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Your Bloguero is one of the billion (yes, really, that many) people in the World who are utterly transfixed by the World Cup.  It doesn’t matter to him what you call it: football, soccer, calico, futbol, etc. The semantics don't matter. In fact, nothing else really matters. Everything is now on hold in most of the world. And now that the Group Play has progressed almost halfway, it’s time to pick up where your Bloguero left off last time, with a quick update on what he’s seen so far.

Your Bloguero isn’t organized, so the following items are not necessarily in order of importance.  He may have left some important ones out.  No problem.  In futbol, everybody has a firm opinion about everything.  So he relies on you, dear readers, to correct/edit/update/comment on his very opinionated, extremely strong (and sometimes baseless) opinions.

Jump the sweeper!

1.    The US team showed some grit in its infantry battle with Ghana. It withstood a huge assault. Ghana missed out on dozens of opportunities to score; the US kept serving up the ball to the Black Stars because, your Bloguero notes, the US cannot pass to save its own life. Passing, your Bloguero scolds,does not mean turning the ball over, serving it up for the defense, it means control of possession. You know, tiki taka and all of that. Maybe the US will make it to the next round (your Bloguero realizes he’s revised his opinion on the complete improbability of this event) if it can tie Portugal, which has CR7, and was also totally hapless in it’s thrashing by Germany. May CR7 continue to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune.

2.    Germany, Netherlands, Brazil and Argentina are all gigantic powerhouses. Your Bloguero doesn’t give a hoot whether Leo Messi did or did not say, “Hi ya kid” to that mascota. He’s seen enough from these four teams to think they might be the final four. Others may disagree. Time will tell. If you disagree, which other team do you think will survive the eliminations?  More important, just whom do you think is going to beat this power four?

3.    Mexico was incredibly strong in today’s 0-0 draw with Brazil. What an exciting game.  Note to self: excitement in this sport does NOT depend on high scores.  This was a nail biter.  Portero Ochoa was man of the match and was simply, utterly fantastic. The rest of Mexico played very, very well. Whatever anybody thought about how they were disorganized, weak, selfish, stupid, out of shape, etc. was obviously incorrect. Rafa Marquez deserves a tip of your Bloguero's sombrero. Expect them to advance. Expect also for them to beat or tie Croatia a/k/a Croacia.

4.      There have been disappointments for your Bloguero. He thought Spain and Uruguay would be extremely strong. Maybe they will advance, but their first outings made them look feckless. Pathetic.  Especially Spain. Spain’s drubbing by Holland stands out as a world class world cup disappointment. Uruguay’s loss showed that one cannot mug one’s way to victory. A team with Cavani and Forlan and Suarez should be much much better.

5.    Costa Rica played an incredible game in beating Uruguay. They should advance if they can hold it together. That will be wonderful. It’s great when a Central American team from a small country (with no army) can beat up on the big guys. This team has a lot going for it, and your Bloguero hopes they go far. May Pura Vida beat England and tie Italy both.  This is your Bloguero's World Cup Cinderella.

6.    France won, but your Bloguero was offended by the way they played against weaker Honduras. May they be beaten to a pulp in upcoming matches.  Yes, your Bloguero knows that they have stars, big stars like Benzema, but your Bloguero does not like how they manhandled Honduras. May they suffer from their karma. May Switzerland and Ecuador send them home.

Poll

Which team will win the World Cup?

6%3 votes
31%15 votes
19%9 votes
4%2 votes
6%3 votes
2%1 votes
10%5 votes
10%5 votes
2%1 votes
2%1 votes
4%2 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Get the ball in the net, (23+ / 0-)

    never you mind anything else. Call in sick. Make excuses. Take vacation days. You know the drill.

    Thanks for reading.

    •  My pleasure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nookular, El Bloguero

      You want to make this a daily occurrence, I certainly won't object!

      At the time this message was posted, nobody had voted for the U.S. to win it all! What's the MATTER with you people? Don't you believe in AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM? :)

      "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

      by Oliver Tiger on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 07:31:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anyone who has not taught their personal retired (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tubacat, El Bloguero, mint julep

        relative to make dvds of all of the games deserves to miss a lot of really good stuff.

         This is NOT a sport where exceptionalism would help anyway. Look what happend to Brazil with all the gazillionaire players, a dead tie with a team whose playters only those with Spanish TV can identify other than Chicharito. I am thrilled if the US wins one, and really love it when some teeny tiny place not sending folks to the pros anywhere wins one. I know I'm nuts on this when I eliminate Croatia from the list because of the good players they've sent to the pros already.

        I don't know why I can 'see' futbol when I can't somehow see all the same elements in football, but it is so. And I sit there and watch and smile and watch some more. It's catching in the most wonderful places.  I wonder what the nuns in the school my kids went to are doing, as they are the ones who raised all their little guys who had to have PE credit to play futbol, and showed up on the sidelines in full habit and cleated shoes.

