Jan. 15, 2014
Florida State’s Dagny Brynjarsdottir is a junior midfielder on the Seminole women’s soccer team. Throughout the spring semester, Dagny will provide fans with an in depth look into the world of soccer both at Florida State and at the national level through her experiences with the Full Icelandic National Team. We hope you enjoy the `Dagny Diaries!’
Welcome to my diary.
This spring, I will be writing about everything that is happening in my soccer career. I will write about everything from the Florida State Soccer fitness tests, practices and training, to my trips and games with the national team.
First, I will be writing about the Icelandic National Team and this year is pretty big for us. We will finish qualification for the 2015 World Cup in September. The playoffs for the four best runners-up in each of the seven groups will be in October and November. Iceland is in a group with Switzerland, Denmark, Serbia, Israel and Malta (a small island next to Greece). You probably do not know, but Iceland has never made it to the World Cup. We have only made it to the European Championship twice and our second time was last summer.
Our chances this year are pretty good, but Denmark and Switzerland will be our biggest games. Denmark is ranked higher than us, but we are ranked higher than Switzerland. Right now, Iceland is ranked No. 8 in Europe and No. 19 in the world. Eight teams will go to the World Cup from Europe. There are seven groups with six countries in each group, so that means 42 teams are competing for eight spots. The seven teams that win their groups will each get a spot, while the four best runners-up will compete in a playoff for that last spot.
We started our qualification last year when we played our first game on September 26th at home against Switzerland. It was our first game with our new national team coach. It rained the whole game, was super cold and we played terrible. We could not have asked for a worse start. Switzerland dominated us in the game and beat us 2-0.
Our second game was against Serbia, in Serbia on October 31st. We got another chance to get three points and we did it! We did not play our best game, but we did what we needed to do and the game ended 2-1 (2-0 at halftime) in our favor.
This year we will have eight more qualification games. If we win all of them, we might end up in first place. Our next game is in Israel on April 5th. I have been there once and it is one of my favorite countries I have travelled to. The other match this spring is in Malta on April 10th. I have never visited there and I am really excited to see that country.
I really hope you enjoyed my first blog and hope you have a better understanding of how important it is for such a small country like Iceland to qualify for the World Cup. Soccer, or football as we would call it in Europe, is the biggest sport in our country so our nation will be cheering us on. I will end this blog with a few pictures with the national team from last year. – Dagny Brynjarsdottir