Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
In honor of today's inspiring goal from Donovan, a look back at ten goals that, by a combination of quality, timing, chance, and of course, being for the right team, are forever etched in my memory.
My prayers were answered with Onyewu being left out of the side, and my god did it pay off despite the early jitters from Demerit and Cherundolo. Bornstein came in at left back and played the best game I've ever seen him play for the national team, and thus our defending was finally solid, if not perfect, especially as we had to push forward for that winner. Gomez started and was dangerous in attack, but when Feilhaber came in he was again excellent in the second half. Altidore ever-present and dangerous, using his strength to turn and run at the Algerian defense. Every time he received the ball at his feet our attacks looked promising. But the real heroes today were Donovan and Michael Bradley. Bradley worked tirelessly from end-to-end, was always a threat with smart runs going forward, and always there to cover in defense. Donovan, well... I'd still be crying in a corner if it weren't for his finish.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
And of course the one offside call that the commentators were all moaning about, calling back a Mexico goal against South Africa, was actually correct: there need to be two defenders between an attacker and the goal line; one of them is usually the goalkeeper, but in this case, he had stepped out ahead of the attacker.
1. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: World Cup soccer is too defensive, and always disappointing. Watching the first few games just convinces me more and more that something has to change in the rules of soccer or the structure of the tournament to encourage more attacking play. Through nine games so far, even after many of the best teams and best players in the world have already played, only one team has actually attacked with much flair and confidence, and that was, somewhat surprisingly, Germany. I hate to say it, but so far, the opening matches look too much like soccer straight out of that Simpsons episode: fast-kicking perhaps, low-scoring for sure, and ties, you bet!
With games like this, you too often have teams losing games, instead of winning them. For instance, Robert Green lost for England (goalkeeper blunder), Algeria's goalkeeper for them (another blunder), Kozmanovich for Serbia (stupidly conceded penalty), and Poulsen for Denmark (own goal). I want to see more players, like Oezil and Podolski for Germany, actually earning their teams' victories.
Apologists will say that it's opening game jitters, that teams are especially cautious in opening games, that the best attacking teams have yet to play, and that players are struggling with the new ball (see below for more on that). Though those all may be true, shouldn't we hope for attacking play throughout the tournament? If this really is supposed to soccer's greatest exhibition, is it too much to ask that more than a handful of teams actually come out and try to score goals and win games? If teams are really that cautious in the opening games, then shouldn't we change the group phase somehow so that a third of the group games don't suck?