Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup Recap: Day 2

Well, this was supposed to have been the first early morning for me with Greece and South Korea starting at 4:30 in the morning here. The alarm was set for 4:20 (wink) and I was all set to go...if not for the fact that I forgot to set the alarm button. That's sorta like doing all the math but forgetting to carry the zero. So at 5:00 my sleepy eyes fluttered awake and I did not join match #3 until the 35th minute. Oh well, consider today "spring training".

Greece vs South Korea

When I DID finally join the early morning game, here is what I saw...

I predicted last night before I went to bed that Korea was going to be full of short, FAST players, and I was pretty much right on the money. Greece looked like it was playing in mud. When I joined this game South Korea was already up 1-0 and running up and down the field with reckless abandon (though mostly keeping it downfield in scoring position). Greece just seemed listless until South Korea scored it's second goal. At that point Greece seemed to move much faster and played with more of a sense of urgency, but by that point it was clearly too late to rally. This game represents the first win in the tournament and three entries and two goals for The Brooklyn Met, who, at this point is the entry leader. I have to say that I am a bit interested to see how South Korea continues from this point forward. Their speed seems pretty endless.

Nigeria vs Argentina

Two words sum up the theme of this match...Diego Maradona

If I could describe Maradona, he is basically the Ozzie Guillen of soccer coaches. There were just endless shots of Maradona chattering, and cheering, and running up and down the sideline, and grabbing the ball and handing it to players...on both teams...for throw-ins. It is clear that Diego still wants to be out on that field, and it is fun to watch.

As for the game itself, watching Argentina was probably the first team that was showing off Harlem Globetrotter-like ball-handling abilities, with multiple head and chest passes, and wicked crossovers. Argentina has a lot of skill and had several great shots. From a casual fan perspective though, I would say that a lot of their near-goal chances seemed a bit disorganized and leaned a lot on Lionel Messi, who took a majority of his team's shots, and was not even the player who scored the amazing header in the opening minutes. IMHP I think that they need to spread the ball around a bit more near the goal.

As for Nigeria, it really is too bad that there was a win from South Korea in the other group matchup, because I think that Nigeria actually looked really good and had some really close shots. It will be interesting to see how they do on their second matchup, as it will be a must-win to advance.

United States vs England

Well bollocks! While I know that the United States is certainly no world soccer powerhouse, you should always pull for the home team, right? And while this 1-1 tie (thank you Robert Green) can be considered a victory of sorts, I would have to say that a win would have made a much smoother ride for the rest of the round-robin. Algeria and Slovenia hit it up early tomorrow and there is a good chance that one of those teams walks away with three points and leads the entire group. I would have to say that if you are a fan of the US, you would most likely hope for a tie tomorrow.

I did not think the US played great, in fact their goalie was under fire for much of the game, especially the second half. While he looked shaky for the beginning of the second half, as the game came to a close he just looked tough as nails. Still though, a lot of close calls and a lot of work needs to be done going into their next game.

What I learned: Al Franken coaches and Flea plays for England?

Who knew?

Summary of the day:

The Good: A very entertaining match between Nigeria and Argentina

The Bad: I found ONE lousy pack of Panini stickers at Target, and forgot to set my alarm, not necessarily in that order.

The unsung heroes of the World Cup: Let's hear it for the dedicated security at the game venues. These guys, who got a chance to host a World Cup in their country, and actually get to be on the pitch at the games...are forced to keep their backs to the action of the game they love for the entire 90 minutes as they scan the crowd for security concerns. Hats off to these guys for keeping everybody safe, if it were me I would be way too tempted to sneak a peak over my shoulder at the action.


  1. I have to be honest, before today I was kind of disappointed that I had Korea. Boy was I wrong.

    Also, I agree with you that the US did not look so great today. They were fortunate to get a tie, but hopefully they can build on the fortune.

  2. Great recap, thanks again. I only got to catch the second half of both the US game and the Argentina game. I enjoyed the Argentina match way more because the US was pretty much back on their heals the entire half. A rare counter attack would ensue and then back to defending for their lives. I was really hoping for a little more from the US squad.

  3. The States were as I expected,ok going forward but very vulnerable to pace on the wings and crosses whipped in to the penalty area,however I expect both they and England will qualify.
    Greece were exactly as they have been for the last decade,dour and tedious to watch,korea did what Korea always do run around with 100% commitment.
    Argentina,not bad but as usual overshadowed by the antics of the disgrace to the game on the touchline.
    Nigeria,prob Africas best bet for a decent run in the comp.
    If you want a lookalike for Rooney find a photo of Shrek...