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Reaction in England as World Cup nears

Fortunately for many World Cup-bound teams, the results of these tuneups are nonbinding. Portugal draws with the Cape Verde Islands? The Americans thumped at home by the Czech Republic? Serbia falls to New Zealand? Spain struggles against the Saudis? South Korea loses to Belarus?

They do, however, provide glimpses into preparedness, tactics and form. Take, for example, England, which in the past week, was outplayed by Mexico for extended periods in a 3-1 victory and accepted a pair of own goals to claim a 2-1 decision over Japan. The rhythm and urgency are sure to improve for the Group C opener against the United States on June 12, but following the anxious victory Sunday, the reviews were not particularly kind as Fabio Capello narrows his roster.

Daily Telegraph: "Tom Huddlestone exuded the mobility of Fred Flintstone."

The Sun: "It was poor stuff. England looked wobbly in defence and uncertain in midfield, while Wayne Rooney's frustrations threatened to boil over."

Guardian: "Anyone in the habit of agonising over England would have writhed anew at the first-half spectacle."

Daily Mail: "The side Capello has moulded so carefully for so long now seems riddled with anxiety and imperfections."

Independent: "England had squeaked past the team ranked 46th in the world."

Meantime, Turkish Coach Guus Hiddink shared his thoughts on the U.S. team in a story that also offered an English perspective on the Americans. The reporter writes:

Donovan and Dempsey can be a handful up front if given encouragement. Behind them, America is a land of opportunity for England.

By Steve Goff  |  May 31, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , England , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Capello, England, World Cup  
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Next: Walcott left out of England team

Comments

Yeah, I got your hiddink right here....

Posted by: silverrey | May 31, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that Capello will include some of the Japanese players in his final 23.

I'm not sure that the Times reporter watched the match carefully. He states "Colin Kazim-Richards split the United States defence to release Arda Turan behind Jonathan Spector." Of course he was behind Spector, Spector was in the Turkish box.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 31, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

No surprise really when you are playing two holding midfielders, i.e. ball winners. This already implies that we will be chasing the game. Part of BB's master plan no doubt.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | May 31, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I guess we know why Hiddink didn't really consider coaching us. He has no natural respect for what we can do.

This, however, is the most interesting part.

Dempsey: "The most important thing is possession. If you have not got it you are running yourself ragged and then, in those circumstances, when you do get it you are not able to do much with it. We have to be brave enough to get on the ball. That is the lesson from this match,"
We showed character to turn it around but hopefully we won't have a slow start in the World Cup."

Tell him, Clint.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 31, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Remember this is the English press. The truth is fleeting and making up things is the norm. Remember that win over Spain didn't count. I understand only too well, with an English mom, and having lived their for eight years. I find it hard to believe that Hiddink said what he did (not his style at all) and this writer made a full article ensuring England they could put the snooze button on. He really needs to worry about the England team after the past two games they played. It looks like the pressure, an a grueling BPL season, have left this team knackered and lacking in confidence.

The game is played on the field which gives us a chance to prove this writer and most of the English media wrong.

Posted by: Shark21 | May 31, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It's possible that Guus was cited out of context as he ran for the bus. But should he really mean that England is the far superior side, he can only be basing that on England's long string of semifinal and final appearances in the World Cup, its fine showing in the Confederations Cup last year, Frank Lampard's prowess with PKs, and the manner in which the Three Lions decisively dealt with Japan the other day. Yeah, England should definitely be laid back on the 12th. Rooney et. al. can surely expect a walk in the park.

Posted by: bartapest1 | May 31, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Um -- Hiddink didn't make the "land of opportunity" comment, that was the author's observation. Indeed, if you actually read the article and not quote out of context -- Steve? -- you will see the author identified Dempsey, Donovan, Torres and Findley as capable of unsettling any side. He also noted what everyone else has noted -- the introductiosn of Torres and Findley made the US much more dangerous and the US can be very good if they trust to play a possession game. Not a rah-rah the US are a bunch of provincial chumps piece at all.

