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Memories from South Africa's World Cup

PLAYERS we will remember for the right reasons.....
Diego Forlan, Uruguay: Golden Ball
Andres Iniesta, Spain: national hero
Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands: Dutch conductor
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany: midfield influence
David Villa, Spain: goal scorer
Thomas Mueller, Germany: Golden Boot
Iker Casillas, Spain: game saver
Xavi, Spain: the right touch
Landon Donovan, USA: goal drama, redemption for '06
Keisuke Honda, Japan: free kick master
Andre Ayew, Ghana: mad skills

PLAYERS we will remember for the wrong reasons.....
Nigel de Jong, Netherlands: future in mixed martial arts
Mark van Bommel, Netherlands: general nastiness
Robert Green, England: goalkeeping blunder
Luis Suarez, Uruguay: red card for desperation handball
Asamoah Gyan, Ghana: missed penalty on final play
Felipe Melo, Brazil: stomped on Arjen Robben
Nicolas Anelka, France: sparked French revolution
Kader Keita, Ivory Coast: pathetic theatrics led to Kaka's ejection

REFEREES we will remember for various reasons.....
Koman Coulibaly: inexplicable call voided U.S. game-winner
Jorge Larrionda and crew: missing England's shot crossing line
Howard Webb: a record 14 yellows and a red in a nasty final

Much more.....

MATCHES.....
Uruguay 1, Ghana 1 (PKs): incredible theater in quarterfinals
USA 2, Slovenia 2: two-goal comeback and controversy
Germany 3, Uruguay 2: Another fun third-place match
Germany 4, England 1: German masterpiece
Netherlands 3, Uruguay 2: breathtaking goals

GOALS.....
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Netherlands vs. Uruguay
Carlos Tevez, Argentina vs. Mexico
David Villa, Spain vs. Honduras
Siphiwe Tshabalala, South Africa vs. Mexico
Diego Forlan, each and every strike
Andres Iniesta, Spain vs. Netherlands

UPSET.....
Switzerland 1, Spain 0

BEST COACHES.....
Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay
Vicente Del Bosque, Spain

FLOPS.....
Italy
France
England
Nigeria
Wayne Rooney
Cristiano Ronaldo
Fernando Torres
FIFA's online ticketing system in Africa
Durban air-traffic control before semifinal

STADIUM.....
Durban: the arch, the sightlines, the nearby beach
Cape Town: gorgeous setting
Nelspruit: giraffe-inspired supports

MAKING MOST OF GOALS.....
Spain's eight were the fewest ever by a title-winning team

BEST HOTEL DEMANDS BY A TEAM.....
Paraguay: caramel ice cream and a magician

MOST INGENIOUS SOUVENIR.....
Vehicle sideview mirror covers in colors of national flags

BEST REPORTER QUESTION.....
To Dutch coach after final: "After 20 minutes, all the spectators saw that Holland should have played with nine players because of two tackles, which shouldn't be a part of football. They should be part of karate or kung fu, but not football. What can you say about that?"

MARADONA BEING MARADONA.....
Responding to criticism by Pele: "Go back to the museum."

THE ONLY UNDEFEATED TEAM.....
New Zealand: three draws

ANIMAL KINGDOM.....
Zakumi
Paul the Octopus
Mani the Parakeet
Elephant blocking the U.S. team bus
Cows and chickens at U.S. headquarters
Nigerian fans' green-painted chickens
Dung beetle at Opening Ceremonies
White elephants at Closing Ceremonies

UNIQUELY SOUTH AFRICAN.....
Mandela, Tutu, Bafana Bafana, Big 5, indomitable spirit and energy, vuvuzelas, makarapas, Jabulani, Mzansi (South Africa), biltong (jerky), peri-peri (spice), Pinotage (wine), laduma (goal cheer), ayoba (wow!), Ubuntu (humanity to others).

Sisonke (together)

By Steve Goff  |  July 13, 2010; 5:33 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa  | Tags: South Africa, World Cup  
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Next: New York Red Bulls sign Thierry Henry

Comments

Many good memories. Except for the final.

