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Bonus World Cup kickaround

Howdy. Soccer editor Matt Bonesteel here. Because Steve has more on his plate than me at Fogo de Chao, I'll be dropping in from time to time with links, polls and directions to other aspects of our World Cup coverage (lots of good stuff is in the works, I promise).

For now, here's some World Cup reading for you.

First, Steve caught up with Landon Donovan at U.S. training camp. Read all about how Donovan says he's in a good place at the moment. Plus, a bonus photo gallery of Donovan through the years.

On to England. Well, Austria, really, where England is training in high-altitude conditions. Defender Matthew Upson banged heads with a teammate during training and suffered "a bad cut which leaked blood." Upson is battling for a spot on England's defense.

Sticking with England, a member of Coach Fabio Capello's staff says the goaltending battle is "33 per cent David James, 33 per cent Robert Green, 33 per cent Joe Hart -- and the other one per cent Ray Clemence," a joking reference to England's 61-year-old goalkeeping coach. So basically: who knows at this point.

Algeria, which the United States faces on June 23, also has a goaltending battle while training in Switzerland. Desert Foxes goalkeepers coach Hassen Belhadji "has scheduled several harsh training sessions for the 4 of them including aerobic and gymnastics sessions to make them able to face up to any contingency in the upcoming World cup matches."

Elsewhere, ESPN's Brent Latham says Mexico forward Javier Hernandez has lost his touch a bit.

Germany's Michael Ballack says he's not done with international soccer.

Danish soccer authorities are confident about security at the World Cup. This comes after "a Saudi army officer had been arrested for involvement in an alleged al-Qaeda plot targeting the World Cup events in South Africa," specifically targeting the Danish and Dutch.

Finally, here's a YouTube of the top 50 goals in World Cup history, because why work when you can watch nine minutes of World Cup goals.


By Matt Bonesteel  |  May 19, 2010; 9:53 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Early Wednesday kickaround
Next: U.S. World Cup update: injuries, roster, Daily Show

Comments

"a bad cut which leaked blood." Ummm... bad cuts don't leak, they gush. Besides, small cuts to the head usually look worse than they are because of all the blood vessels. Our women are tougher than that. They have a staple put in and keep playing.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the vid. I guess it's meant to be not just a top 50, but to build to #1. The last minutes are sick, except for the CHarlton and Owen goals, which I think belong earlier in the hit parade.

I really love Joe Cole's strike at 5:00, followed by the most amazing free kick I've seen, by former Cosmo Teofilo Cubillas. Did he really hit that with the outside of his foot??? Holy sheep sheet. Maxi's strike and Maradona's run were probably the two best I ever saw as they happened.

Posted by: fischy | May 19, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Great feature in the Guardian (credit to MLSsoccer for finding it) on the old NASL's best coach, Eddie Firmani, and his link with Cappello.

The same MLSsoccer piece links to Goff's report about the joint scouting trip to Ghana. If Ashton is there, I hope DCU has someone scouting Paris Saint-Germain winger Ludovic Giuly, when PSG hits Chicago tonight. He's got a year left on his contract, but there are so many rumors about his wanting to come to MLS...

Posted by: fischy | May 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I haven't felt that good since Archie Gemmill scored against Holland in 1978!

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: fischy | May 19, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Fischy that free kick is outrageous. I don't even know how he hit it with such power using the outside of his foot.

Now I do not know who is better but I am going to claim that Messi has to preform like Maradona in the World Cup to truly start the debate.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Defender Matthew Upson banged heads with a teammate during training and suffered "a bad cut which leaked blood."
========================

Good thing Upson didn't bang heads with Jack Bauer...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 19, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I-270: Is the goal by Socrates the best ever?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 19, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll go out on a limb and say that Socrates' goal is the best ever scored by a physician.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed that the US is training at sea level in New Jersey while England and Algeria are training in the Alps. I know we've covered this on SI before, and US training staff are confident that they will be arriving in South Africa in plenty of time to adjust to the altitude, but the fact that our competitors are training on high ground drives the point home that perhaps we should too.

It reminds me of America's Cup match sailboat racing strategy, where you cover moves by your opponent. If they tack, we tack. That way one competitor doesn't catch good wind without the other catching it too.

Or like in cycling, when the contenders in the peleton match the effort of riders trying to break away.

Posted by: WorldCup | May 19, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

El Nene never played for the Cosmos, he played for the Ft Lauderdale Strikers.

Posted by: MitchTooMuch | May 19, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Mitch -- I was about to post a correction, but thanks for catching it. Cosmos on my mind.

Posted by: fischy | May 19, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I remember the SA goal against Belgium in 1994. I was at RFK sitting about where "La Norte" sits today and watched the run through the Belgian defense. Gave me goose bumps then -- still does. It was the only goal of the game.

Posted by: griffin1108 | May 19, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Another common thread between DCU and Jack Bauer: torture is a given when watching either one.

