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World Cup 2010

World Cup 2010

Another four years have passed and the World Cup has returned. From my previous post, you can tell that I was/am pumped about this quatro (?) annual event. Now that we have a few games under wraps and nearing the end of group play, I’d like to provide my initial thoughts overall.

Well the best place to start will be my bracket (sorry for the pdf format). I suck at putting any type of bracket together so this one should be no different. However, so far my final pick isn’t looking so bad. Argentina has looked the strongest of the teams that I have been able to see (work gets in the way). Here’s hoping most, if not all, of my predictions come through (mainly the US).

Otherwise, here are the quick thoughts:

  • The main talking point of the tournament has been the vuvuzelas. It is the sound of the South African people and the buzz that you hear during every broadcast. When I attended an international friendly last year in Atlanta, I learned what they were like first hand. If I was in attendance, I would absolutely hate them. However, watching in the comfort of my living room at home, they don’t bother me. After about 3 games, their sounds start to fade for me and I don’t focus on them as much. Of course, that’s not the same for everyone else. I did find an article that helps you remove the buzz but for me, I’m just content at watching great competition on the field.
  • After watching Greece’s first game against South Korea, I thought I had watched the worst team that qualified for the tournament. Of course, I didn’t realize that France would be playing only days later. I firmly believe that the team of Ireland should be waiting at the airport for France to return so that they are allowed to punch each and every player in the face. It’s one thing to steal a team’s spot. It’s another to just not even show up for play.
  • After enjoying the Socceroos in the last world cup, I was pumped to cheer them on and expecting good things. However, it seems they have taken a US turn for the worse. The red cards don’t help but this team has looked at times to take way too many steps backwards as opposed to the needed direction. Granted, still helps they have one of the best kits of the tournament. To me it looks like if you crossed a soccer and rugby jersey.
  • Speaking of kits, uniwatchblog had a great article where a designer provided their perspective redesign of all competitors’ kits. Many look amazing and the inspiration is interesting. For the US one, I can’t decide if I hate its bold nature or love it. And it kills me to say that the US’s current blue kit is really growing on me. Hall Monitors of the World, Assemble!
  • So England, eh? This team seems to fall from all expectations about as bad as the Flying Dutchmen do. If they fail to make it out of group play, I’d hate to be the coach or many other positions on that team.
  • Goals are down this year. Does that mean bad play or does it mean that the even nature of the tournament is growing? I’m going to split my decision 25-75, respectively. The 25 is because top scorers such as Messi can’t find the back of the next while other “small” teams are holding their own overall.

I can’t go this far without talking about the US, especially as a separate piece. On the short description, they have been dreadful in the first half of their games thus far. The defense, which I have always been very critical in my comments, has played exactly as I expected, except that the worst player has been the captain, Carlos Bocanegra. Without Timmy, we would been in much worse situations than we have already placed ourselves. If the US could just convince FIFA to only play the second half of games then we could be a favorite in the tournament, but alas that is not the case.

The most recent game vs the Slovenians still leaves a bad taste in my mouth for the goal that was waved off, but I must applaud the US for showing so much determination. They battled back from a 2-0 start where most previous teams might have given up. However, we powered forward in an effort that I will remember for quite sometime. Here’s hoping that Wednesday’s game provides another flash of top play but this time from start to finish. I predict goals by Dempsey and Donovan will spark the team on to the next round. They are 2/3 of the passion of our team (Howard is the remaining 1/3) and that’s what the team needs to rally behind.

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Every time I see the following commercial/promo/trailer, I am just pumped up beyond belief.

That’s right people! World Cup time is almost upon us. A time where everything the Olympics promises actually comes true. Here’s hoping the Hall Monitors of the World provide some excellent drama and even more pride. Let’s just say I plan to arrive late for work on certain days where USA will be playing live.

And if you need more pumping up, here we go. Time to RISE UP!

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