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Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup 2010

Our hellish nightmare of nearly a month with no football for is almost over (unless you count the endless friendly matches we have seen). The World Cup kicks off today at 16:00 with host South Africa playing Mexico. Uruguay and France play tonight at 20:30, a game that will be televised here in Spain on 4. If you aren’t a football fan you will have to excuse the rest of us who will soon turn into complete morons for the next three weeks until the final game July 11, 2010 at 20:30. Tomorrow evening at 20:30 the USA plays England which I hope will be a terrific match.

Octavos de Final:

1˚ Group A – France vs 2˚ Group B – Greece
1˚ Group C – England vs 2˚ Group D – Australia
1˚ Group E – Holland vs 2˚ Group F – Paraguay
1˚ Group G – Brazil vz 2˚ Group H – Chile
1˚ Group D – Germany vs 2˚ Group C – USA
1˚ Group B – Argentina vs 2˚ Group A – Mexico (Uruguay but I’m rooting for Mexico)
1˚ Group F – Italy vs 2˚ Group E – Japan
1˚ Group H – Spain vs 2˚ Group G – Portugal

Cuartos de Final:

France vs England
Holland vs Brazil
USA vs Argentina
Italy vs Spain


England vs Brazil
Argentina vs Spain


Spain vs Brazil

And there you have it. Nothing too original in my picks although I do have a couple of emotional choices not based on how I think things should really pan out.


  1. My prediction:

    Winner: Spain

    It's their year! They need Torres healthy, but with Xavi, Xabi, Villa, et al., they're the best, deepest, fastest, and most dangerous team. Is Iker up to the task at goal?

    Runner-Up: Argentina

    Messi and Tevez are going to score a shitload. With these two scoring studs up front, the Argentines are nasty. People say they're weak, but with those two world class scorers it's hard to be against them.

    USA: We have Tim Howard, a great goaltender and the hero of last summer's Confederation Cup. Plus Clint Dempsey is a world-class player. Donovan is pretty good too. But our hopes lie on the sore ankle of Jozy Altidore, clearly our best scorer when he's healthy. If Jozy is back 100%, the USA will raise some eyebrows and make at least the final 8 simply because our goalie is awesome. A final four is not as crazy as it seems after last summer's amazing run when they beat Spain.

    England: Definitely a final four team, but they are shaky at goaltender. With Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard, Terry, Cole, et al., they are deep and pretty solid at every position. Losing Ferdinand on defense definitely sucks due to their lack of a truly dominant goalie. Could be their's to win if Rooney is hot.

    Brazil: Another potential final four team. Or winner. But they can fluctuate between amazingly brilliant and maddeningly head-scratching as to why they don't win every Cup with their vast array of talent.

    Netherlands: They have some studs, but Robben is hurt and these guys always choke on the big stage. Still, they have some of the most talented players in the world. Wesley Sneijder was the man in the Champions League this year and is clearly one of the best playmakers in the world who proved he can carry a team on his back when he's hot. And he's one of the hottest players in the world after the Champions League series. Who knows with the Orange? Could win it all, could choke. Probably the only team as talented as Spain.

    Dark Horse 1: Ivory Coast. Drogba has a broken arm, which kills them, but if he can put on his kit and play these guys could be a huge spoiler playing for all Africa. They also have Chelsea's Salomon Kalou, one of the most dynamic counter-attack players in the world, playing alongside his Chelsea mate Drogba, which could be quite exciting to watch. They also have Arsenal's dangerous d-man Emmanuel Eboué. This is a damn fine team if Drogba can play.

    Dark Horse 2: France. No one expects jack shit from les Bleus, which means they could win it all and rub it in the expert's faces. With studs like Ribery, Gallas, Anelka, Evra, Diaby, Govou, et al., they have as much talent as any team; in fact, they are sick with amazing talent, and the fact they've sucked recently is perplexing. Their coach is a joke and the players hate his guts, but sometimes that can work in a team's favor.

    Busts: Germany and Portugal. Germany could have its worst Cup run in ages. They lost their heart and soul with Ballack out, while superstars Klose and Podolski haven't exactly lit up the nets the last year in club play. Portugal has Ronaldo, undeniably one of the top three players in the world, but shoddy defense and shaky discipline make them long shots.

  2. Half time: USA 1 England 1

    As I said above, England's shaky goaltending has already reared its ugly head. Gerrard's goal showed the holes in the USA defense, but after that the American lads calmed down and went on the attack quite well the rest of the half. They played well and were rewarded with a soft goal that Green fumbled like a schoolboy.


  3. I'm thrilled with the result. Now I'd like to see a 0-0 draw between Algeria and Slovenia. I'm pretty happy with the US team. You all should have been watching the game in my pub in Ruzafa. I made everyone sing "This Land Is Your Land."

  4. I love the idea of a bunch of drunk Spaniards (Valencianos) singing a Woody Guthrie song in poor English. I'm sort of hoping we take 2nd in the group and take on Germany (surely first in their group) so we can get some payback from 2002 when we felt the wrath of Kahn (or was is Khan? You know, that awesome keeper who looked like Rutger Hauer).

  5. I made everyone sing the song twice and then I did a solo at the end of the match. The English fans in attendance didn't have a chance with the singing and the Mexican food I brought (bean dip, salsa and chips...although the salsa was too hot for a lot of people). I predict that if America does well in this Cup soccer will usurp basketball as far as popularity with the American public.

  6. If the USA does well in this World Cup soccer will usurp basketball in popularity in America. I realize that for almost a generation people have been saying the football has been on the verge of capturing the hearts and minds of the American public. For one, our demographic has changed considerably with the huge influx of Latinos who are already fans of the game. Now we have quite a few players doing well in the European leagues which has greatly strengthened their abilities. A good showing in this World Cup with dwindling interest in basketball could work to bring soccer up to the big time in American sports.

  7. Holy crap did I underestimate Germany. They looked amazing in every aspect of the game. They are going to be a formidable opponent for anyone.

  8. Either that or Australia really sucks. They were total shit on defense.

  9. Uh-oh, Spain lost to Switzerland and didn't look very good. Brazil didn't look sharp either.

    The Germans are looking like the best team.

  10. Argentina looked great against a good Korean team.

  11. I missed the Argentina game but watched Mexico kick France's ass. Good for them. I thought Spain played a great game but their coach tubed it by not sending his players in to the goal area to either score of draw a foul. He made the same exact mistake when they lost to the US last year.

  12. Well, Germany lost in a weird game and didn't really put out a great effort against Serbia.

    The USA got fucking robbed! They won that game and should have 4 points instead of 2, which of course would have given them the lead in their group. That referee was as stupid as the clod who made that shitty call in Detroit to screw that pitcher out of the perfect game.

    So much for predictions, eh?

    The English looked like zombies, the Germans lost to a fairly shitty team, Spain lost to a vastly inferior team, and what the fuck is wrong with France.

    The sure bet looks like Argentina at this point.


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