I will be applauding Landon Donovan when he is here for the game on Sunday.

Posted by: peter_nd | July 13, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Many good memories. Except for the final.

I will be applauding Landon Donovan when he is here for the game on Sunday.

Posted by: peter_nd | July 13, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

you forgot the best one
BEST ENERGY DRINK NAME: Pussy

Posted by: dcsnowwake | July 13, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Great post, Goff.

Posted by: DaninFL | July 13, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm on the other side on Suarez and Webb -- they both did the best they could in tough circumstances. Eye of the beholder I suppose!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 13, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I dispute that Suarez will be remembered for the wrong reasons. What he did saved his team a goal, and gave them the opportunity to win. Without him, they all but certainly lose that match. Yes, what he did was not legal so far as the laws of the game go, but he was punished as he should have been. What is wrong about it?

Posted by: DCU_Rick | July 13, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Godfather: I don't think Goff is suggesting that Howard Webb will be remembered for the wrong reasons necessarily. The heading for that item indicates "various reasons" and, while many here will probably say it is for the wrong reasons, I think the idea here is just that he will be remembered for the performance in the final period.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | July 13, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Great post, Steve. Looking forward to having you back.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Great list, except you forgot 'ke nako!' (It's time).

Posted by: catymac | July 13, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

DCU_Rick, agreed, but I'm know we'll have people on both sides of that fence.

I'll never forget Kader Keita, and be sure to remember him if I see him in a lineup.

Forlan -- more Americans should watch La Liga more. EPLsnobs!

The Germans -- all Americans should watch the Bundesliga more. EPLsnobs!

Along with the awful refereeing, remembering how Blatter made it worse by refusing, at first, to think about using technology. He probably caved in when he realized technology = money.

There have to more great goals? Villa 40 yard strike stands out to me. Not many from set pieces, though.

Coaches -- Marcelo Bielsa stood out. And Roberto Martinez.

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Great post.

I would add Donovan's GWG against Algeria to the list of memorable goals and remove Mani the Parakeet from the animal list. Dude's got no credibility...

You could also add Paul the Octopus to the undefeated list...

Posted by: rademaar | July 13, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Landon Donovan's acute-angle, close-in shot to the roof of Slovenia's net belongs in the goals listing.

Posted by: runningcloud | July 13, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for this post -- sums up the World Cup perfectly. Thanks especially for making note of the All Whites being the only undefeated side in the tournament. Who would have thought New Zealand would finish with more than 0 points?

Posted by: Brokenbil | July 13, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I agree with runningcloud. That goal set the tone for the come back, and hopefully shattered the Landycakes moniker once and for all. Long live Mandon! :)

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Nigerian fans' green-painted chickens"

Where was PETA?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

2.5MM in Madrid's streets yesterday.

Pepe Reina is not happy that during the celebration, as a gag, Puyol and Pique slipped a Barca jersey on Cesc :)

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Going to be a somber All-Star game (as if anyone watches): New York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner Has Died: AP

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

1. ..."ke nako". lol, i always wonderede what that espn intro was saying. as goff was probably not watching espn, he didn't get this one...in fact, thats a good question....how did people watch the WC in south africa. surely, it was free. but how was espns international coverage (asian, etc.)

2. It seems like there was a lot of vitriol for suarez IN africa, but over here we just kind of took it in stride as neutrals.

3. anyone else think that Tim Howard should have been benched after getting injured? Surely, it would have been massively controversial, but I can't help but think that a healthy howard would have saved some of those shots he let in

4. brilliant strategy of the cup - maybe will be emulated in the future by a "surprising" WC winning team - when paraguay replaced 5 players against spain. If the Dutch started a whole new 2nd squad (elia, van der vaart) they might have broken through. well, anything would've been better than hack a shaq

Posted by: wordup1 | July 13, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Biggest upset was
New Zealand 1 - Italy 1
I rank this as one of the best games of the WC too.

Posted by: dmeaston | July 13, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: runningcloud | July 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't view Suarez as a negative memory either. He saved his side and paid the price. Beyond that, he had an excellent tournament. Steinbrenner dead. Wow!