Posted by: dcarmy | May 19, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll go out on a limb and say that Socrates' goal is the best ever scored by a physician.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 12:34 PM
=====================

I was afraid my "Socratic method" joke was a bit obscure and, in the end, not funny. Alas...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 19, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Goff, I beat you to Donovan six months ago:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/soc/6718832.html

Posted by: JosephDHippolito | May 19, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

That video was the best 27 minutes ever spent at my office. That's why I make the big bucks. :)

Posted by: JasonSparks | May 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

With the Wizards winning the draft lottery after the Leonsis takeover, the Redskins hiring quality people such as Allen and Shanahan while also getting universally good grades from outside experts since the changover, the Capitals apparently set for the next decade, and the Nationals winning before Strasburg even arrives; I think it is safe to say that United is now the worst run men's franchise in town. The times they are a changing.............

Posted by: Gambrills4 | May 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@WorldCup - with all due respect, soccer is not sailing and not cycling. simply copying what others are doing doesn't seem like sound strategy to me. England may be at altitude now, but they are playing at Wembley next week, so they will lose at least some of the altitude adjustments before going back to Austria to play Japan. and what effect will that travel have on them? since the Czech and Turkey games are being played on the East Coast, it makes more sense to have the team close by.

the US will be in South Africa plenty early and is playing Australia a full week before their opening match. i don't think adjustment to altitude will be much of a factor for them after that. also, Rustenberg's altitude is less than 4,000 feet, so it's hardly the same as playing at Azteca.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 19, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Random personal story to shed light onto altitude debate: I just lived the last 9 months at 7,000 ft in Flagstaff, AZ. I have always been in good shape. All four yrs of college soccer I completed level 15 of the beep test (I am only a year removed from college soccer). When I first started running in Flagstaff I would experience shortness of breath for the first 10-12 minutes. Then I would be fine. The real problem was always the next day. Less oxygen would result in my legs being sorer than usual the next day.

What I am trying to rely is that I do not think we have to worry about this altitude debate. I am sure every single player on the USMNT is miles better in shape than me. If I am fine, I think our team will be fine. I highly doubt a game at 4,000 ft will really affect our team -especially because we are always known for being fit.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 19, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Also, did training at high altitude really benifit Shane Mosley? My man Money Mayweather was still just as fit -if not more fit. (That's right I am a Mayweather fan.)

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 19, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I banged my goal-keeping head against a strikers knee on Sunday and ended up with 27 stitches and "a bad cut which leaked blood." England here I come!

Posted by: boda-united | May 19, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Beep test? Did you get censored?

Posted by: Reignking | May 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Or like in cycling, when the contenders in the peleton match the effort of riders trying to break away.

Posted by: WorldCup

There's a little more to it than that I'm afraid. Well, to be honest a lot more to it than that, but like soccer you can't watch one day of a multi stage race and think you have cycling tactics and strategy figured out just like the fact that I still don't know a darn thing about how to win soccer games unless they're being played on a XBox 360. ;)

Posted by: DadRyan | May 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The last minutes are sick, except for the CHarlton and Owen goals, which I think belong earlier in the hit parade.

Posted by: fischy | May 19, 2010 11:23 AM

Disagree on the Owen goal - that was one of the most thrilling in the history of the competition. When you consider the pace, way he collecting the pass from Beckham, moves and finish. Add the importance of the match, the opponent, the fact that Owen was 18 at the time. I think ITV factor in a lot of the outliers with their choices - including whether or not it was a knock out match.

Aside: was anyone else in there in person for the Saudi goal at RFK in '94? I was - great seeing that one again!

Posted by: Kev29 | May 19, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I banged my knee against a goalkeeper's head during my game on Sunday. I got this really nasty scrape that required a pretty big Band-Aid and Neosporin.

Oh, wait...

:-)

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 19, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: you said "you can't watch one day of a multi stage race and think you have cycling tactics and strategy figured out".

I've been a competitive cyclist (currently category 2) and cycling fan since 1986. Of course there is "a lot more to it" than my example, but I hardly think you can dispute the fact that contenders in the peleton do indeed match and cover moves made by would-be break away riders.

@dimesmakedollars: I agree that playing in Rustenberg is not as severe as Azteca, so this is less of an issue. And you have a good point about proximity of training grounds and pre-tournament matches. But England and Algeria are training at altitude for a reason. And England has chosen to use Oxygen tents in S.A. too. All I'm saying is I'd feel more comfortable if we were training at the US Olympic training grounds in Colorado Springs, and playing our warm up matches at Dick's or higher. I also recognize there is a financial element here, where Princeton perhaps gave the space free or at a discount, and maybe more tickets can be sold at the current venues than in Colorado.

Posted by: WorldCup | May 19, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The only problem with the Desert Pele goal by Saudi Arabia against Belgium is if I remember correctly it was an insignificant 3rd game in Group play and Belgium's defenders were just phoning it in.

Posted by: GeneWells | May 19, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

My apologies for disrespecting your palmares WC. ;)
My post wasn't without it's own self-deprecating twist and I meant no disrespect to you sir.
I will admit that riders do "match and cover" what's happening on the road, but I still don't think we need to go to the Rockies or the Alps to to possibly overdo "our" training. I'm positive Bob is getting this part right.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 19, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe no one has posted this yet. Your name is Matt Bonesteel? That's incredibly BADASS.

Posted by: dpowellutkedu | May 20, 2010 4:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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