today does bring one reason fewer to follow the tournament. Portland’s Bright Dike, won’t be part of Nigeria squad as hoped.
The Timbers attacker (pictured, center) raised those hopes last week, scoring spectacularly in a friendly against Catalonia. Regardless, Nigerian officials informed Dike that he was not in the squad that will travel to South Africa for the tournament that begins a week from Saturday.
The entire tournament schedule is here.
- Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund: The tactics and the game’s shifting momentum 0
- Bayern Munich 2-1 Borussia Dortmund: Robben the hero, Bayern crowned Champions League winners 2
- Two last points on the Robbie Rogers trade news 1
- Champions League final preview: A bitter rivalry with much higher stakes 0
- With MLS expansion done for now, where the league priorities should land 11
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. (35)
- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? (25)
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market (18)
- Notes from today’s big announcement on MLS, NYCFC the Yankees and the rest (14)
- USA Today reports LA Galaxy trade Mike Magee for rights to Robbie Rogers (14)
- LIVE: Bruins-Rangers, Game 5
- PST: Bayern Munich beats Dortmund, wins Champions League
- PBT: Pacers' Hill: Only God scarier than LeBron
- Hundreds run Boston Marathon's final mile
- MST Monaco GP predictions: Mercedes' time?
- PHT: Brassard says Marchand shows no respect
- PST: Neymar reportedly set to join Barcelona