Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

On the Record

It's finally here. If you're like me you've been watching the Espn countdown clock for the past 17 days. You also would have noticed that the Espn banner clock counted down to midnight last night while the EuroSoccernet page had the correct countdown. I was kind of confused for 11 hours.

Anyway, allow me to go on record with what will surely not take place:

Group A
Portugal (winner)
Switzerland (advance)

Group B
Germany (winner)
Croatia (advance)

Group C
Italy (winner)
Netherlands (advance)

Group D (My pick for the not so obvious group of death)
Greece (winner)
Spain (advance)

Portugal (over Croats)
Germany (over SwissMiss)
Italy (over Red Fury)
Greece (over VanPersie's exploding quad)

Portugal (over Ze Germans)
Italy (over Octopus Ceviche)

See photo

Surprise picks to advance
Romania, Turkey

Surprise pick to win it all
Spain (yes this counts as a surprise)

Enjoy the games - I know I will

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another Friendly

"Bye dad! Bye mom!," the children exclaimed as they ran to the car.

"Bye kids. Don't stay up too late and don't bother your aunt Kathy. Thanks so much for doing this again, Kathy," said the mother.

"Oh it's nothing really," Kathy dismissed, "you two deserve some time alone," she said with a wry smile.

"Kathy!" the mom said blushing.

"Come on honey. She's right," chuckled the husband. They finished saying their goodbyes and the door finally shut. They both let out a sigh and took in the silence.

The food arrived 20 minutes later and after enjoying a nice quiet dinner the couple sauntered into the bedroom. She was trying not to show it, but the woman was getting very nervous. She knew the statistics that her husband did not and worse, they applied to her. So while it was very nice of aunt Kathy to have scheduled such an event, it didn't necessarily mean good things were going to happen.

As more and more articles of clothing were removed the woman cleared her head and was ready to give this another try. She disliked bad sex, even though she knew she their was little alternative, and that's why she tried to keep an open mind before every go.

Things were progressing pretty much as she remembered and then something dreaded happened. Her mind began to wander and when she came to, she realized after only 1 minute - nope, not this time. It was a shame that she would have to continue for 8 more minutes, plus any cuddle time, when she knew pretty much right away this wasn't going to work.


Spain vs. USA game notes

  • We slide tackle way, way, too much. Bradley, Pearce, Hejduk, and Cherundolo leave their feet 4 out of every 5 times they are asked to defend. It reeks of no confidence, it leads to alot of fouls - as they slide anywhere on the field - and even when they do it successfully, we still don't gain possession from it.
  • Ball watching ball watching ball watching. If you weren't entirely sure you would have thought that inside the new Euro ball a video is playing that shows a naked Jenna Fischer rubbing hot oils all over Megan Fox because Onyewu and Bocanegra loved watching that ball.
  • I am now sure that we suck without Landon Donovan but not sure that we are good when he plays. Great.
  • If you check the replay, you'll see that Xavi beat 4 US defenders (not counting the goalie) with one turn, one cut, and one shot.
  • Dear Eddie Johnson, next time you get a point blank header 3 yards out, please score. Sincerely, everyone who knows deep down you can't possibly suck as much as you do.
  • If you put a gun to my head and made me say whether or not the US has any midfielders I would have started crying and had to say no.
  • The following players suck: Heath Pearce, Michael Bradley, Josh Wolff, Frankie Hejduk (Frank must get alot of girls with that cool "ie" at the end of his name. I get wet just thinking about calling him Frankie), Demarcus Beasley, Eddie Johnson.
  • The following players I would say suck if they were on a team like Spain... or England: Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Eddie Lewis (who barely made this category and not the previous), Pablo Mastroeni (nice slide tackle turd sandwich).
  • In case you were wondering, that leaves Donovan, Freddy Adu, Altidore (props on Villa), Onyewu/Dempsey who are desperately trying to convince me otherwise, and Edu, whom I often confuse with Adu and that's good enough.

Are we going to qualify for the World Cup - absolutely. It won't even be a problem. We play teams like Barbados, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama. That's laughable... until you realize it's not helping us. So yeah, I'm ecstatic that we're playing England, Spain and Argentina even if we lose every game (which we will).

The problem is that we're quite literally not competing. And that's tough. It's tough being outclassed by teams that everyone knows are better anyway. So when the World Cup comes around, pray that we draw an Asian team, a bottom of the barrel European team and some bad African team because otherwise we're not advancing. Then hope that we have Korea after the group stages, Mexico in the quarter finals, some cinderella African team like Ivory coast in the semis and then pray with all your might - to Jesus, God, Allah, Buddah, anyone, that the other team we'll see in the finals comes down with food poisoning the night before.

Argentina is next.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't Worry Juan, France Will Fail

I just needed to respond to the most recent post of my esteemed colleague (with which I wholeheartedly agree). I'd also like to take it one step further and state that I believe France will struggle, and ultimately fail, to leave the group stages. A few reasons:

1. I agree when Juan says the best players France have to call on for this tournament are Scarface, Trezegol, and Paddy. Now, it appears they may be without two of those players. Though current reports say it's only for the first match, how much do you want to gamble on a 31 year old just coming back to full fitness? Not that Flamini and Diarra aren't great replacements (you'll never find a bigger fan, still pissed they both left Arsenal), but neither has the big stage experience and leadership qualities of Vieira. Over the last decade, alongside Zidane, no player has been more instrumental to his national team's success. Indeed, he was almost as crucial to their 2006 WC run as the master himself. Whether it was scoring important goals, serving it up on a platter for his teammates, or just generally sacrificing himself for the good of the squad, Paddy is the heartbeat of the team, and if he's not totally healthy, that's a problem.

2. Domenech is retarded. We already know this. But just to reiterate: Willy Sagnol has a lot of experience at right-back, but he's 31, and Sagna, though new to the scene, is faster and has so much to bring to the table offensively. Anelka, but not Trezeguet? Well, the general explanation for this is that Anelka and Henry gel a little better up front, but I don't know why you wouldn't want that option coming off the bench. And anyway, Gomes and Govou but no Trezeguet? Whatever. Pires has been instrumental to Villareal's recent success and has big-time experience, but Domenech ruled him out years ago for astrological/personal reasons, and unfortunately, at his age he'll never play for France again. At any rate, it's clear that Ray Ray was going for a mix of youth and experience in his squad, but I happen to feel he's gotten it wrong, bringing in youth where more experienced and in-form players should have been selected and choosing age where younger, more dynamic choices would have been appropriate. We'll see.

3. Their group is insanely difficult. I'm convinced that Italy's organization and individual talent will see them through. So that leaves one spot. Personally, I think the Netherlands will take it. Though they just lost Babel and had to call on the awful Khalid Boulahrouz (more like BOOlahrouz), they've still got the deepest and most potent attack (along with Italy) in the tournament, able to call on a legendary poacher (Ruud van Nistelrooy), a creator (Arjen Robben), a born scorer (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar), some glass candy (Robin van Persie), and a guy who works really hard and often shows up at the right place and right time, but is otherwise fairly untalented (Dirk Kuyt). Though their biggest question mark is the back line, they've got van der Sar in goal and with General Wesley Sneijder, an improved van der Vaart, and fine wine Gio van Bronckhorst doing big thangs in the midfield, I think they can pip France out of the group.