Quantcast
 

 

 

World Cup Update (The Payback Edition)

3
Posted June 17, 2014 by Kristian Lin in Blotch
Abbey-Pub-1100-WebBlotchImage

I watched Jersey Boys immediately after USA’s rousing victory over Ghana, so it’s possible my review of the movie may have been colored by that. I don’t think so, but it’s possible. Let’s get to what we’ve learned now that all the countries at the World Cup have played one game.

USA almost threw two points away You can’t play defense for 89 minutes unless it’s against far inferior opposition, which Ghana isn’t. Granted, the injury to Jozy Altidore in the 23rd minute threw USA’s offense into chaos and tied Jürgen Klinsmann’s hands, but the fact remains that USA couldn’t control the game with a lead. When André Ayew scored in the 82nd, it seemed like a goal that was coming. Ghana had other chances to score, too. Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron played terrifically in defense, but a better team would have punished USA for their conservative play.

Then again… Another way to look at that is that Ghana has always had poor finishers, and this time we made them pay for it. Two of Klinsmann’s subs, Graham Zusi and John Brooks, combined to score the winner. In a short tournament, a win’s a win. Cut through all the ESPN blather about American resolve and fortitude, and this was still an inspiring victory.

Portugal’s problems are even bigger than ours USA must deal with the injuries to Altidore and Matt Besler, but our next opponent is in even worse shape. Not only did Portugal lose by a humiliating 4-0 to the Germans, they also lost starting left back Fábio Coentrão and center forward Hélder Postiga Hugo Almeida to injury. Plus, their best defender, Pepe, got red-carded for being really stupid. (Not the first time for him.) His suspension means he won’t face us. Oh, and Ronaldo looked at far less than 100%. Other than that, this World Cup is going really well for O Selecção das Quinas. Seriously, a wounded Portugal team is still dangerous, but all this gives USA an incentive to go for the win.

Spain and Uruguay are in trouble, too It can’t end this way for Spain, can it? Uh, yes it can. Defending World Cup champs have flamed out before (Brazil in 1974, France in 2002), and it’ll happen to La Roja unless they right themselves now. Spain needs to be fixed, and I don’t know what the fix is. Do they revert to playing Cesc Fàbregas in the false nine role that won them Euro 2012? Retain Diego Costa but bring his Atlético Madrid teammate Koke into the starting lineup to feed him crosses and improve chemistry? Install Javi Martínez in some capacity? Swallow hard and bench Xavi and/or Iker Casillas? I’m glad I’m not the coach who has to figure that out. On the other hand, 2010 semifinalists Uruguay might be beyond fixing. The Costa Ricans made their defense look old and slow, and it won’t get any easier with England coming up. Even if Luis Suárez returns to full health, this team may be too leaky.

Wow! Costa Rica! Speaking of Costa Rica, everybody forgot about them in favor of the three other teams in the group. I figured they were going to jump up and bite somebody, and it happened to Uruguay. Bit of soccer history: This isn’t the biggest soccer victory ever for Los Ticos. (The nickname comes from the local pronunciation of the word “chicos.”) Costa Rica upset Scotland and Sweden in 1990 and reached the knockout stages, losing in the round of 16 to a good Czechoslovakia team. They may not get out of the group, but this victory is great for them, and reflects well on CONCACAF.

I feel better about these losers Bosnia-Herzegovina lost their opener against Argentina, but it was a good loss as these things go. For such a defensively porous team, they were able to stifle the Argentines, who looked nothing like the overwhelming offensive machine that we were expecting. The Dragons also scored through St. Louis’ Vedad Ibišević, and the margin of victory was a massively unlucky own goal by Sead Kolasinac. Bosnia can feel optimistic about beating unimpressive-looking Nigeria and Iran. Meanwhile, England and Italy put on a fascinating match, with the Italians attacking with guile and finesse, and the English countering with speed. The young English attackers looked terrifying at times, and the tactic might have worked if the team hadn’t run out of gas in the sweltering heat of Manaus. They can feel good about recovering against Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Oh, by the way… We’re playing our next game in Manaus. I’m sure Klinsmann will show USA the game tape of England vs. Italy. The players will see their English counterparts thoroughly sapped, with all semblance of skill gone in the last 20 minutes or so. Let them take their lessons: If USA is chasing the game in the latter stages next Sunday, they won’t be able to make pretty little passes or shoot from distance. They’ll need to just lump crosses into the box and hope something good happens. It’ll be better if we’re defending the lead in the last minutes, just as it benefited Italy.

The refs have taken up too much attention Yes, the penalty awarded in the opening match by Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura was ridiculous. It’s too bad, since Nishimura had a terrific game four years ago when he kept a bad-tempered Brazil-Netherlands game from boiling over, correctly sending off Brazil’s Felipe Melo. He should have worked the finals of 2010 instead of Howard Webb. None of this makes his penalty decision against Croatia any less bad. Still, I don’t subscribe to the idea that a ref is only as good as his last call.

