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Soccer In America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup, part I

24 Jun

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Soccer, Yoda, Hulk, Fred, and Marcus Smart in the Same Post? Yes, but not all today. This is a two-part (on back to back days) post. I’m not like ESPN or Yahoo! Sports, or CBS Sports that stretches it out for months. This will be short and sweet…and if we (the USA) advance to the knock-out rounds I’m sure there will be more posts. You’ve been warned! 😉

Since the World Cup began, about two weeks ago, I’ve had lots of thoughts bouncing around in my head so there are several topics in this post. Most of these topics I will just touch on lightly…I don’t go too much in to detail. If I did it would make this post super, super long instead of just super long. I hope you enjoy…and of course fire back your thoughts to me. I love civilized dialogue!

Move Along, There Is No Donovan To See Here

I believe it was a mistake for Landon Donovan to be left off of the World Cup squad. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but I was miffed about this when the squad was announced.

But we need to get over it. Sure, it’d be awesome to have him at the World Cup, especially considering the injury to Josey Altidore. I thought it’d be great that even if Donovan didn’t start we could bring him off the bench in the 60th minute to change the pace of our attack. But since he was left off of the roster he can’t play. It’s over. It’s done. He’s one helluva player and I wish he could be with us but he can’t. So we need to get over it and stop bitching about it.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

As the game on Thursday gets closer I’m getting more and more nervous thinking about the game and if the US will advance out of the group stage.

All Germany needs to do advance, and take first place in our group is draw with us on Thursday.

All we need to do to advance is beat Germany or tie Germany.

Oh, one little thing though…Germany is good…damn good! Did you see the hurt they put on Portugal? The same Portugal that we tied 2-2. To be fair Ghana tied Germany 2-2 and we beat Ghana…so who knows what will happen?

Even if we lose against Germany we can still advance if Portugal and Ghana draw, but I don’t see that happening. Cristiano Ronaldo even came out recently and said he doesn’t believe they (Portugal) are a top team and by their showing in the World Cup so far I would agree. They’re old and several of their players are battered and bruised and also hot-heads who can get red-cards for the dumbest of things. I believe Ghana can beat Portugal and our goal differential with Ghana is razor thin. We are +1 and Ghana is -1. Now Portugal can still advance too, but they need a ton of goals to do so and if they start forcing the issue that can leave them exposed for counterattacks with Ghana’s high pressure defending which is excellent. Did you see how they controlled much of the second half against us. And there’s a reason for why they did, but I won’t get into the boring tactical analysis.

I’m secretly hoping there are some back-room deals going on between the US and Germany and they’ve already agreed to play the most boring game ever and in a draw; but in reality that’s not going to happen. So I am genuinely becoming more and more nervous about the game on Thursday. But as an optimist I believe I will be celebrating with a big, fat, celebratory cigar on my drive home from Northwest Arkansas on Thursday.

{If you’re still not clear on what is going on with all the tie-breakers here is how the US and all the other countries can advance, if they are not already eliminated.}

We’ve Come A Long Way

Soccer has come a long way in the United States. I can remember back to my freshman year of high school in Topeka, KS and the football team was running next to our soccer field while we were practicing and the football team was yelling homophobic slurs at all of us and then my coach feeling the need to stick up for us went over and was about to start a fight with some of the football players. We thought it was hilarious and we weren’t affected by the slurs they were yelling. I guess I should probably be in counseling for the bullying I experienced that day, but that’s for another post. The point is, is that soccer has risen above the floor of most civilized* people in the United States not necessarily understanding it completely, but at least not making fun of it.

As we were getting done with our league soccer game this past Sunday we were hearing reports of alot of restaurants being jam-packed full of people ready to watch the US vs. Portugal game. This soccer fever has been caught by a wave of people across the US and this is fun! Outside of Little Rock there are huge watch parties all across the country in Kansas City, Chicago, Houston, Brooklyn and more cities drawing tens of thousands of people at each location! I’m telling you, hearing about all of this and seeing different clips on the news, social media, and on youtube from each location…this is fun!

Floppity Flop Flop and Marcus Smart

I’ll admit that flopping in soccer is a big problem. But it’s getting much better…in most cases.

And then after a little spray from the magic spray can they’re good to go and right back in the game.

Magic Spray is Magic! – photo credit to SBNation.com

 

Yes, flopping sometimes seems unique to soccer but remember Marcus Smart?

I will also say that for the most part USA players do not flop. There will always be exceptions and incidents when it will happen, but mostly when a USA player goes down it’s because they were fouled. I’m not a soccer apologist – there are issues, just as there are issues with all sports – no sport is perfect and this is a specific example where soccer can get better.

Soccer thankfully has made a serious effort to decrease flopping by doling out yellow cards for Marcus Smart-esque flops, or at the very least letting the play to continue on without even acknowledging the flop.

That’s all for today…

In my next post ,on Wednesday, I’ll cover: kissing you sister, hate towards soccer, awesome world cup player names, and how I’m not a snobbish soccer fan but I don’t need you to like soccer.

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1 Comment

Posted by on June 24, 2014 in community, sports, Uncategorized

 

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One response to “Soccer In America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup, part I

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