Category Archives: World Cup

Big Picture all about World Cup

I’m a former journalist. Some might say recovering journalist. Still, I love news photographs.

If you’re not a regular reader/watcher of the Boston Globe’s Big Picture, you should be. Gorgeous pictures. The latest installment is all from South Africa and the World Cup.

Take a gander. Good stuff, all, but my favorite is #40. I’m a little bit biased as a USMNT supporter, but a good picture. Also, everyone has their hands on their heads in #32 – what a great shot.


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US – Ghana thoughts

Saturday is a big day for the #USMNT, with the knockout stage on tap and a tie for the best finish in US Soccer World Cup history on the line.

Fortunately, this one just happens to be against a very beatable opponent.

Ghana likes to bunker down and their coach tells them to keep their shape. It’s a case of the coach knowing that his players aren’t tactically the best (or even aware), so he keeps the game plan  as simple as he possibly can. It’s worked (kind of) for Ghana so far, and was enough to advance in a group where the other two teams did everything they could to give it away – the Roos giving up 4 goals to Germany and Serbia deciding to stay home.

Jonathan Wilson from SI seems to think that the US only needs one goal – and I’m definitely going to agree. I don’t see how they finish with the mentality they’ve used against lesser teams (not to beat up on the Socceroos further, but Australia, anyone?)

The #USMNT will find the net. Can Ghana find the net? I’m not so sure. But it is another case of a smaller country wanting to take out the superpower. Algeria at times looked like they just wanted to make sure we went out with them. They almost succeeded, but Ghana can’t draw us into a loss – they have to score. And Tim Howard, in a shootout, will make at least one spectacular, holy-crap-I-can’t-believe-it save.

Plus, we have a chip on our shoulder. But you better believe they won’t get away with a phantom goal anymore. Especially against Ghana.

What it comes down to is this: I’m not afraid of a Black Star team without Michael Essien.

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Purposeful passing

I’ve been AWOL, watching the World Cup. And not wanting to ruin the experience of the 2010 jaunt by posting constantly.

Also, the Rapids have been off for the WC and Derby is in the offseason, so yes.

A few thoughts through the group stage, though, if I can, about the #USMNT:

These are the cardiac kids, for sure. We need to get used to that if they’re going to beat Ghana, cause Ghana might not be much better than Algeria, but they are way more dangerous on the defense.

If Charlie Davies had never got in that car accident, we’d be in exactly the same position we are right now. We might have had three against England, but we still would have finished on top of the group. So, it looks like Bob Bradley made the right move keeping him at home to rest up. 2014 is looking to be a breakout year, with him and jozy up top and still young, deuce at his last WC, and a more solid backline.

Speaking of the backline, sheesh. I’m really glad BB replaced Gooch at the back for this Algeria game today. It was a smart move and Bornstein showed up for an international game for the first time in his short career.

I’d like to see DeMarcus Beasley at wingback for a whole game.

Benny Feilhaber has a real chance to be a star for the USMNT in the next cycle. And I’m not just saying that because he used to play for Derby County.

Tim Howard is the one of the three best goalkeepers in the World. How Man U ever let him get away is beyond me.

Anywho, Saturday, 230 EDT, US – Ghana. It’s on.

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Filed under Bob Bradley, Charlie Davies, Derby County, Jozy Altidore, USMNT, World Cup

All World Cup stadiums in 3D

Google Earth has a pretty cool feature where you can fly around and see buildings in 3D.

They just put together a video of all the stadiums in South Africa ahead of the World Cup. (which kicks off in 47 hours. BUT WHO’S COUNTING?)

It’s pretty neat to see these behemoths rise up in such different places, from the middle of cities to slums to desert to savanna. And I thought Colorado had crazy microclimates.

Anyway, check out the video below. (And H/T to Dom Giarratano.)

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Rapids hosting World Cup viewing party

Do you revel in the togetherness of watching soccer with your closest friends? Do you like to chant, sing, and jump up and down? Unlike me, can you keep dirty words out your mouth for longer than 5 minutes when watching a USMNT game?

The Rapids are hosting a “downtown” viewing party for the USMNT first world cup match on Saturday against the Three Lions. Kick off is at 12:30 MDT, but people can come early to see a screening of “The Game of Their Lives”, about the USMNT’s 1950 win over England in the World Cup.

I won’t be there, because I prefer to be stressed out and yell at the TV alone. My girlfriend has no idea what she’s in for. I was yelling at the TV during the Turkey friendly. But you should go, cause it’s probably going to be fun. If they win. Or even if they draw.

Full details here.

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USMNT vs. Turkey lineup prediction

Tomorrow morning, I will force my girlfriend to wake up and watch me yell at the TV for 2 hours. She will cower in fear, and afterward she will undoubtedly remark, “I didn’t know you cared that much.”

No, I’m not trying to intimidate her, and I’m not watching Meet The Press (which I have been known to yell at in the past). Nope, this is the final send-off game for the United States, and I’ve been looking forward to this match for the entire 4 year cycle of World Cup Qualifying. Nearly 50K tickets have been sold to the fixture, and that’s great news for the state of footie in this country.

I won’t do a whole preview of the entire game, because others do it better than I. What I will do, however, is link to Yanks Are Coming, who has a detailed preview.

Here’s who I think will make the starting 11, and who I think should come off the bench (six subs allowed):


This is pretty much our starting 11, with the CM and 2nd striker being up for grabs as far as starters against England. Here, I give Clark the nod as the second holding mid, put Dempsey on the wing instead of up top, and put Herculez up top instead of bringing him off the bench.

1st sub will be Edu for Clark. Look for Beas to come in at LB for Bocanegra, who’s still recovering. Dolo for Spector. Buddle will be in for Altidore. Maybe Findley and maybe Holden late in the 2nd half.

This is a chemistry match. Bob Bradley will do everything he can to mix it up and find the best combination.

US – England, two weeks from tomorrow.

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USMNT 23-man roster announced

GK: Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann

Def: Onweyu, DeMerit, Bornstein, Goodson, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Spector

Mid: Donovan, Dempsey, Torres, Bradley, Edu, Holden, Feilhaber, Beasley, Clark

Att: Altidore, Findley, Buddle, Gomez

For those of you keeping track at home, I got 21/23 correct. Buddle and Findley weren’t on my list (nor the list of anybody who follows football in this country) and I had Ching and Pearce.

Ching can’t be happy, and I guess everyone who saw him at the airport earlier was right – he wasn’t there looking for his family. He was going home.

So what does Findley bring? Speed. He probably won’t see the field unless disaster strikes. But I can see how Buddle might get some playing time. Which, let’s be frank, is scary. He’s been in good form, but wow.

Some Rapids thoughts: Conor Casey has to be thinking he’s at least as good as Buddle (even though he’s not). As for Marvell Wynne? I would have loved to see him have an opportunity to outcompete Bornstein in this camp. Bornstein looked about as happy as a used-car salesman who just sold a $500 car for $10,000 when he grinned at the camera on the announcement.

Let’s hope Bradley knows what he’s doing.

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Filed under Bob Bradley, USMNT, World Cup