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Friday kickaround: World Cup, FIFA, U.S. soccer

Battling cold and cough, I found myself up at 3 a.m. here in Johannesburg --- coincidentally, when the Most Anticipated Moment in Sports History (this week, anyway) was unfolding: LeBron James announcing that he will join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the Miami Heat. Sounds like the NBA's version of Real Madrid, doesn't it? My cynical side says that, like Los Galacticos, this arrangement will fall short of expectation. Now let's see if James' introduction draws 80,000, like Cristiano Ronaldo's unveiling at Estadio Bernabeu did last year.

The only channel on my hotel cable system carrying live coverage (not the actual event, but news of the event) was CNN: Larry King hosting the comically inept Tom Arnold and reporters/entertainers trying to out-yell each other. How I wish I had been able to sleep.

Okay, on the football front:

*In the aftermath of World Cup officiating controversy, FIFA is ready to make changes to the referee system.

*Amid uniquely Brazilian fanfare, the 2014 World Cup logo was unveiled Thursday. Read Liz Clarke's story about the festivities. Paul Tenorio takes a look at U.S. prospects for the next World Cup cycle. brazillogo.jpg

*Tennis star Rafael Nadal will be at Soccer City on Sunday to support his fellow Spaniards.

*According to viewing data, about 85 percent of German citizens watching TV on Wednesday night were tuned into the Spain-Germany semifinal. (Clearly, the other 15 percent were watching David Hasselhoff in "Anaconda 3: Offspring" or Victoria Beckham on "Spongebob Schwammkopf.")

By Steve Goff  |  July 9, 2010; 4:08 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Brazil , FIFA , Spain , TV , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Brazil, FIFA, Rafael Nadal, South Africa, World Cup  
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Comments

Lineker looks pretty boss giving that interview poolside.

Posted by: Pedalada | July 9, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

"In the aftermath of World Cup officiating controversy, FIFA is ready to make changes to the referee system."

Wow what a letdown. Reading the blurb I was hyped to hear about some big changes...reading the article zzzzzzzzzz

FIFA still doesn't get it. Maybe Nadal can inform Sepp that technology is actually a good thing for sports. It brings the game back to the athletes that people pay to watch instead of the judges/refs.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 9, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

There is a World Cup officiating controversy? Compared to the last World Cup, I thought the officiating at this one was being performed quite well. The English were on their way out, so that non-call didn't change the game.

Posted by: peter_nd | July 9, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

We will never know if the English could have come back

Posted by: GeneWells | July 9, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Not surprising about Nadal -- his uncle played for the Spanish national team IIRC.

Posted by: grabowcp | July 9, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking about how humble the best American players are in contrast with the ridiculous spectacle that is King James. What if the US became a dominant soccer nation? Would we end up with LeBron-a-donnas in cleats?

Posted by: ldmay | July 9, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse


Having declared confidently in December 2008 that the knee condition afflicting Rafael Nadal was sufficiently serious that it would cause him to retire entirely from professional Tennis during 2009 - subsequent to which he won the Australian Open before taking a prolonged recess - and in June 2010 that a team from Asia or South America (but not Argentina) would win the World Cup, it is obvious that not everyone can possess powers which equal whatever adjective applies to an octopus.

It is possible to say, however, that the World Cup Final of 2010 will mark the very first occasion in the history of the Tournament that two different national teams from a single continent have lifted the trophy in successive Championships.

The fact that the continent is Europe rather than South America shows the drift in the balance of power and portends perhaps a homogenised - perhaps sterile - type of Association Football in future years.

Posted by: INADVERTANTSLIP | July 9, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse


Having declared confidently in December 2008 that the knee condition afflicting Rafael Nadal was sufficiently serious that it would cause him to retire entirely from professional Tennis during 2009 - subsequent to which he won the Australian Open before taking a prolonged recess - and in June 2010 that a team from Asia or South America (but not Argentina) would win the World Cup, it is obvious that not everyone can possess powers which equal whatever adjective applies to an octopus.

It is possible to say, however, that the World Cup Final of 2010 will mark the very first occasion in the history of the Tournament that two different national teams from a single continent have lifted the trophy in successive Championships.

The fact that the continent is Europe rather than South America shows the drift in the balance of power and portends perhaps a homogenised - if not sterile - type of Association Football in future years.

Posted by: INADVERTANTSLIP | July 9, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Little-known fact: Luis Suarez, Thierry Henry, and Diego Maradona acted as models during development of the Brazil 2014 logo, which captures the essence of their famous handballs. The tournament promises to give this blog's readers plenty to argue about.

Posted by: hungrypug | July 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Not even a mention of last night's MLS game? Where am I supposed to rant about how bad Findley is?

Posted by: BooThisMan | July 9, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Go for it Boo! Mind if I drop my opinion that Buddle should have seen more playing time in South Africa even if Jozy had to ride the pine for a bit????

Posted by: DadRyan | July 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

So how can we see to it that the national media picks up on the Los Galaticos nickname for the Miami Heat? That would be just absolutely ideal.

Posted by: Hokienautic | July 9, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice if all leagues made the refs and linesmen be both in shape and follow the same rules. In a WC year they should have all the refs of they consider in and make them prove they can do the job. No matter what continent you are on you are supposed to be able to do your job. That goes for the linesmen too. If a linesman's flag is up, the ref should listen also and not just wave it off.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 9, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Dear LeBron,

Don't worry about the haters. They will forget you played for your former team eventually.

Sincerely,

Sol Campbell

Posted by: IamAM | July 9, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Son of a - ! There's Anaconda 3?!?!? I totally missed Anaconda 2!!!!!!!!

Posted by: fallschurch1 | July 9, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

that logo kinda reminds me of the 2002 Korea/Japan logo. maybe this logo is the last uninspired effort from the dunga era

speaking of mascots...not that we were...
I still have to go with "CIAO" as my all time favorite:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup_mascot

Posted by: wordup1 | July 9, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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