Posted by: griffin1108 | May 31, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm not exactly confident we'll beat them, but I don't think the English should sound as confident as it seems they do.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 31, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why we are all so angry about Guus Hiddinks comments. There kind of spot on. Do we really have a dominating defense? What would you expect someone to say after watching Spector's first 45 minutes? Should Aronn Lennon be scared of Carlos Bocanegra? Is Wayne Rooney not better than Gooch? Does this matter because we still have to play the game and anything can happen?

For whoever posted Dempsey's comments, thanks. I am starting to think that Torres should start over Edu next to Bradley. If Torres can defend the way he did against Turkey he can bring a calmness to our midfield and Bradley has the pace to run around whoever England plays in the holding role (both Carrick and Huddlestone are icebergs). Lets use Edu as a sub -keep Clark next to Bornstein on the bench.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 31, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Donovan and Dempsey can be a handful up front if given encouragement. Behind them, America is a land of opportunity for England."

I agree with this assessment. If space opens up for Rooney like it has for our recent opponents opportunities will be abundant.

Posted by: csd1 | May 31, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

ESPN's ads have been solid, now they've gone and done one just for this one game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yc8LIjoGDQ

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 31, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Donovan and Dempsey can be a handful up front if given encouragement. Behind them, America is a land of opportunity for England."

I agree with this assessment. If space opens up for Rooney like it has for our recent opponents opportunities will be abundant.

---The same could be said about the England defense too. Other than Ashley Cole hardly anything to be in fear of (Terry and Ferdinand are shadows of their prime and neither were fleet fo foot to begin with) and Donavan dominated him when Chelsea played Everton. Look at how both Mexico and Japan shredded them and were unlucky in both cases to not get a result.

Posted by: Shark21 | May 31, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why we are all so angry about Guus Hiddinks comments. There kind of spot on. Do we really have a dominating defense? What would you expect someone to say after watching Spector's first 45 minutes? Should Aronn Lennon be scared of Carlos Bocanegra? Is Wayne Rooney not better than Gooch? Does this matter because we still have to play the game and anything can happen?

---Same could be said about England's defense. Glenn Johnson is a defensive nightmare and Terry and Ferdinand hardly scare anyone these days. Both are slow (Ferdinand is injury prone)and the Japanese had their way with them. Altidore, Findley, Dempsey etc. won't fear them and Donovan dominated Ashley Cole when Everton played Chelsea. As for Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott....lots of speed, but the rest of their games leaves lot to be desired....just look at Walcott...he can't pass, shoot or do much except run fast...

Yup all the talk in the world is chaep...its what happens on the field and I like our chances....

Posted by: Shark21 | May 31, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

What Goose said is irrelevant.

What Clint said is spot on and should be heeded.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 31, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

All I have to say is that I'm not in favor reading too much into friendlies, and the Telegraph article is definitely guilty of just that.

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 31, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The good news for us is that the pressure on England to win will be almost debilitating. We've seen them struggle but win in their lead up games. Everyone over there is freaking out about it. It's their national character to worry about EVERYTHING and look for any negative to harp on. I think everyone here (except perhaps BB) realizes that Clint is right. We need to play to our strengths. We can go down playing scared or we can go out and play our game. We go up with an early goal and England may fall apart altogether. We should model things after 2002.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 31, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Donovan and Dempsey can be a handful up front if given encouragement. Behind them, America is a land of opportunity for England."
===============

United States 2, Spain 0

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 31, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I think Guus is doing us a huge favor by fueling the British press into beliving that the USA game will be a walkover. Lets be honest, if England plays like they are capable of then they will beat us, plain and simple. It will take an off day by England for us to have a chance, and Guus is helping to set up that possiblility for us very nicely. Thank you, Guus.

Posted by: rademaar | May 31, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I may be in the minority, but I think we match up well with England.

Our starting 11 brings a combiniation of experience and young talent. Don't be surprised if we come out and get a quick lead and hold on.

