The Haphazard Blog

Archive for June, 2010

Someone Owes Us Two Points

by on Jun.18, 2010, under Basketball, Soccer, Sports

Following the tough loss last night to the Lakers (the refs were terrible, favored the Lakers all series, but LA also had really good defense in the 4th quarter),  the U.S. got a taste of the bad refereeing that robbed them of a 3-2 lead with just a few minutes left in the game.

Some more thoughts on the U.S. game/team and the World Cup in general.

Enough with the vuvuzela whining! It’s not that big of a deal. There is constant noise and horns during every game. This is just more white noise that sounds different.

Looks like today was the day for terrible officiating. 9 yellow cards in the Germany-Serbia game. The referee in the U.S.-Slovenia game left his glasses at home. Gave Findley a yellow card (and now he misses the next game) for a hand ball when the ball hit him in the face. Clint Dempsey got away with an elbow to the head in the first couple minutes. And obviously the goal cancelling foul was the most egregious. I would really like to know what he saw.

The goal scored by Maicon (from Brazil) was amazing, but I think the goal by Landon Donovan today tops it.

Is the U.S. team planning to participate in a Pageant?

Argentina looked a lot more aggressive in their second match. They showed why a lot of people think they will win the World Cup.

It looks like a lot of teams played their first game tentatively figuring they’d rather have a draw than lose. On the flip side, almost everyone will be playing to win in their third games.

The U.S. went from having to win by 2 over Algeria to guarantee a spot in the 2nd round to only needing to win with England’s tie. Other possibilities:

  • They lose and go home
  • They tie and England wins, they go home
  • They tie and England ties and England scores 3 or more goals vs. Slovenia than the U.S. scores vs. Algeria, they go home
  • They tie and England ties and England scores 2 more goals vs. Slovenia than the U.S. scores vs. Algeria, it comes down to a lottery
  • They tie and England ties and England scores 1 or less more goals vs. Slovenia than the U.S. scores vs. Algeria, they advance
  • They tie and England loses, they advance

Long story short, if the U.S. ties, hope that England loses or ties and only manages to score no more than 1 more goal that day than the U.S. If England ties and scores 2 more, our hopes rest on a coin flip.

Next week will be crazy. 4 games a day Tuesday through Friday.

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World Cup 2010

by on Jun.13, 2010, under Soccer, Sports

The World Cup has gone on for 3 days and I think I’ll share some of my thoughts.

It seems to have started out pretty slowly. I don’t think we saw a truly good team until the last game today with Germany. They attack almost non-stop. That is why I had hoped that U.S. Soccer would be able to hire J├╝rgen Klinsmann to bring that style of play here.

Moving on to the U.S., they ended up with a draw. They got a somewhat lucky goal when the England keeper misjudged the ball and didn’t position himself right behind the ball. They had a real shot to go up 2-1 with the ball bouncing off the post and out.

So Sad. (For England)

Overall, their play seemed disjointed. There were a lot of good individual efforts, but they didn’t play as well as a team. At times the defense broke down and there did not seem to be much feeding the ball to the forwards. I want to see a lot more offsides calls on the U.S. Then at least you know they are pushing to score. Quick comparison: Germany had 9 shots on goal (18 total), 4 goals, 7 offsides and U.S. had 4 shots on goal (12 total), 1 goal and 2 offsides. Watching England handle the ball, they seemed to be able to pass it around at will around the U.S.’s 18M box. The U.S. would get near England’s and would be able to have a couple touches before they’d force a shot or just have it taken away.

I hope they are able to improve over that performance. They had a real opportunity to beat England by holding them to only 1 goal. As it stands now, Slovenia is in the driver’s seat with their win today. The U.S. definitely need a win, and most likely need a win, a tie and a Slovenia or England loss.

The next few days should give us some more good games with Italy, Spain, Brazil and Portugal still left to play their first games. I’m not sure if the games have really been slow, or if it’s the collection of announcers that ESPN has put together. They got rid of the really bad ones, but most of these guys don’t seem to get excited at all. I feel like a good set of announcers are knowledgeable and get excited at the right time. If you’re looking away from the TV, they should get you looking in time to see something happen. (It sure would make working and watching Soccer a lot easier.)

Finally, this isn’t much of a bold prediction, but I think Brazil wins it all. I’ll be rooting for them (unless they play the U.S.).

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