Referees have no mobility The decision resulted in some talking heads spouting some crap about how the Japanese league is low-quality (not true) and how dare FIFA appoint refs from backwater leagues to work such important games? We need to remember that if a great player is born in a country like Moldova, he can go abroad and work his way up. However, if a great referee is born in that country, he’s stuck officiating games in his own nation, with no chance to improve by regularly calling games in elite leagues like England and Spain. Of course, the talking heads were quieter about the Italian ref awarding a questionable penalty to Spain early in their match against Netherlands. I’d like to see referees have the same options as players, but failing that, I’ll stick with the current system (to which American referee Mark Geiger owes his place at the World Cup) rather than have these big tournaments worked exclusively by officials from the top tier.

The games have been fantastic We’ve seen Switzerland score a last-minute winner against Ecuador and Ivory Coast mount a comeback victory over Japan with two goals in two minutes. Germany, Colombia, and Chile all put on offensive clinics. Mexico overcame their recent bad mojo and some more questionable refereeing to defeat Cameroon. (That Cameroon team doesn’t look good, but still, you can only beat the teams they put in front of you.) The only real dud so far was the 0-0 draw between Iran and Nigeria (boo!). In 2010, the first-round games were constipated affairs, but this year, the goals have flowed. Let’s keep them coming, world!

What’s the deal with custom USA jerseys? It seems to be a thing now. I always thought having your favorite team’s jersey with your own name on the back was the sign of irredeemable dorkiness. (Exception: If your favorite team has a player who happens to share your last name, then owning that player’s jersey is cool.) But now I’m seeing all these Americans having USA jerseys made up with their own names. It’s one thing when people like Michael Bloomberg and Condoleezza Rice do it. It’s another when it’s Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. I may have to revise my ideas of cool.

Let’s end this post with a fun video I was going to link to the choreographed dance that Pablo Armero did with his teammates following his goal for Colombia against Greece, but the killjoys at FIFA have removed any clips of it from YouTube. Apparently, the player is quite a dancer. Anyway, I’ll embed the USA fan reactions to John Brooks’ game-winning goal instead.

YouTube Preview Image


3 Comments


  1.  

    There is certainly much to talk about refereeing at the World Cup, including quality of referees and the use of Goal Line Technology. Introducing GLT has been a historic giant step; hopefully, use of technology will expand in the near future. More on this analysis titled GLT is alive and well living in Rio – FIFA World Cup Analysis, Day 4. http://kickshot.org/glt-is-alive-and-well-living-in-rio-fifa-world-cup-analysis-day-4/




    •  
      Kristian

      I haven’t mentioned the goal-line tech yet, but that’s partly because it’s working exactly the way it’s supposed to. FIFA should have adopted this decades ago.




  2.  

