I’ll make something about Spain’s shocking (or is it?) elimination for when Spain play next, but today I can’t pass up the chance to talk about North America’s impact in this World Cup. First, though, a few thoughts:
-Do you like my new header? That’s the DSE crest. 2013 because that’s when it was founded, DH because that’s my initials, “Adulti Recalcitratio Effercio” because that’s Latin for “Adults Kicking Stuff,” circle-shaped because I like circle-shaped crests, the tacky soccer ball because I loved how people freaked out about the San Jose Earthquakes having a tacky soccer ball in their crest, and how terrible they thought it looked, and it’s all done in fuzzy MS paint because I aim for mediocrity.
-Colombia is good. I guess Chile has joined Belgium in being disqualified for being called “dark horses” because they’ve been called that so much, so it leaves Colombia (joint dark horses with Belgium before Falcao’s injury) and maybe a few others (Bosnia? France? Can the Dutch be dark horses after almost winning last time?) in the “dark horse” category.
-Do you know who else is good, and Colombian? James Rodriguez. He came in as the star man in Falcao’s absence, and he’s delivered. A goal and some nice play in each of his two games, and he’s only 22! He may not know how to pronounce his name, but he sure can play.
-Congratulations to the Netherlands, Chile, and Colombia. All three of these teams will be in the knockout stage. It’s starting to take shape!
-England still have a chance to go through, but not a good one. I’ll break down all the final day scenarios a bit later. They have a semi-promising side for the future, with young players Sterling, Barkley, Shaw, and the Ox, and not-as-young-but-still-pretty-young players in Sturridge, Wilshere, Welbeck, and currently injured Walcott. I was going to mention Phil Jones, but I’m trying to be serious, here. If half of these guys reach most of their potential, this team has a chance to get to the final of the Euros. And lose on penalties.
-I’m glad that Wayne Rooney scored. Now the English will have to get more creative with placing the blame. Also, while Rooney was unfortunate in his finishing, he was so very active. They’ll blame Hart, because they always do, and they’ll probably blame English Roy, even though I don’t think he should get it. They played well and narrowly lost against superior teams. Only special managers (yes, I said “special” intentionally) can reliably get out of that kind of group.
-Jozy Altidore will, as expected, miss the game against Portugal. The US player is the only one on the team who can really play as a target-forward. Wondo kind-of can, but not really, especially at the international level; Dempsey can as well, but not nearly as good as Altidore, plus he plays much better in a floating role; Jóhannsson is probably the worst of the four strikers at hold-up play, as he proved against Ghana. A lot of people forgot that he was playing, although you can’t pin all that on him. Klinsmann should’ve called up Terrence Boyd or even Eddie Johnson. But instead he didn’t call up a true replacement for Altidore, and he got hurt.
-Bottom line: start Wondo!
-Isn’t it ironic how the guy who gets hurt is the only one that there isn’t a true replacement for? Life’s funny that way…
-If you have nothing else to do, and this is your first visit, I suggest that you read some of my other posts. Not all of them are bad. And yes, that is my tagline. Well, one of my several taglines, actually.
World Cup of CONCACAF
This is a table of how good the confederations have been:
CONCACAF (N. Am.)….4……3…1…1
CONMEBOL (S. Am.)….6……7…1…2
So the Americas are a combined 7-2-3, while UEFA has just as many losses as wins? I’m just the messenger, you draw the conclusions.
Let’s look at CONCACAF’s games:
Mexico 1-0 Cameroon
Calling this win 1-0 is a bit inaccurate, considering that Gio Dos Santos scored two goals that were incorrectly called offside, but still, a win is a win.
Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica
This is the biggest win for CONCACAF, and it was totally unexpected. Even without Luis Suarez, it was a big win for Costa Rica.
France 3-0 Honduras
This was the only loss. The three French goals came after a Honduras red card, so we’re still undefeated 11-on-11. Plus, France have alternated between good World Cups and bad World Cups. Based on that, this is a good World Cup for them.
Ghana 1-2 USA
A win is a win is a win.
Brazil 0-0 Mexico
This was a BIG result. Memo Ochoa stood on his head. The home team and favorites, Brazil, couldn’t break down the team that just barely squeaked into the World Cup.
All in all, CONCACAF has had a great World Cup so far. Wish you were here Panama, although selfishly FC Dallas need Blas Perez, regardless of him being 57. Anyway, 3 of the 4 teams are in position to make the knockout rounds. I’ll say that at least two of them will probably do it.
Today, we have a double-dose of CONCACAF, plus a dose of Pirlo and Balotelli’s Italy. I’ll have a USA-Portugal preview tomorrow, and then I’ll work on the previews for the third games. And I’ll also do something about Spain. At some point.