Posted by: Gambrills4 | July 13, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

It was a pretty good World Cup in spite of the mostly dreary Final. Viva Espana and welcome to the small club of World Cup winners.

South Africa was the other big winner as they hosted a pretty darn good tournament. There were some minor problems but the doomsday scenarios didn't seem to even come close to happening.

Like runningcloud, I feel Donovan's early 2nd half goal against Slovenia belongs among the top goals for the Cup. That's the goal that sparked the US comeback and really embodied the team spirit for the tournament.

I've been critical of Donovan's previous WC performances but will give him a heartfelt golf clap next time I see him introduced!

I also have mixed feelings about Bob Bradley, but to his credit, every US game in this World Cup seemed to at least feature an indomitable will to win. In every other World Cup the US has played since 1990 (possibly excepting Bora's 1994 defense-first team) there has been at least one game where the US collapsed. So Coach gets an A at least for the motivation part of his job.

FIFA's refereeing was poor overall. Some calls are always going to be controversial and others will just be wrong due to the challenging nature of reffing a game. But some of the pre-Cup guidance to refs was poorly thought out.

The late disallowed goal by the US against Slovenia was just one of many examples where good freekick opportunities were negated because the refs were blowing quick whistles because they had been instructed to crack down on the pushing and grabbing which always seems to accompany attacking set pieces. Those decisions almost always penalized the attacking teams and, in addition to stoking fans' outrage, probably cost the World Cup some much needed goals.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 13, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm really dismayed at the admiration on SI for Suarez's illegal play. I can see how some might see it as an unfortunate necessity of the situation -- that it was a logical gamble on his part that paid off in spades. But to hold it up as a "brilliant" or "great" play is wrong. A truly great play would have been getting his head on the ball to keep it out of the goal. Anybody can use their hands.

And three more things:

1) put yourself in Ghana's shoes. What if an Algerian striker had dived to the ground to snag Donovan's last-minute shot with his hands? We miss the penalty shot, and go out in the group stage. According to some on here, that would have been a brilliant play! I can't believe any of the Suarez apologists on here would be backing him up if he'd done that to us.

2) For those who think it's OK to do what he did because he was duly punished for it, let's carry your same logic further: We can get really cynical about this, and start it as a new strategy. Whenever our team is hanging on to a precarious lead in the last part of a game, we can just instruct one of our strikers to go to the goal line and put his hands up and act as a second goal keeper. The rewards justify the punishment, right? Perhaps we should even give our strikers regular instruction on goal tending techniques and train with two goalies in the net so they don't get in the way of each other when we implement our new "brilliant" strategy. According to some on here, this is indeed what we should do, but I don't think anybody really wants to see this carried out. Do they?

3) If, as DCU_Rick suggests, it's OK to break the rules of the game as long as you are punished according to the rules, then it's OK to commit a crime on the street as long as you do your time. So according to your logic, I could, say, steal from your grandmother and there's nothing wrong with doing that as long as I serve whatever sentence the courts give me. I just don't think your logic holds up.

As an aside, I do believe ex-convicts should be accepted and integrated into society after doing their time, but it doesn't mean they didn't once do so something wrong.

Posted by: WorldCup | July 13, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

great list...but gotta disagree on Suarez.

Posted by: CDRHoek | July 13, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

did someone say "Indomitable Spirit"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AckxOWz868k

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 13, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I would add Joachim Loew to the list of best coaches.

Luis Suarez should be on both player lists. The handball was cynical and disrespectful of the game, but his 2nd goal against South Korea was one of the best, and he played very well in the first four games.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | July 13, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Italian ref Rossi and his linesman not seeing Tevez a good 3 feet offside in Argentina's first goal vs, Mexico.

Please Geoff, you put down the England/Germany blunder, but not this one? Both games were the same day.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Flops?

Where is Kaka? Ribery? Why is Nigeria a flop? I think Italy, France and England had major aspirations in the tournament. This isnt the Nigeria team from the late 90's, but the one thing that remains constant is the total lack of organization in Nigeria. Not surprised they didnt make out of the group, even though they played well.

