Coming to Terms

I’m not going to write much about this game because quite frankly, I’m tired and I’m still pissed off about it.

The US lost to Ghana, blah blah blah.

Shouldn’t have happened.  Period.  Outside of the first 15 minutes and the only chance they got in extra time, Ghana did not threaten the US goal.  The difference in the game was that they capitalized on their chances while the US did not.  Anyone who tells you that the US was outplayed, outclassed, or out anything else’d in this game is just wrong.

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World Cup Predictions

I didn’t  get to this before the Cup started and I’m barely making it here since Uruguay-South Korea has already started.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for our intents and purposes) the game is frozen with the Koreans about to take a free kick in the 4th minute.

Anyway, it’s time for some predictions because everyone loves them even if none of them are right.

Let’s get started

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Watch This

USA Marches On!

Today, USA defeated Algeria 1-0.  Today, USA also defeated all the doubters, naysayers, and nonbelievers. All the English fans who weren’t worried about us, all the national pundits who slammed the US team, all the referees who blew calls against us:  Defeated.  And it was so sweet.

Landon Donovan’s 92nd minute strike was the best moment I’ve had as a US Soccer fan, and I’ve been alive for some great ones.  Up until now, that honor went to John O’Brien for his early strike against Portugal in the 2002 World Cup.  Today blew that away.

I was at Tigin Irish Pubs (the official US Soccer bar in St. Louis) for the match and there was red, white, and blue everywhere.

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Biggest Disappointment Ever?

With today’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of South Africa, France’s dismal World Cup run has come to an end.  The only reason this makes me sad is because of the insane drama they brought to this year’s edition of the World Cup.  Sending home a star striker?  Refusing to train the next day?  Having the head director of team quit and fly home early?  Having the President of the country call the team out publicly?  Yeah, that’s drama.

But first let’s start at the beginning.  The French team struggled through qualifying, finishing second in UEFA Group 7 to Serbia.  Then, they only secured a qualification through Thierry Henry’s double handball during the playoff against the Republic of Ireland.

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USA Gets Robbed

My plan today was to DVR the USA-Slovenia match, avoid all forms of media, and then watch it when I got home after the game.  That idea went out the window when the game was on the scoreboard at Busch Stadium while I worked with a young baseball team.  There was no audio and it was hard to follow, but I got to watch it nonetheless.  I’m about to watch the replay so I can get a better idea of what went down but I’m still going to write a post about the game.

The first thing that I want to mention is the horrid marking that occurred Slovenia’s first goal.  Valter Birsa had days to line up his fantastic strike from just outside the penalty area.  Michael Bradley had stepped up to take away the initial ball carrier when he laid it off to Birsa.  From there, I don’t know where Jose Torres was and I don’t know why Oguchi Onyewu didn’t step up and at least act like he was putting pressure on the ball.  Birsa punished them for their terrible marking.

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World Cup Thoughts So Far

We’re five days into the universe’s biggest sports event and that means there has been plenty of stuff to talk about.  Unfortunately, I spent all weekend moving to St. Louis so I haven’t had time to write here.  Instead of going through each team that has already played, I’m going to try and hit the highlights and low lights from the first few days.

The first thing I feel like I have to mention is the presence of the vuvuzelas in the stands that people all seem to hate.  Honestly, I don’t even notice them.  I want someone to bring me one so if you’re reading this and can get one of these horns to me, send me an email at wellerandbryan@gmail.com.

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USA Starts Out Strong

I had every intention of writing a fairly in depth preview of the USA-England match that happened today but I’m in the middle of moving to a new apartment and that’s not conducive to posting.  I don’t know what Weller’s excuse is.

Anyway, had I actually written something, it would have read something like this:

USA needs to attack the wings.

USA needs to neutralize Rooney.

USA needs to shoot the ball any time their inside the midline.

USA needs to play out of their minds.

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USA Downs Turkey

Clint Dempsey celebrates his game winning goal.

In a game that showcased a team that we’re much more likely to see in South Africa, the United States beat Turkey 2-1 in Philadelphia.  Two days ago I outlined the team that I wanted to see take the field today.  As it turns out, that was very close to the team we saw this afternoon.  Bob Bradley’s decision not to start Oguchi Onyewu in favor of Clarence Goodson was probably due to the lingering affects of knee surgery, but Onyewu saw significant minutes in the second half.  The one move that surprised me was Benny Feilhaber getting the start at one of the outside mid spots opposite of Landon Donovan.  It looked as if that decision would backfire immediately as Feilhaber made a terrible cross field pass right to the feet of a Turkish player who thankfully pushed the ball wide.  From there, he failed to make a serious impact before being taken off after halftime.  I think Jose Torres may have swiped his spot with his inspired second half play.  But more on that in a bit.

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USA Makes Final Roster Cuts

I meant to do this yesterday but I was busy.  It happens.  Anyway, Bob Bradley made his final cuts from the provisional squad down to the 23 man team that will be representing the US in South Africa.  For the most part, I think he did a fine job.  One pick in particular confused me a bit, but we’ll get into that later.  First, let’s take a look at the team:

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