The World Cup Has Been Pretty Good So Far

I was happy with the result the U.S. got against Ghana but I was not happy with the performance. That said, I don’t want to jinx the team, so I’m going to hold off on providing my expert analysis until next week, after we play Portugal.

I will say three things:

1. Even though he didn’t score a goal, Jermaine Jones was easily man of the match for the USA.

2. For a change, the U.S. started strong. They’re usually the team that gets scored on early.

3. The team deserves credit for scoring the winning goal on a set play.

This win reminded me of when Germany wins ugly. Sometimes Germany wins strong. But sometimes they get outplayed and still sneak a win on a scrappy garbage goal or a nice goal off of a set play. My guess is that Klinsmann did a good job preparing his team mentally for this game and that’s why they started strong. He probably also had them practice set pieces a lot, and that led to Brooks’s goal off the corner kick.

Other thoughts:

I’m glad to see that offensive, attacking soccer is what is winning games at the World Cup. Italy, even with their great skill, always seems to be playing for a 0–0 tie or a 1–0 win, and this strategy not did work against costa rica.

I knew Spain would not win this World Cup. I thought they would likely get to the quarterfinals. But I did not think they would be this bad. I don’t think it’s an end of an era for their type of style. I still think they have great players. A lot of them just weren’t selected for this World Cup squad or were left sitting on the bench. Fabregas and Villa on the bench—that’s a huge mistake. I can’t imagine the frustrating politics of being on that team. Any coach that lets Torres play should be fired. Torres has been bad for Spain for about seven years now. And Casillas—how bad of a game does he have to play to get benched?

On the other hand, Memo Ochoa of Mexico is my new favorite goalkeeper. Wow, what a game against Brazil. I hope he and Campos do a commercial after the World Cup. Mexico’s game against Brazil was one of the most exciting 0–0 games I’ve ever seen. OK, I’ll write more soon. Gotta get back to watching games!

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