Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend notes

By now you've seen at least 27 replays of Clint Dempsey's goal that tied America's match with England; so,I'm going to skip a recap of the US-England match because it has been analyzed to death by ESPN and all of their hired-gun European analysts.

Have you noticed that with the exception of the moderators and Alexi Lalas all of ESPN's analysts and game announcers were plucked away from European networks only for the tournament. While I love the insight and the analysis that they provide I sometimes finding myself wishing that a match would get called by Chris Berman and Joe Morgan for the hilarity of it. I can see it now:

Berman: Dempsey goes FLYING down the left side and..WHOOP! He squeaks past Steven Gerrard and into the attacking third.
Morgan: See there Chris, that pass was like a cutter. You could tell because it cut across the field.
Berman: Dempsey crosses it into the box to Jozy "and the Pussycats" Altidore who rumbles and bumbles his way into the box.
Morgan: See there Chris, that pass was like a cutter. You could tell because it cut across the field.

So far the best matches of the tournament have all included African teams. South Africa's emotional draw with Mexico to start the tournament, Nigeria's entertaining battle with Argentina, and Ghana's 1-0 win over Serbia on Sunday morning. The African nations play an exciting brand of football and everyone should stop to see at least one match involving an African team.

Question: Why can't anyone score? Germany pummeled Australia 4-0 on Sunday night and their scoring outburst equaled the amount of goals on Friday and the other two games on Sunday combined. I know that there were questions about the ball coming into the tournament, but the teams need to find a way to put the ball in the net or risk having the tournament becoming a slog of 1-0 and 1-1 games.

Best game from the opening weekend: Argentina 1, Nigeria 0. I know that it is ironic that I'm awarding a 1-0 game right after I railed against the low scoring of the tournament, but this match had it all. After Argentina scored in the 7th minute both teams ran up and down the pitch trading scoring chances. It was the beautiful game at its finest.

Monday Preview: We got the Dutch taking on the Danes right after sunrise, but the game I am most interested in is Japan v. Cameroon at ten because I want to see Samuel Eto'o play. He is one of the best strikers on the planet today. The final match of the day features the reigning champions Italy taking on Paraguay.

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