    But that soon changed. [url=http://www.michaelkorshandbagsup.us.com]michael kors outlet[/url] Why on earth should Americans give a good rat’s waistcoat about the fortunes of a Brobdingnagian 19thcentury house and estate or of the titled gentry who occupy said palace? We are, after all, denizens of a mongrel nation that slipped the bonds of royal oppression in the 18th century. y [url=http://www.michaelkorshandbagsup.us.com]michael kors online[/url]
    GM will notify owners, and dealers will update the radio software, free of charge. [url=http://www.louisvuittonhandbagsbuy.co.uk]louis vuitton outlet[/url] The alternative to keeping them where they are would be putting them on trial or releasing them.
    8th inning – Another perfect inning for Johnny Cueto, who has retired 13 in a row. Royals add on against the Mets bullpen, getting an RBI double by Alex Gordon, a sacrifice fly by Paulo Orlando and an RBI triple by Alcides Escobar. Royals 7, Mets 1. [url=http://www.michaelkorshandbagsbuy.us.com]michael kors outlet[/url] What to read nextThe Atlantic Daily : ISIS and Chemical Weapons, Iran and Missile Tests, U. j [url=http://www.coachhandbagsdeal.us.com]coach handbags[/url]
    Lids were open on outdoor trash receptacles — lids are required to be closed when not in use [url=http://www.cheapjordanshoes.us.org]http://www.cheapjordanshoes.us.org[/url] Imagine how confused you’d be if you suddenly found yourself alone in a moving van a couple of states and a thousand miles away.
    r LINCOLN, Neb. — Iowa had just finished its first perfect regular season in 93 years, but there was no over-the-top celebration after the clock struck 0:00 to end its 28-20 victory over Nebraska on Friday. [url=http://www.coachoutlet.cc]coach factory outlet[/url] They returned to Dublin in 2002 as team leaders for Joints in Motion, and then when its organizer, Geneva Hampton Lamm, left to work for the city in 2003, she talked them into captaining a training program coached by personal trainer Fred Klinge. [url=http://www.michaelkorshandbags.us.org]michael kors handbags[/url]
    The fine structure, the amount of marijuana that is considered a small amount, and the three-strikes you’re out provision are among the many areas he hopes to explore during the public meetings [url=http://www.louisvuittonhandbagsbuy.us.com]www.louisvuittonhandbagsbuy.us.com[/url] “I thought we were impatient offensively but I thought the difference in the game was our poor free throw shooting,” Gilbert Christian coach Kurt Keener said. http://www.coachhandbags.net.co
    The 23-year-old Jerez was named Red Sox 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He postedfour saves and a 2.54 ERA in 41 relief appearances between Low-A Greenville, High-A Salem and Portland. [url=http://www.coachoutletstoreonline.me]http://www.coachoutletstoreonline.me[/url] Petfood company Blue Buffalo Pet Products rose $4. n [url=http://www.coachoutlet.cc]coach factory outlet[/url]
    The hallway outside is hushed, except for the faint sounds of music [url=http://www.cheapjordanshoes.us.org]cheap jordan shoes[/url] He batted .
    Our thanks also for the design go to Redbeard Communications. [url=http://www.louisvuittonhandbags.us.org]louis vuitton handbags[/url] Arkansas Republicans say the shift is a sign of things to come.
    They will be advising the Parks Board and staff on environmental issues relevant to the area and provide scientific resource management to protect and conserve the natural wildlife, biology, and ecological, aquatic and terrestrial resources. [url=http://www.coachhandbags.com.co]coach outlet[/url] charts for week ending Mar.
    Fransk Aff?reMarch 11-13; Docken, Nordhavn; 100kr, students and under-12s: 50kr; franskaffaere. [url=http://www.coachhandbags.me]coach outlet store[/url] “I encourage these leaders to identify innovative projects that reconnect their communities and increase access to jobs, education, and basic services.
    q Shrink your king cake slices. [url=http://www.raybansunglassesebay.us.com]ray ban sunglasses[/url] Contact reporter Tom Beal at tbeal@!–p:Tagline–tucson.
    We were outside a cattle fence and entered through the first gate which set us on the Arrowhead Loop Trail. [url=http://www.louisvuittonbagsbuy.us.com]louis vuitton outlet[/url] The simple round stones can become attackers, supporters and defenders, turning the grid into a battlefield of life and death. s [url=http://www.louisvuittonhandbagsrack.us.com]http://www.louisvuittonhandbagsrack.us.com[/url]
    She learned to be hard to cover her fright. [url=http://www.coachfactorysoutlet.com]coach outlet online[/url] The Lost Our Home Pet Foundation has numerous cats and dogs available for adoption.
    t By E.J. Dionne Jr. [url=http://www.michaelkorshandbags.us.org]michael kors handbags[/url] So it was humbling to realize everyone above us sees it the same way: we need to take care of the customer first. h
    And other GOP lawmakers say Rubio did not engineer the maneuver [url=http://o.storeonlinecc.com]oakley outlet[/url] That was the main point Bettman wanted to get across after this first of two days of meetings. [url=http://www.coachhandbags.net.co]coach outlet online[/url]
    James F. Boyle and Patricia A. Boyle to Mark Hardy and Laura E. Riccio, 153 Pomeroy Meadow Road, $245,500. [url=http://www.coachoutletssonline.us.org]http://www.coachoutletssonline.us.org[/url] They are extremely involved in the marketing specifics for each individual location and their online and social media marketing is very impressive. c [url=http://www.louisvuittonbagsbuy.us.com]louis vuitton outlet online[/url]
    “We just didn’t come up with the big hit tonight,” manager Joe Girardi said [url=http://www.louisvuittonhandbagsrack.us.com]louis vuitton handbags[/url] The aggravation of those against the checkpoints and what they call the militarization of the border culminated in People Helping People, a group founded in 2012.
    Boston Road Self Storage LLC, to LLC Boston Road/Pasco Rt 20 Retail, 727 Boston Road, $282,000. [url=http://www.michaelkorsbags.me]michael kors bags[/url] The Arkadelphia Municipal Airport will remain closed until the aircraft is removed from the scene, Smith said. r [url=http://www.michaelkorshandbagstrade.us.com]http://www.michaelkorshandbagstrade.us.com[/url]
    In October 2007, entered into a 50-year agreement to license the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand from the, and the residential real estate franchise company was launched under Realogy in July 2008, according to Realogy’s website. [url=http://www.coachoutletssonline.us.org]coach outlet online[/url] The stop in suburban Chicago comes one week after the championship contenders got into a heated discussion after last week’s Nationwide race in Loudon, N.





Leave a Response

(required)


× 5 = ten