What World Cuo were you watching Geoff?

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

No Germany-Argentina?

That, along with the Swiss-Spanin game, were the biggest shock of the tournament.

Btw,

I'm ok with Suarez and his handball. Its up to the Ghanian guy to convert the PK and end the game.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I guess they are flops, depending on your point of view.

Everyone knew France was a fraud.

Everyone but Italy knew Italy was too old.

Everyone but England believes every year that they have the best team ever.

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

In that case then why is Messi not a flop? Was this not supposed to be his World Cup to shine? I remember some people saying he had surpassed Maradona as a player.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | July 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Coaches -- Marcelo Bielsa stood out. And Roberto Martinez.

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse


Ahhh yes. Roberto Martinez. I find myself with a sudden newfound interest in all things Wigan.

Posted by: KThashi | July 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

1) put yourself in Ghana's shoes.

2) For those who think it's OK to do what he did because he was duly punished for it, let's carry your same logic further: We can get really cynical about this, and start it as a new strategy. Whenever our team is hanging on to a precarious lead in the last part of a game, we can just instruct one of our strikers to go to the goal line and put his hands up and act as a second goal keeper. The rewards justify the punishment, right? Perhaps we should even give our strikers regular instruction on goal tending techniques and train with two goalies in the net so they don't get in the way of each other when we implement our new "brilliant" strategy.

3) If, as DCU_Rick suggests, it's OK to break the rules of the game as long as you are punished according to the rules, then it's OK to commit a crime on the street as long as you do your time. So according to your logic, I could, say, steal from your grandmother and there's nothing wrong with doing that as long as I serve whatever sentence the courts give me. I just don't think your logic holds up.

Posted by: WorldCup
----------------

1. No offense, but this is a WHOLE PILE of steaming stupidity.

2. Yes, if one does a crime and pays what SOCIETY considers to be the just punishment for said crime, that is the DEFINITION of justice.

3. Your #2 is BEYOND country-dumb. THE MATCH WAS TIED WHEN SUAREZ HANDED THE BALL!! Why would a team "strikers regular instruction on goal tending techniques and train with two goalies in the net so they don't get in the way of each other when we implement our new "brilliant" strategy."

Therefore, why would a strike remain in the box, keeping the entire opposition on-side, and limiting your OWN team's scoring chances IN A TIED MATCH?

4. No offense, but if you're going to weep for Ghana's inability to finish a PK [which most 10 year olds can do], then you are soccer-dumb. GHANA FAILED to punish Suarez/Uruguay for the handball. Had they done so, you would have no reason to open your piehole about the handball in the first place.

5. Anyone of us [or at least those of us with a 3-digit IQ] would have done the same thing that Suarez did, INCLUDING each and every one of the Ghanian players. To think or state otherwise is hypocritical.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

5. Anyone of us [or at least those of us with a 3-digit IQ] would have done the same thing that Suarez did, INCLUDING each and every one of the Ghanian players. To think or state otherwise is hypocritical.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with this. If every single player would do this, then this controversy wouldn't even exist. It would be a normal part of the game, a "professional red card" if you will. Akin to seeing the last defender pull the striker down as he goes to goal.

Just my opinion, please don't start insulting my intelligence or calling me names.

Posted by: KThashi | July 13, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

One positive outcome I see from this Cup...my yearly effort to get an office outing to watch DCU seems to be going very well. I already have 10+ tics purchased for this Thursday's match and hopefully more soon.

Can't say for sure whether the Cup is responsible but there is definitely some more interest among the non-soccer types in my office.

Posted by: DCB23 | July 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The controversy exists because Gyan choked the biggest penalty in Africa's footballing history. If DC United had a chance like this to win the MLS Cup or the Champions Cup and Moreno missed, than I would be furious at him. Not at the player who blocked a final shot with his hands.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | July 13, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with this. If every single player would do this, then this controversy wouldn't even exist. It would be a normal part of the game, a "professional red card" if you will. Akin to seeing the last defender pull the striker down as he goes to goal.

Just my opinion, please don't start insulting my intelligence or calling me names.

