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Tuesday kickaround

*At the World Cup, there is no shortage of fine whine, and we're not talking about the exquisite Pinotage. (The story appears on the front of The Post's main news section.)

*U.S. news & notes, leading with Tim Howard's status.

*Franz Beckenbauer, who knows a few things about the sport, says of England: "What I saw of the English against the U.S. had very little to do with football. It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the bad old days of kick and rush."

*Zinedine Zidane, who knows a few things about the sport, says of France Coach Raymond Domenech: "He's not a coach."

*South Koreans are lukewarm about the North Koreans' debut.

*Winter is approaching here in South Africa: The high temperature in Joburg the next four days will not reach 60 degrees.

*Today's calendar:
New Zealand-Slovakia 7:30 a.m. ET (ESPN, Univision, ESPN Deportes; tape on ESPN Classic at 6 p.m.)

Ivory Coast-Portugal 10 a.m. (ESPN, Univision, ESPN Deportes; tape on ESPN Classic at 8 p.m.)

Brazil-North Korea 2:30 p.m. (ESPN, Univision, ESPN Deportes,; tape on ESPN Classic at 10 p.m.)

By Steve Goff  |  June 15, 2010; 5:01 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , England , France , South Africa , TV , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: South Africa, World Cup, vuvuzelas  
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Next: A few minutes with Landon Donovan


Just wanted to thank you for the coverage. Even if I have to eat the DC United stories, you are the guy for USMNT. As much as I like to pretend Seattle is the center of the US soccer world, you guys are the flagship. Respect.

Here's to getting up at 5am on the West Coast for World Cup action.

Posted by: DerekY | June 15, 2010 5:31 AM | Report abuse

I'll second that. You, Sir Goff, and the rest of the crew, are simply the best.

Sorry I work during the Portugal-Ivory Coast game. Glad I'll b home in time to see Brazil-North Korea match up. For some reason this North Korean thing has my interest as much as almost anything else about this tournament.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 15, 2010 6:06 AM | Report abuse

All of this coverage has almost turned me into a United fan. I'm not sure that's how the transitive property works though.

Posted by: biga116 | June 15, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Today is the first day that I'm not bothering to DVR a match. The Portugal match could be good, but I'll live.

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Alexis Lalas thinks Didier Drogba is hot. Thrilling coverage.

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Drogba will play with a cast.

And FIFA bans attractive Dutch fans for wearing orange mini-skirts.

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

somehow I missed this, but when did Jesse Marsch become an USMNT assistant coach?

[quote in whine article]

Posted by: emanon13 | June 15, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

@emanon13 -- After last season, Marsch interviewed for a couple of MLS head coach jobs, but there were no offers -- and Bradley took him on in Feb.

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Agree 100% with the criticisms of England and especially France. France in particular was just plain bad, and this extends to well before the start of the tournament. I'm surprised Goff picked them to advance, which should be considered a long shot.

I was also pretty shocked by Cameroon's performance. They seemed to believe that just strutting around for 90 minutes would be enough to earn points in the world cup. I think they spent the past few weeks perfecting that ridiculous "I can fly!" gesture rather than practicing football. I was delighted to see Japan deliver their due punishment. Japan was fast, disciplined, and utterly fearless--everything Cameroon was supposed to be but isn't.

Likewise Italy--watching them is more boring than church. Unfortunately, as usual, they came away with more than they deserved.

It's always interesting to see the favorites humbled; I just hope that as all the teams get the first match under their belts, we'll start to see better soccer!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 15, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Liz Clarke, for calling out the whiners.

I recall that Brian McBride may have a spare rib that Howard can borrow.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I actually kind of disagree about England. I think they had the game right where they wanted it until the Gift of Green.

Milner was a mistake, as was SWP instead of Joe Cole, but other than that, the first half was England scoring an early goal off some good passing, and then smartly sitting back a little bit; pretty sure they figured out we are a counter attacking side, which suits them fine, seeing as all they need to mount an attack is a lob to Heskey, with Rooney there to collect.