  •  Bradley can't pass... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero, Shockwave, PatriciaVa

    ...occasionally others on the US side could. Bradley seemed, occasionally to turn to stone. When he wasn't a stone statue he reverted to his more fluid molasses state. I've seen him play very well, but Klinsmann has to at least consider benching him for the Portugal match until he releases his bank account statements to prove he's not being paid to suck.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:17:52 PM PDT

    •  I've never seen him play well enough (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      to be paid to suck, but that's just my view.

      •  During the most recent Gold Cup... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        El Bloguero

        ...I was prepared to hate him as a holdover from his father's team. And then he did pretty well. And so then I was a defender. But THEN I saw the Ghana match. And I wondered how much he'd be paid to kick balls too far and stand around on corner kicks.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:24:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Be good if he'd had someone to pass to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          El Bloguero, NXNW, Odysseus

          Altidore: Gone (possibly for the tourney) with a strained hamstring. Had some good runs and might have scored if he'd stayed healthy.
          Dempsey: Kicking ass until Mensah's Rockettes routine broke his nose. (Kinda hard to run when you can't breathe...)
          Aronsson (or however it's spelled): Not nearly enough experience in major matches like this.Won't be a factor until 2018
          Wondolowski: On the bench -- should have been the sub for Altidore IMHO
          Donovan: Looking like he wanted to be anywhere but the LA TV studio he was in. (PS I agree with Klinsmann not selecting him. Donovan may be the best the MLS has to offer, but he's been on the down from his peak for a while. Also, he's not a physical player, which is obviously what Klinsmann wants in a striker.)

          Bradley was able to help Beckerman clog the middle and force Ghana outside. He also was our strongest player at the end while almost everyone else was limping. He's my man, period.

          "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

          by Oliver Tiger on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:44:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Muntari had something to do with that (0+ / 0-)

      OTOH, Jermaine Jones, who usually plays like shit, was my MotM against Ghana. Beckerman, who I used to think sucked also was a beast.

      Losing Jozy in the 20th minute changed the game.

  •  So far Germany, Holland and Italy look the best (9+ / 0-)

    But it is just the beginning.  Teams evolve during the cup.

    The US win over Ghana was a cliffhanger.

    Ochoa,  Mexico goalkeeper made, all the difference in the 0-0 tie with Brazil.

    Russia vs. Korea was intense.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:29:10 PM PDT

  •  Loving it so far (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero, BMScott, certainot

    The US has a much brighter, more physical look than it's ever had. If we can minimize the muscle pulls and get Altidore back for Germany, that'd be goo.

    England is 180 degrees from 2010. They played slow and scared last time; they're doing some really good runs and making some really good passes. They just need to make surer Wayne "Shrek" Rooney isn't the guy with the ball at crunch time.

    Ochoa was a monster in goal for Mexico, but he wasn't the only reason Brazil didn't win. El Tri's got serious game, and underestimating that club is a major mistake. Any team that lets Javier "Chicharito" Hernadez sit on the bendh has got some serious juice -- or the namer's a looney, whichever...

    Germany, Holland and Argentina look like the class of the tournament so far, but there's a lonnnnnng way to go, and I'll be watching every minute I can -- and when I can't, i'll have the ESPN gamecast, which is an excellent tool for those of us who can't turn up the volume at work.

    "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

    by Oliver Tiger on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:50:51 PM PDT

  •  I think the elimination rounds should be (0+ / 0-)

    Eliminated.

    A 0-0 tie ending in penalty kicks is not exciting.

    The old way was best, a round robin format to determine the winner.

  •  Suarez (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero

    Was still recovering from minor knee surgery and wasn't available, but should play in the next two games.

  •  Argentina didn't look good (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero, mint julep, Joffan

    They were lucky to get past Bosnia, who played really well against them. Germany and Netherlands looked really good.

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:39:01 PM PDT

  •  Great diary - keep them coming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero

    if you can!

    I was really disappointed with my colleagues (and the overpriced exurb where I work) when I saw them sitting outside eating lunch instead of heading inside the local Round Table to watch Brazil vs Mexico today.  Even sadder when the only other people watching the match (or in the place) were the managers and a cook. I started out rooting for Brazil, but was won over by Mexico's incredible game...

    "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

    by tubacat on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 12:19:47 AM PDT

  •  Goals and gols (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Bloguero, Joffan

    Just two scoreless draws in the first 17 matches and only three ties overall, to boot (pun definitely intended). Most of the matches have been of the 2-1 variety although we did have the Germany blowout of Portugal and the Dutch treat of 5-1 against Spain.

    In other news, I wish they used the goal line technology to review offsides calls too.

    •  Video review for penalties & red cards (0+ / 0-)

      ... since the game is stopped anyway, and there are more cameras on the action than Oscar night, why not check that these critical decisions are well-founded?

      Referee to make the call initially and then video-referee to overturn if replays show different.

      For offside, the problem is that you need to know where all the players are... and if they're interfering with play... it's complicated. The goal line doesn't move around.

      This is not a sig-line.

      by Joffan on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:44:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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