Monday, June 05, 2006


World Cup Review Day -4

US Related News:

Beasley is upset about Arena not naming the lineup. There seems to be a either a lot more coverage of the U.S. team or more dissension, not sure which. Hopefully that is a good thing.
'It's irritating not to know,' Beasley told a group of journalists at the U.S. base in the northern port city of Hamburg before a closed-door runout against Angola later on Monday.

John Barnes has been awesome on Fighting Talk, now he has become an even more my personal hero by thinking the U.S. has a chance. Not that I agree with him mind you. The U.S. has to face Italy and the Czech Republic and then when they don’t win the group they will most likely be facing Brazil.
Who do you think will be the tournament's dark horses? Ivory Coast and the US, in the sense that I think they could perform above expectation in difficult groups. They both have players with top European teams and high-level European experience, which is so important.

Pope wants to go out on a high note. That’s all fine and good, but his high note was probably 4 years ago. Since then he just hasn’t been that good. The other problem is the U.S. doesn’t have any future replacements. Berhalter is 33, Gooche is already starting, Conrad isn’t as good as Arena seems to think, and Carlos would have to play in the center for his club side before I consider him the future. Sure Spector might be ready, but I’ll wait for him to sign with West Ham (the most recent rumor) before I root for that.
"This is probably the end of my national-team career, but that's OK. We don't need field players playing in five World Cups," he says. "My desire is to go out on a good note. I want to be on this team that surpassed everyone's expectations. I want to have that as my last World Cup memory."

Rest of the Group:

Ghana’s coach has started the mind games already. Not sure if that is the smartest thing in the world, taunting the Italians just seems stupid to me.
"Italy are the favourites. They are tough, but they (will) have to suffer to beat us," Dujkovic said.

Italy’s growing scandal is hilarious. The people in charge act like they had no idea this could be going on. All one has to do is read The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, to know this is going on and is clearly ingrained into the society. Jurgen, the German coach, who probably should be the next U.S. coach (I mean he lives in L.A., he has trained with the U.S. team, and what other options do we really have?), hopes they have a good cup despite these problems. Well Jurgen here’s hoping that this does effect the Italian team, thus giving the U.S. the upperhand in winning the group.
"It won't be simple for Italy, but I wish them a good tournament. I hope they don't get distracted," said Klinsmann, who played at Inter Milan.

Over the weekend, the Czech Republic went out and spanked Trinidad 3-0. Now maybe its because the U.S. play T&T so often, but we couldn’t beat that team by more than 1 goal throughout qualifying, and even then they were pretty even matches. This is the reason that this World Cup scares me. Italy is good. The Czech team is good and Ghana is an African team that isn’t well scouted. The U.S. has to win their first game against the Czechs if they want to qualify.

Rest of the World:

Crouch scored 3, but it should have been 4, against Jamaica. A good warm up game for England as they won 6-0. With that performance Sven has penciled him in as a starter. Oh and he restarted a new dance craze, “the Crouch” or as the street performers in San Francisco call it, “the Robot.”


FIFA plans on sending the referees home after a bad game. This wouldn’t be a problem if they entered the 21st century, add two more linemen or technology. Technology should easily make clearing up goals or out-of-play much easier. Adding a couple of more linesmen would certainly simplify things. Better positions, another pair of eyes trying to determine offside, with the referees making the final decision. That extra pair of eyes should also catch more dives, if FIFA really thinks that it is a problem. I personally don’t see it as widespread of problem and see of it more as a cultural thing. Notice how many foreigners get called divers and how rare it is for a local kid to be called that. (Lately there seems to be some comment that Crouch is a diver, I’m not so sure he is a diver as much as a uncoordinated giraffe.)

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