CHICAGO, Ill. (Friday, July 9, 2004) — A new interactive prediction game is coming to ussoccer.com in August. Corner Picks, a fantasy pick ‘em game which allows you to test your prognostication skills against fans from around the world, will be available before every U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifying game. The fantasy game will debut in the weeks leading up to the USA’s opening semifinal round World Cup qualifying match in Jamaica on Aug. 18.
Participating fans will have numerous chances to win great prizes from both U.S. Soccer, with Corner Picks winners being declared after each of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying games. In addition, prizes will be awarded to the contestant with the highest overall score in the semifinal round and the final round (should the U.S. advance that far).
An overall winner with the highest score from the 18 remaining possible World Cup qualifying matches for the U.S. will win a prize package that will include a VIP experience for two at a U.S. Men’s National Team match in 2006.To play, fans must first take a few seconds to register at ussoccerfan.com before picking their answers to five questions any time before kickoff, one question for each corner flag and a Center Circle bonus question. The Corner Pick questions will range from everything to “Who will score the first goal?” to “How many goals will be scored in the game?” to “Will there be a penalty kick in the match?”
Scoring for each answer will be weighted to reflect the likelihood of it occurring. For example, choosing forward Brian McBride (the USA’s second all-time leading goal scorer) to score the first goal of the game will be worth fewer points than choosing defender Pablo Mastroeni who has never scored a goal with the national team. In that way, the scoring system is designed to reward riskier selections.
For each of the six semifinal round games there will be an individual Corner Picks winner (the player with the most points amassed from one game). Each of those winners will receive a Nike/U.S. Soccer apparel package and other prizes. An overall winner for the semifinal will also be crowned, and the same scoring format will be used should the U.S. advance into the ten-game final round group beginning play in early 2005. Bonus points will also be given to fans who invite others to play against them in the friendly competition.
After opening the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying on August 18 in Jamaica, the U.S. will play El Salvador at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Sept. 4. The team will then play consecutive road games (on Sept. 8 in Panama and Oct. 9 in El Salvador), before returning home for an Oct. 10 match-up with Panama at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and a Nov. 17 finale against Jamaica at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Fans can follow all the matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips.