At this point you’ve probably heard about the United States and their David vs Goliath-style SLAYING of Spain, who were on a 35 game unbeaten streak. By upsetting the number one ranked team in the world 2-0 the USA advances and gets to try their luck with another giant; Brazil, in the final this Sunday. Anyone not interested in Soccer, I’ll throw you a little tidbit of useless gossip so you don’t feel cheated having read this far. My favorite player for the US is the Ivory-Coast born young phenom, Freddy Adu (pictured above). Before moving to play for a club in Portugal Freddy dated pop-star Jojo. Shortly after their relationship ended Jojo put out the music video for “Too Little, Too Late”. In the video her Soccer playing boyfriend cheats on her, and ends up blowing his chance to score the game winning goal in “the big game”. Subtle Jojo.
For anyone who wants to find out where to watch the game or how the U.S. squad found themselves in the midst of what will probably become a movie called “Miracle on Grass”, read on.
So to get out of the group stage the U.S. only had to win one game, they did it in spectacular 3-0 fashion over Egypt, but still only one game. Italy was the 3rd place team that the US beat out, despite being tied for goal difference at -2 and having beaten the US 3-1 in their match. Somehow I always assumed that in the event of the tie in points and GD it went to the winner of the match between the two teams that were even. Maybe it works that way in the World Cup or maybe I just dreamed that up entirely but in Confederations Cup it goes by most goals scored (US had 4, Italy had 3). Don’t get me wrong I’m happier with the US going through I don’t particularly like Italy’s squad. And they do deserve something for being the only team in the group to not concede a goal to Egypt in their 3-0 win. I’m just saying it took some measure of luck to get them out of the group stage.
The Spain game again involved equal measures of luck and skill for the US. They were lucky to have two Spanish defense men, Capedevilla and Ramos, give up “gifts” right in front of the net that required only composure to finish. However they were extremely unlucky to go down to ten men after a red card (for a challenge that I thought was fair), but they STILL held off the Spaniards. Holding off a team that has the tournaments top goal scorers, Torres and Villa who are tied for most goals with three each, requires skill no matter how lucky you are.
So overall my feelings are that yes, while the States had to get lucky, so does everyone who’s going to win a game and luck does tend to reward the skillful it seems. I’d love to see them upset Brazil because even though Brazil is always entertaining, it would be better for Soccer in North America. Come on Brazil, you already had Pelé. Why not let Freddy Adu step up and inspire his country the way Pelé did for Brazil?
I normally like to enjoy any big games at Average Joe’s sportsbar in the Viscount Gort Hotel. I know its random but hear me out. The staff there is chill towards Soccer fans and will hook up pitchers at good prices. They have nice flat screens you can sit close to and watch in HD. Greasy bar style food and VLT’s, if that happens to be your vice, means there’s something for everyone. If anyone has a favorite hangout for watching the games let me know I’m still looking for my official World Cup 2010 venue :P
Image Freddy Adu v. Charleston Battery Originally uploaded by wjarrettc