Wednesday, May 26, 2010

15 Days Till World Cup!

Yes 15 days till the world stops working and starts watching football err soccer. Gutsy and I will doing some serious World Cup coverage so to start up here's a little World Cup Q&A primer.....

Umm so World Cup? Where is it being held?
World Cup this year will be in South Africa, the first African country to host a World Cup. Remember since South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere it is currently winter, water circles the drain the wrong way, and hamburgers eat people. Of that only the winter part is important as the high altitudes and cool climate will cause some teams to tire quickly.

Tell me about Team USA. Are they good?
Umm they are decent. Team USA is ranked about 16th in the World although it should be stressed this is a young team. Only 6 of the 23 players have World Cup experience.

What are Team USA's Strengths and Weaknesses?
At the top of the list is the goal keeping. Starter Tim Howard is among the elite in the world and behind him are 2 quality goal tenders.. On the weak front are the defenders. All 3 of the starters are coming off serious injuries and there is simply no depth behind those starters.

What should I expect out of this team?
Probably the expectation is getting out of their group but losing in the first round of the tournament. To do less would be a disappointment as that would mean losses to Algeria or Slovenia. To do more would be thrilling as that would probably mean wins versus England or Germany . I will note that Team USA's jersey's are homages to the 1950 team that is the gold standard of USA soccer so they got that going for them...which is nice.

Ok...gotcha on Team USA? Can I root for other teams/players? If so , who?
This was actually a long standing feud between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson... can I support other teams besides Team USA. Adams said no. Jefferson said "Fuck it dude, I'm going bowling" . So that's up to you, normally for us Americans its totally cool to root for countries associated with our heritage in the old country, if the country has cool colors, and if the country did not try to conquer the world . That said I'm rooting for Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) and against Maradona (Argentina).

Why Drogba?
Drogba, the captain of Team Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) , is one of the best players in the English Premier League. However what seperates him is that he's an incredible person. Not like he signs jerseys or gives good incredible person. Drogba donated his entire signing bonus (~$6 million) to build a hospital in his hometown. Also as a Goodwill UN Ambassador he helped end the civil war that plagued his country. The man pisses awesomeness. So root for Drogba.

Why Not Maradona ?
Maradona, the ex-superstar/controversial figure, is now the head coach of Team Argentina. He's combative, fights with the best player in the world (Lionel Messi), and possibly caused the oil leak in the Gulf. Worse he has publicly stated that he will run through the streets of Buenos Aires naked if Argentina wins it all. I don't need those mental images, I need to sleep at night.

1 comment:

Gutsy Goldberg said...

awesome start to the world cup!
1) USA's strengths are the goalies... all 3 are starters in the English Premier League! Granted, you only get to play one at a time as far as i'm aware.
2) I would also state that "attacking midfielders" are the other strength of this US team. The back is weak though. Oguchi Onyewu, who plays for AC Milan, is coming off a knee injury. Played his first game this week. Had a horrible lowlight, where he jumped about 6 inches off the ground and got beat for a header that scored.
3) If the US makes it out of the group stage, that's par. Anything beyond is gravy. A group-stage exit (only playing 3 games) will be disappointing.