The Day After
Here are some musings on the USA while I wonder why Japan would want to make Brazil so angry by daring to score 1st in their game?
Yes, the penalty was a terrible call. But both Ghana goals were preventable. Don't know what Reyna was thinking on the first. Never play with it in the back, he should have just booted upfield to clear his lines. To add injury to insult, that play knocked him out of the WC and will probably be his last game for the USA besides a cameo on Claudia Reyna Night coming on a cold night next year in Columbus. Pre-order your bobblehead now.
The 2nd Ghana goal was even worse. Bocanegra needed to knock it out of bounds. Gives Ghanaa throw-in, but no real danger. Instead he plays with it, gets chased down, beat on a header and then the penalty call on Gooch. Game over, as this USA team was never going to score 2 goals in a half.
Ghana played a smart game. They pressured for moments, then set-back and roughed the US up (32 fouls on Ghana to 16 for USA) and then used the counter-attack. But without Essien who's suspended on cards, they will get rolled by Brazil. Hey look, Ronaldo is scoring again. He still can't move, but is a clinical finisher.
Where does the US go from here? Don't know, but I'm headed to Koln for France-Togo right now. Actually, I'm preparing a whole state of the USA soccer piece that I'll post in the next week. Feel free to send me your ideas, so I can laugh at their silliness and revel in my mock-intellectual superiority.
A final word on the WC refereeing: shitesnessstrautsausageweisersuckfest as the Germans so eloquently put it. And I couldn't agree more. The parade of yellow cards and penalty kicks is ruining the game. A player from Croatia last night managed to receive an unprecedented 3 yellows in one game. My biggest reason for seeing France-Togo was to watch Zidane play. He's the greatest player (along with Ronaldo) of the past 20 years and retiring after the WC. Instead, he's suspended for picking up a 2nd yellow in the 90th minute against S. Korea on a horrible call. Let the players play.
Enjoy the games.