I hate this bozo.
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2006 at 12:14 pm and is filed under Sports.
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who is it?
You always talk about things you hate. I think you make some entries about things you like. I’ll start you off: I love horticulture.
I love pants. I know for a fact you love pants. I have seen you wear them. You could write for hours about pants. I think you could write a sequel to The Baxter where his pants leave him at the alter. Now *that’s* hilarity and some hi-jinks.
bizarro paul simon
I love kayaking and watching people.
Watching people is awesome, especially from bushes when they can’t see me…huh? What?
Hey what’s going on.
Yea, he doesn’t really show any emotion, and you feel like he’s to blame for blowing the World Cup.
He looks like Tommy Hilfiger with lots of botox on his lips (or is that collagen?) Is he like a World Cup referee or something?
Is he the coach?
‘We wuz robbed,’ all right, just not by the ref
By JIM LITKE, AP Sports Columnist
June 22, 2006
We wuz robbed, all right.
Just not by the ref.
Instead, blame a smart coach who turned timid at the wrong time and a team that never developed a real sense of urgency.
Then throw in the bosses at U.S. Soccer who, despite pockets stuffed with cash from Nike and other top-drawer sponsors, failed to find or forge even one difference-making player from a nation of 299 million people.
Finally, take a turn in front of the mirror.
The reason the United States is officially “Going, Going, Ghana!” from the World Cup, as one headline put it memorably Thursday, is simple. It still hasn’t bothered to learn how to play the world’s game.
Americans don’t like their ballplayers taking dives, let alone embellishing them. But that’s exactly what Ghana’s Razak Pimpong did to buy his team’s second goal — the one that beat the Americans — at the end of the first half. It happens a half-dozen times in every soccer game ever played.
This time, nudged from behind by U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu in the penalty area, Pimpong went down like he’d been shot. And German referee Markus Merk, one of the best in the world, uncharacteristically bought in. Then Ghana’s captain, Stephen Appiah, buried the ensuing penalty kick (for comparison purposes think: free throw) with ruthless glee.
That happens more than it should in soccer, too. But in a game where scoring chances are few, and breaking up a play is much easier than building one, the goal has always been to get them by any means necessary.
Cynical? Certainly. Should it offend our sense of justice? Absolutely. The reward, especially when a player dives, is all out of proportion to the foul.
That’s why FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, won’t touch instant replay. Americans take for granted the idea that a wrong can be redressed at any time. For proof, check out your overburdened local court system. But endless appeals still a luxury in much of the rest of the world.
Over there, the score on the field stands. Calls may be argued about for generations — 20 years ago, it was Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal; 20 years before that, Geoff Hurst’s “Wembley goal” — but they’re never reviewed or overturned.
Besides, the penalty kick that Ghana converted en route to a 2-1 win, no matter how much Coach Bruce Arena and his squad obsess over it, was only one setback in a tournament chockfull with U.S. mistakes.
Like the infamous “Bartman” meltdown by the Cubs, or the way the 1986 Red Sox fell apart after a ground ball squeezed between Bill Buckner’s wickets, it was a symptom of systemwide failure — not the cause. The real problem were all those plays made — or not — on either side of the penalty kick.
The U.S. team managed three shots in its final outing, after just one in two previous games. In hindsight, knowing that four years of work was being shrunk to a final 45 minutes against Ghana, it’s fair to ask Arena, his staff and his players what they were waiting for.
And if he were being candid, the coach would reply that he’s been waiting for at least one striker as lethal as any of the four Argentina brought; a midfielder who could crack the starting lineup for Holland or England; or any player skilled enough to set foot on the field anywhere for Brazil. Ronaldo may look fat compared to the fit players we put on the pitch, but at least he knows how to finish.
Arena took over the U.S. program in the wake of its disastrous 1998 showing — three losses, zero wins; one goal for, five against; last in the 32-nation tournament — and made it respectable. He steered the 2002 edition to the quarterfinals by playing to his only real strength, great goalkeeping, and teaching a corps of fast, young players to be just opportunistic enough to punish teams that attacked them without taking the proper precautions first.
Like every other team game, soccer is about numbers. The more men committed to each attack, the better the scoring chances. The flip side is that more men forward means more open space behind them. Once the rest of the world respected the Americans enough to play them straight up, the jig was up, too. Nothing short of a supreme effort in every game could have papered over the talent gap that still exists, and the only time the U.S. players managed that was against Italy.
Why Arena didn’t coax it from them sooner, or take more risks by adjusting his roster formations and tactics accordingly, are the questions he should have to answer if he wants to stay on.
And to be sure, there will be stories calling for his job, plus the usual smart-aleck commentaries about how the U.S. team being sent home is actually a good thing, because the rest of the world is mad enough at Americans as it is and now we can get back to focusing on sports we really care about.
Which is fine. Just remember it’s no coincidence that the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and even the NHL are filled to overflowing with difference-making athletes carrying valid U.S. passports. And until soccer manages to siphon off a few for the cause, it will always be a lost one.
Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at email@example.com
i think what mechele was trying to say is that the germans should have won. i agree.
Deine mutter hat eine schnurrbarttttttttttttttttttttt!!!!!
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This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title s Blog : Et tu Bruce?. Thanks for informative article
I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding s Blog : Et tu Bruce?, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong :)
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