Posted by: KThashi
--------------------

I respect your opinion, but disagree with it. Hell, there was a professional foul in the Final [the 2nd yellow that became a red for the Dutch defender].

In 2002, Frings of germany prevented a probable game winner v. the US.

Again, I respect your opinion, in part because you did not INSIST on posting ignorance, hyperbole and hypocrisy. [The other guy posted as though he didn't realize that IT WAS A TIED GAME when Suarez handed the ball.]

But in a FRACTION of a second, in perhaps the BIGGEST MATCH of HIS/HER LIFE, a player must decide what to do. ANYONE would do the same, IMO.

And let's be intellectually honest here:

It wasn't the handball that created the "controversy," if there ever was any. It was Ghana's inability to finish a PK. Had they scored that, stupid crap like WorldCup's post wouldn't exist.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with some of the comments above. The punishment did not fit the crime. A certain goal was stopped illegally, and the offending team moved on. No justice there.

I would rather referees be given the discretion to award the goal in such a situatino, and forget the PK. AND give the red card. That, to me, would be a fitting punishment.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Its like the cornerback who is beat by the WR on a 50 yard TD bomb, but in a last desperate attempt just commits gross pass interference.

Take the 50yd penalty, the other team gets the ball on the 1yd line and its up to them to put in the end zone. Who knows, maybe your D stands up and only gives up a FG, or maybe the FG gets blocked or missed, then you just saved your team 7 points.

Same with Suarez.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who intentionally handles the ball, outside the goalkeeper, is a loser, cheat, hack, period.

Posted by: delantero | July 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree with some of the comments above. The punishment did not fit the crime. A certain goal was stopped illegally, and the offending team moved on. No justice there.

I would rather referees be given the discretion to award the goal in such a situatino, and forget the PK. AND give the red card. That, to me, would be a fitting punishment.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor
------

You're having a different conversation, though:

Under the CURRENT rules, the punishment fit the crime. The executioner [Ghana] was merely inept in preparing the noose. I don't think that Suarez nor Uruguay should be faulted for the failure of the rules and the failure of the PK taker.


Having said that, I agree with you, in that the ref should have the discretion to allow the goal. But that would require a rule change. [I would favor such a rule change, BTW.]

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Rand-al-Thor,

Ghana has to practice taking PKs, that is all. Rules are rules, and they were followed.

Hack-a-Shaq was never, how you say, "ethical" but it worked, but the Lakers still won.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who intentionally handles the ball, outside the goalkeeper, is a loser, cheat, hack, period.

Posted by: delantero

-------

And under the rules, he was duly punished. So what's the big deal? If there's a criminal, it's the loser who couldn't finish a kick that most U-10 girls can finish.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Walking roid head Barry Bonds instead of pitching to him wasn't "ethical" either . . . hell, fans were robbed of seeing a Bonds at bat. That stuff ain't ethical either, its fraud!!!

Intentionally walking guys who are good hitters is cheating!

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Disagree that Ghana's inability to convert was the "controversy."
The controversy was the obvious, malicious, concious effort to cheat....above and beyond the normal late hit, spitball or illegal tackle from behind. Explain to a first-time WC viewer why that was OK.
Does cheating happen in other sports? Sure....Barry Bonds is still villified. How about Floyd Landis?
Apparently people don't like blatant cheaters.
I'll duck now for the incoming insults to my intelligence, education level, worldliness, understanding of the rules of the game, etc, etc......

Posted by: marksman37 | July 13, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

If you have to use another sport to make your argument, you've lost the argument, vmrg1974. You need to make your case based on the facts at hand.

Let me try for you:

"Suarez was right to use his hands because it stopped a sure goal, and it forced Ghana to 'try again,' this time with a goalkeeper in net. The ends justifies the means -- winning is all that matters. It's what the World Cup is all about."

How'd I do?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Disagree that Ghana's inability to convert was the "controversy."

Posted by: marksman37
-------
Since you're not an experienced viewer of soccer, let's put it into an American context:


Suppose that slimeball piece of crap Lebron James is driving to the basket, and is on his way to finish a dunk in the last second of a TIED playoff game in overtime.