Posted by: SoccerVA | May 31, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The last article would be more beliveable if they had quoted Dempsey using his normal grammar. I can't imagine him saying, "...If you have not got it..." Dempsey hasn't adopted English grammar the way Friedel has.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | May 31, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Who's up for an Insider World Cup Bracket Challenge?

I've seen that Yahoo and ESPN have them . . . anyone?

Posted by: delantero | May 31, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Just as I suspected, and said so in first post above, from Steve's Twitter:

"Hiddink didn't say it; the reporter wrote it"

http://twitter.com/soccerinsider


Not Hiddink's style and typical of the English press to make up things and out 'n' out lie. Take anything they write with a grain of salt....

Posted by: Shark21 | May 31, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

""Turkey showed England the way with a rapier thrust down America's right flank""

Goff, you just need to spice up your game reports with this type of prose! Not really.

Posted by: delantero | May 31, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

delantero - I'm in.

Posted by: nairbsod | May 31, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Delantro - I would def be in. Just let us know.

I agree with everyone's assessments: England is beatable. Our defense is going to have to play better than the last two friendlies. What scares me the most is when Rooney drops into the "hole" (in front of the CB and just behind the central mids). If Rooney gets that kind of space he is going to kill our CB -none of our CBS are very mobile. If we can play smart and take that space away then England's attack is relatively normal and both Gooch and DeMerit have the strength and heart to dominate the box.

The real question is does Bradley go with a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1. I think 4-4-2 allows us the best opportunity to counter, especially if Buddle or Findley have a good game. Though, I think a 4-5-1 (with Edu and Torres holding) would clog the middle against England. (It probably allows us to get our best 11 players on the field too.) It would also free Bradley to roam and apply pressure to England's deep sitting mid (whomever it may be). The down side is that a 4-5-1 may cause us to sit in way too deep and invite pressure against us (See Man United away at Bayern Munich: Scholes and Carrick basically played the same deep lying role which isolated Fletcher and Rooney).

I think the 4-4-2 is our best system but I am starting to be swayed. I would start Buddle over Findley, using Findley as a sub for 20 minutes to really stretch the field. Plus, it is not as if Buddle is slow. I like the way Torres plays next to Bradley and I think this season with Pachuca shows Torres is ready to start. Though, is Torres really ready to go up against the likes of Gerrard and Lampard in a 2 v 2 situation. Edu at least has a tad more European experience. I am not sure if this really matters, but it may. If Torres can bring technique and speed of play (plus a calming presence) then our midfield could give England nightmares.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 31, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Whatever formation we choose against England, the greatest danger isn't Rooney. It's Rooney causing some confusion, and passing off to Lampard or Gerrard to hammer home. Rooney may score, but his greatest role is allowing the loaded midfield to move forward and overpower the defense.

Clark and Bradley simply cannot start together. The only thing they do well together is bunker down, and England is too individualistic for that to work. We need someone, either Edu or Bradley, to be back there to pressurize whoever comes out of the midfield to strike from distance.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 31, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

If we can sit tight and control the ball until the English get flustered, things could turn out quite all right for us. If they are denied the ball long enough, they'll eventually resort to the old punting and running. After all, they are masters of the (mostly useless) punt and run style of football!

Posted by: InMaryland | May 31, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

USMNT is best when it attacks...playing a countering tactic does not fit into the squads capabilities...countering requires quick decisions and precision...we just don't have that kind of quality. Unfortunately, Bradley is over-cautious.

Posted by: juke2 | May 31, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

delantero, I'm in.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 31, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse


@delantero, I'm in for a bracket predictor game if someone sets it up.


Posted by: DadRyan | May 31, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Juke2: I completely disagree. Go back and watch the two goals we scored against Brazil. That was counter-attacking football at its best. And a brilliant finish by Donovan.

I'm with DadRyan.. I want to play but I don't want to set it up.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 31, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure people know, but England is one all-too-common-nowadays John Terry brain fart away from being in a seriously bad position in this game.

They are one misadventure up the flanks from Glen Johnson away from being in a seriously bad position (just as the U.S. was on Saturday).

They are one undisciplined, nervous play from whoever the defensive midfielder will from being in a seriously bad position.