However, the goal brought out the main reason the Brits continue to fail miserably... an awful approach to obstacles. They truly believe that every World Cup, the clouds will part, and the Monty Python God will point them toward the Holy Grail. It's a tournament. Focus day to day, you'll do fine!

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 15, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha. Ambush marketing, that's a triple entendre.

THe above link doesn't seem to work.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it's Killen time. Could we get a matchday thread?

Thanks, I-270, for fixing the link. I actually found it in Marca this morning (and if you saw yesterday, I had a link from Marca with pics of them and Danish fans).

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone watching the New Zealand game?

Atlanta: I get the causal interest in North Korea but can you really see anything other than a 4-0 lose to Brazil?

I have a feeling the Portugal Ivory Coast game wil offer horrible defending at many rediculous goals.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 15, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Not watching, but using Gamecast. Might be the most entertaining match so far?

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to see Ryan Nelsen again. "Always the leader," as Adriane said. Boy, we could have used him in DC the last couple of years.

Posted by: paulkp | June 15, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

A NZ sub in...Jeremy Christie, of Tampa Bay. That's right -- the American leagues are so deep that NT players are in our second division.

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone found a good site for extended (5+ minute) match highlights? Granted I haven't spent too much time searching yet, but so far most of the sites I've visited are basically just showing the goals.

Much obliged to the soccer cognoscenti.

Posted by: Xill | June 15, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Kiwis equalize in added time. Winston Reid with a header.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

They're going mental in New Zealandtown!

Posted by: Kev29 | June 15, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The yellow card for taking off the jersey needs to be revisited. It was instituted when the high tech shirts were 2-ply things that were attached onlyat the shoulder seams. when players took them off, they layers would be tangled and it would take a lot of time to sort that out. Now, the high tech jerseys are one layer and easy to take off and put back on.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

...and since boasting about the quality of my bracket, it's gone all pear shaped, and I've dropped into second place...

Posted by: JkR- | June 15, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

This is bordering on an excessive whine, but ESPN's goal highlights through their Gamecast and iPhone app are getting a little tardy - and glitchy. I demand my gratification instantly!!!

Posted by: Kev29 | June 15, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree I-27- (but I didn't know that info). Let the players take their jersey's off. I doubt FIFA will ever change it though. (The political nerd in me wanted to make a joke about old conservatives but I held back.)

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 15, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Well, if anyone had the under on Cristiano Ronaldo diving by 8 minutes into the match, you can go collect your winnings.

Posted by: MattinSilverSpring | June 15, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Why do referees continue to fall for Ronaldo's diving?

Posted by: benonthehill | June 15, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Darn!, I had him diving at under 4. I actually thought he might trip marching on to the pitch.

Posted by: harkes4ever | June 15, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Ridiculous yellow on Ronaldo!

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | June 15, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

C. Ronaldo will get a red card later for diving.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 15, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The ref didn't fall for anything. The CIV player made a blatant attempt to take Ronaldo out. He failed, of course, but still richly deserved the card.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 15, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

This game will not end with 22 players on the field.

Posted by: JkR- | June 15, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Nice underoos

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 15, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The pitch is awful. Large patches are peeling off with the slightest provocation.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

ESPN gamecast commentators are hating this match:

Kolo Toure gets cramp treatment from Dindane. That's probably the highlight of the half for me. A tender moment in a drab game. Sorry to labour the point but it really has been poor.

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

C. Ronaldo will get a red card later for diving.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 15, 2010 10:23 AM

Ronaldo is really putting on a disgusting display. If you're gonna dive, you should at least save it for when the opponent actually makes contact.

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't normally root against a team, but I'm going to have to make an exception in Portugal's case, for Ronaldo.

BTW -- Goff's piece on the USMNT got lead link position in MLSSoccer's kick-off. That ought to drive a little traffic here.

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It's like the Germany match, where they moved the ball around midfield, waiting for a chance to spring an attack. The springs, though, have been creaky.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"CIV try to take the corner short and as soon as they do the referee blows for full time. That piece of stupidity sums up a game that promised much but delivered nothing but boredom. that is 90 minutes of my life I can't get back."

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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