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The 2006 World Cup Logo6/12/06 2:30PM Update: Well THAT was ugly. Oy. Sluggish, sloppy, and generally uninspired play by the Americans. Hopefully they’ll step it up next Saturday against the Italians. The Czech Republic had some beautiful finishes on plays that were set up by American lapses. They’re not out of it yet, though. Bring on Italy!

They say that the national pastime in the United States is baseball. Everywhere else in the world, it’s football. The original football is not the Americanized gladitorial combat that passes for football in the USA (which is admittedly really fun in a totally different way). No, what we’re talking about here is a game of finesse, strategy, speed, and power. We call it soccer.

And the rest of the world is absolutely bonkers over it. Let’s use a dubious (and completely unscientific) measuring stick. Crazy fans. Soccer’s psychotic fans far outstrip anything American sports fans can offer. Observe:

Okay, that took a somewhat more grotesque turn than I had intended. The point I’m trying to make is this: international soccer fans really, REALLY love their sport. And, for the most part, Americans don’t. We’re just not big soccer fans. Yet. Which makes it all the more galling to the rest of the world that the USA is closing the gap.

The United States squad is talented, deep, and well-coached. Wow, listen to me spout off as if I know something. As a casual soccer fan, here’s what I know. The talking heads are all saying that this is the best USA soccer team in a long time. They say that the USA is SLOWLY gaining ground on the rest of the world and could POSSIBLY put together a decent run in this World Cup. As somebody who wants to be excited about the World Cup and the USA’s chances, I translate that to “deep, talented, and well coached”. So sue me.

The USA is in the “Group of Death” with the Czech Republic, Italy, and Ghana. So getting past the first round won’t be easy. But the more I read about it, the more I get excited and hope that they put together a decent run. Regardless, the next few weeks should be fun for soccer fans worldwide, both hardcore and casual. Tune in and watch a game or two!

13 Responses to “Baseball Here, Everywhere Else – Futbol”

  • Librarianna
    06/10/2006
    9:02 AM
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    And, if you want another way to constantly and obsessively check the standings, this page at Ask.com (fave search engine of librarians worldwide!) has you covered. GOOOOOAAAAAL!

  • Kevin
    06/11/2006
    11:43 PM
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    I think the US is ranked 5th internationally… which is pretty good. They say that a tough group and a hostile environment may not bode well for a deep run this year.

    http://www.fifa.com/en/mens/statistics/index.html?static=1

    We play tomorrow at noon… lunch will be at a restaurant with TV’s, no doubt!

  • Patrick
    06/12/2006
    7:52 AM
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    Kev is right, though. The US will have to play really well just to make it out of group-play. So raise your hand if you’re taking a long lunch today.

    *raises hand*

  • Eric
    06/12/2006
    7:29 AM
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    pretty funny how the US got ranked 5th by FIFA. I wouldn’t exactly call them great. it should be an interesting few games though – very tough group. At least there seems to be more interest in the sport now than 4 years ago.

    Either way there is nothing else that is permitted on our TV for the next month. Our house was definitely in the World Cup spirit! We decorated the house with England flags, scarfs, etc. for the match this weekend. And Jon and Jackie have been nice enough help me indoctrinate my son into football! I’ll send out a photo soon – even though Erinn wouldn’t let me paint his face with a St. George’s cross!

    GO THREE LIONS!!!

  • Patrick
    06/12/2006
    7:33 AM
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    I’ve also heard that the FIFA rankings are pretty much a load of hooey.

    And Eric, England? Tell me they’re your second choice to the good ‘ol US-of-A. 🙂

  • Eric
    06/12/2006
    7:50 AM
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    ummmm…yeah, sure, why not! go USA? is that convincing?

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing the USA do well – at least to get better recongition in this country for the sport. I mean, it is the BEST SPORT EVER!!!! 😉

  • Eric
    06/12/2006
    8:02 AM
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    I have stupid CAD training. ERG!! That just shows total inconsideration for the sport! But I may have to sneak out for, oh, and hour or two. they won’t miss me! At least they replay it at 5pm on ESPN classic.

  • Patrick
    06/12/2006
    1:45 PM
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    Yeah, that was pathetic. Here’s hoping that the Czech Republic is JUST THAT GOOD, and we can beat Italy and Ghana.

    The Americans really didn’t look good though. Not a good way to kick off the 2006 World Cup. 🙁

  • jax
    06/12/2006
    1:42 PM
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    wow, the US is awful! and there was NOBODY watching the game at the bar we were at…i mean, sure, it’s monday at 5pm, but apparently the place was packed at 2 for australia vs japan…well, at least no one missed anything!

  • Eric
    06/12/2006
    2:38 PM
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    So how on earth did they get a 5th place ranking by FIFA????? ugh!

  • Kevin
    06/12/2006
    7:49 PM
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    Ugh.

  • Matt Beeken
    06/14/2006
    9:55 PM
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    To be fair… Czech Republic is ranked 2nd in the FIFA Rankings, but OUCH!!

  • carrie
    06/17/2006
    2:35 PM
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    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

    I’ve got the Italy vs USA game on now. I didn’t know they were playing in Kaiserslauthern. That’s where I went to high school my freshman year.

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