My heart says I want Torres / Bradley in this game. My head says Edu / Bradley. if only because it means Edu will instantly be the fastest and strongest player in the middle of the park (Huddlestone be damned).

Posted by: Jooseppi | May 31, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

What's awesome about the Telegraph article is it shows how much is expected of this England squad. The reporter went to great lengths to reassure readers that their national team will not lose to the U.S. As far as I'm concerned, the U.S. team has nothing to lose in that first WC match. They're not expected to win, not even expected to draw, and yet, they're already making the opposition's fans sweat.

Posted by: Brokenbil | May 31, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

1) World Cup Yahoo Fantasy
2) Group: Insider Loyalists
3) Password: Insider

To the victor goes the spoils.

Posted by: delantero | May 31, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Appreciate it delantero, but I think we need the id#, because I don't see it in the public group pages, and when I click on the private, it says id#, not group name.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 31, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the Telegraph reporter is pretty spot-on even though he underestimates one of the biggest U.S. strengths -- that it's a tough, athletic team when it plays within itself.

The real problem is the coaching. Bradley really so conservative that he doesn't get the most out of the players. I think they can still surprise people (even England) but it'll be in spite of Bradley rather than because of him.

Posted by: thoward1223 | May 31, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

1) World Cup Yahoo Fantasy
2) Group: Insider Loyalists
3) Password: Insider
4) Group ID: 16863

Posted by: delantero | May 31, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Jacobson: The ID was 16863. Though, the ID automatically inserts itself after I found the group.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 31, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for setting up the group. While fiddling around, I got a message that the group had reached its membership limit. I hope that was an error.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 31, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I read another article by Kevin Garside. He wrote "This is surely soccer’s last chance to crack America."

Is anyone else tired of the quadrennial statement that the US has to succeed in the World Cup for soccer to survive in this country? Did MLS fold after 1998? 2006? Garside is as bad as the old-guard sportswriters who comment on soccer every four years to say how bad the US is.

Also, "Torres, who plays for Mexican club Pachuca, is the first Hispanic footballer to make the move."

Ummmm Tab Ramos anyone?

"America’s Hispanic youth now have one of their own to cheer in a US shirt."

Apparently Perez, Balboa, Reyna, Mastroeni, and Clavijo are all of Scandinavian descent.

You'd think that the Guardian's Chief Sports Writer would check his facts.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 31, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

delantero: for idiots like me, could you post a link? I found a yahoo world cup fantasy game, but I don't think it was right.

Posted by: troy6 | May 31, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 31, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

As an Englishman my best guess is a draw, with both England and USA progressing to the knockout stages. Believe me, nobody thinks that the USA will be a soft touch!

Posted by: sclarkson | May 31, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Is it really true that Kasey Keller got hit with a beer and wants Garber to do something about it? Wow, I know the *bottle* that was thrown at Wicks last year was empty and all (Seattle fans are cheap, need refunds, yadda yadda yadda), but seriously, just gotta say that it's just a tad bit funny seeing or at least hearing that things have come full circle.

Yes this is trolling, but it is still darn funny.
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | May 31, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Surprise...I'm gonna try my hand at this World Cup picking games thing. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | May 31, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Talk is cheap. I could care less whether it is somewhat accurate or not. The issue will be settled 6/12 not in soccer blogs. IMO, too much is being made of this game. The key to advancing most likely lies in getting results against Slovenia and Algeria for both England and the USA.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 31, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Talk is cheap. I could care less whether it is somewhat accurate or not. The issue will be settled 6/12 not in soccer blogs. IMO, too much is being made of this game. The key to advancing most likely lies in getting results against Slovenia and Algeria for both England and the USA.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 31, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, delantero.

The confused genius of Garbaggio has been added to the mix!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 1, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

My thanks also, Delantero. I'm in.

Posted by: Throwin64 | June 1, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

You'd think that the Guardian's Chief Sports Writer would check his facts.

Posted by: I-270Exit1
______________________________________________

Sorry, 270, facts are a tiresome time-waster. Besides, he is diligently working on a story that Lady Gaga was found half-dressed in a men's toilet, and was really George Michael in drag....

Posted by: Throwin64 | June 1, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Talk is cheap. I could care less whether it is somewhat accurate or not. The issue will be settled 6/12 not in soccer blogs. IMO, too much is being made of this game. The key to advancing most likely lies in getting results against Slovenia and Algeria for both England and the USA.
Posted by: croftonpost | May 31, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Croftonpost,

From what I have read the US will only play one game in the WC. I think there are rumors about something called a group stage and that we play some other teams but that has yet to be confirmed by the media. After watching ESPN with my inlaws they pretty much confirmed this, “so if we beat England we will qualify for the WC?” if I had no idea what the WC was and I had watched that same ESPN show I would have also drawn the conclusion that England is going to play the US to make it to some super bowl type game, I guess against Brazil? I forgot how little most Americans actually know about the structure of the WC.

As far as the Americans who know what the WC is, even if we advance after losing to England I’m sure the “dedicated” US Soccer fans will still blame Bradley for losing that one game, as well as not having enough quality US talent, bad formation, bad subs, the BP gulf coast disaster, Enron, AIG and just about everything else they can think of.

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 1, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

rumors out of england that theo walcott is out of englands final 23.

Posted by: jjfooty | June 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Interesting World Cup stats site:

http://www.planetworldcup.com/NATIONS/maraton.html

Overall, the USA has 6 wins -3 draws -16 losses (!?!). Ugh.

Posted by: delantero | June 1, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the long post, but below are parts of my e-mail to Garside and some of his response. I couldn't sleep last night and had nothing better to do. He did thank me for my comments, and his tone was polite, but I think he still doesn't get it.

Dear Mr. Garside,

I read your article, "Soccer makes smart plays in quest to conquer America before World Cup." While I realize that you write primarily for a British audience, I was very disappointed in the number of errors in your piece.

You wrote, "This is surely soccer’s last chance to crack America." Please. The old-guard, American sportswriters, who view soccer as a foreign and feminine distraction to American football and baseball, write the same thing quadrennally. The fact is that Major League Soccer (MLS) survived horrible performances by the US national team in 1998 and 2006. In fact, in it's 15th year, MLS is on firmer ground than the North American Soccer League was at the same age.

1, the cracking of America was not linked in the piece to the performance of the USA in South Africa. I don't see that as relevant in the long term. the point is soccer must put down roots to endure.

You wrote, "Torres, who plays for Mexican club Pachuca, is the first Hispanic footballer to make the move." Incorrect, Tab Ramos, who played in three World Cups (1990-98), played for Tigres in the Mexican first division from 1995-96.

2. The point about Torres being a first was not a reference to his club but his choice.

He didn't respond to my long list of Latinos who wore the red, white, blue, and denim, when he insinuates that Torres is the first. It seems to me that not only does he fail to check facts, but he fails to comprehend his own writing. Anyway, I want to pass this along as another reason to thank the Post for Steven Goff.

Rant over.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Interesting World Cup stats site:
http://www.planetworldcup.com/NATIONS/maraton.html
Posted by: delantero
================

The Dutch East Indies went to a World Cup?!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

So, I've spent the last 15 min on the web trying to figure out if England have announced their team and who might be on it. I must say, if you want to feel proud of your US press corps (or, at least, feel less ashamed), the Brits make it easy. Yes, we do have our fringe wackos, but the middle-of-the-road news organizations actually present the facts to the best of their ability. So, who IS on the England team? :-)

Posted by: glfrazier | June 1, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The Dutch East Indies went to a World Cup?!
Posted by: I-270Exit1

Dutch East Indies 1, Jakarta 1.

Hey, I don't verify sites, I just pass on internet rumors . . although a lot of it does look correct . .

Posted by: delantero | June 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

England roster to be announced at 11AM EST.

BBC also reporting Walcott is out.

Posted by: fedssocr | June 1, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

On local public radio station WAMU at 1:00 P.M. EDT, Kojo Nnamdi's call-in show devotes an hour to the Mundial. The guests include Franklin Foer. In the Washington area, you can listen at 88.5; around the world, you can access the station's Web site (use the "Listen to WAMU" link on this page):

http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2010-06-01/all-eyes-south-africa-world-cup

Also, I heard a report on WTOP that the D.C. Council is considering a temporary measure to allow bars to open earlier for the next several weeks. What is the situation in Virginia and Maryland?

Posted by: universityandpark | June 1, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: nairbsod | June 1, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I guess I can drop my recurring Walcott running wild/counterattack nightmare . . . and replace it with Phillips/Cole/Lennon?

Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham), Joe Hart (Manchester City).

Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).

Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), James Milner (Aston Villa), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Gareth Barry (Manchester City).

Strikers: Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham).

Posted by: delantero | June 1, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

apparently gio dos santos is considering quitting the mexican team because his brother was left off.

Posted by: joe_hill | June 1, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

so much drama and the tournament didn't even start yet? Is Eto'o still pouting? Did he quit Cameroon yet?

Posted by: fedssocr | June 1, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the ESPN piece. I feel a little bad for Najar. Whatever the basis of his shyness happens to be it's gotta be really hard for him to deal with the media attention. I hope the club can do something to help with that. I saw him being interviewed in Spanish, I think on the DCU website and he seemed fairly comfortable answering questions. My guess is that he's not as confident in his English. Or maybe he can just let his play continue to do the talking.

Posted by: fedssocr | June 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

My favorite bit from the article:

"The pass caught the back line flat-footed allowing Turan to race into the box to score. The game was not half an hour old and Turkey might have been three up."

. . . if goals were worth three points apiece.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | June 1, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

well, actually we were lucky that Turkey wasn't up by 3 at that point. They missed a couple of great chances in the first half.

Posted by: fedssocr | June 1, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

fedssocr, right, but the writer should have started a new paragraph since that was his point; otherwise it's another professional writer taking the "hey, you knew what I was trying to say" defense, which is always sad to see.

Unrelated -- in the yahoo bracket thing, it seems to imply you can wait until 5 minutes before the knockout stage before making your knockout picks? Can that be right?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | June 1, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I need a fix...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | June 1, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya....

Posted by: nairbsod | June 1, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Ha!

I thought you'd come back with this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCM4_5uB1ww

Is that Joel_M_Lane playing bass?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | June 1, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I need a fix...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor |

i think im starting to get the shakes. can't Bonesteel put up a poll or something until Goff returns?

Posted by: VTUnited | June 1, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

in Goff's absence, I'll make note that the Post has some great World Cup coverage online, with their map and database and whatnot. good stuff to check out, if you haven't already. And kudos to the Post for putting it at the top of their main page as well.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 1, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 1, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know that Ben Olsen was Lithuanian or played the trombone.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know that Ben Olsen was Lithuanian or played the trombone.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

He's the bass player!

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 1, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Having lived in the UK and watched both the Premier and US leagues, England clearly has a better side across most of the board. I do like our goalkeeper better. Torres, too, has added much-needed savvy and creativity to a team that, while always hard-working, is too often stiff and unimaginative (Hopefully Adu will develop and bring our team some more of that in the years ahead, and we will hire a non-US coach one of these days to better school promising players in the flow and poetry of the game). I also think Donovan, Altidore and Dempsey (despite always being winded... he should have reached Altidore's cross in the 1st half vs. Turkey) have the unique ability to excel under extreme pressure, which will help them against an England team sweating over the MASSIVE PRESSURE heaped on them every WC by their countrymen. While US newspapers talk about USA's modest goals, English ones either brag about the US match as an utter cakewalk, or cry about their own uninspired friendlies as a harbinger of The Apocalypse. Such is the schizophrenia of pressure. England may have lost its Empire, but it still considers itself heir to the footie throne and that is and has been its worst enemy for many years. As for the final score, we will either be blown out by 3-5 goals, or win a close one. But we definitely have a chance, and I think that deep down most English football fans fear it.

Posted by: SammyT1 | June 1, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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