However, Dwight Howard flies in with a flagrant foul that prevents the dunk. Dwight Howard is then ejected from the game as time expires.

At the free thow line, all slimeball piece of crap Lebron James must do is to finish one of TWO FREE throws to win the game.

Unfortunately for slimeball piece of crap Lebron James, he misses BOTH FREE throws.


In my mind, this is very much similar to what happened in the Uruguay-Ghana match. In the above example, everyone, even the stupid mouth breathers on the 4-letter network would be deriding James for his inability to finish free throws, NOT Howard for his foul.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually played and watched for over 35 years now and I felt the handball was the worst thing I had ever seen. It isn't part of the game like fouling a guy driving the lane. Otherwise it would happen all the time, regardless of the score or the time in the game. It looked like a sissy, loser mentality of a move to me. Sure he got punished and red-carded and all that but, it's just wrong.
I guess anyone that every misses a PK with the game on the line is just a loser that can't meet the expectations of a u-10 girl....hmmmmm. I think it is MUCH harder than that with an entire continent on your back, most of the world watching, your career on the line, etc, etc
I'll just respectfully disagree with both of your points as I guess you will with mine.
Interesting discussion though. thanks

Posted by: marksman37 | July 13, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I can't even count the number of basketball games I've seen where someone is driving for a late, possibly game-winning basket, and an opponent prevents it by fouling them hard, thus putting on the line. Nobody has a problem with that kind of play there.

It's absurd that a few people still can't get over what Suarez did.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | July 13, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Um, deliberate handballs to protect a lead as a strategy? Why would anyone consciously adopt that knowing ahead of time that it's going to fail 99% of the time?

There is the matter of the penalty kick, which if you miss at this level, means you screwed up. Even having a lights-out GK (again, at this level) does not really increase the odds of surviving that. It's on the shooter to score, period (the one thing Pele ever said that I agree with). It's not as though Gyan's penalty was even saved. The shot was missed, which is about the most enormous error imaginable.

To Gyan's and his manager's credit, he buried the very first PK of the shootout, while unimaginably burdened. But you talk about how good deeds or redemption does not erase misdeeds... well!?! There is an example!

The handball was not even a conscious decision, it was a desperation reflex to keep the ball out of the goal. You don't teach players to do it of course, but the bottom line is that's what every player should do, anyway he can (short of rough play, of course). It's nothing to apologize for.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 13, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Since a couple of you guys are stuck using other sports analogies, here's one:

Dwayne Wade shoots a three-pointer. Lebron James jumps up and, with the ball on it's downward trajectory, slaps it away.

Is Lebron given a foul and Dwayne has to shoot again? Negative. The three-pointer is ruled good. The reason? To firmly discourage goaltending.

In the Ghana game, did the ref have a choice? No. He did what the Laws tell him to do. But I argue the Laws should be changed to give the ref the freedom to rule the situation a goal, and give the red.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Come on guys, obviously there are those who think cheating to win is no less honorable than playing by the rules. I don't think any amount of insult, different sport analogy, or whining is going to change anyone's mind.

Dudes! Super Liga starts today! Does it get anymore spectacular than that!?!?
How about Ljungberg trade rumors!? Aren't the Pink Cows revealing their DP today?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@Marksman37

You thought that handball was worse than Maradona in 86'? What about Fring's handball in 2002? Those were both game changers and neither were called.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | July 13, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Rand-al-Thor, you're wrong. It's "Dwyane" Wade. It's no "Anfernee", though.

Can't we all agree to disagree on the Suarez hand ball?

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I like that change Rand-al.
I also think goal line technology needs to be implemented (camera, radio signals, goal judge...whatever).
And look at having 2 refs on the field much like in the NHL.

Posted by: marksman37 | July 13, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

And yes, I intentionally used James-Wade, just to stick it to Insiders from Cleveland.

:-)

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@khan1 - you need to take a deep breath. Calm down, and stop calling people names. Or just go back to Big Soccer. If you disagree, that's fine, but please make your case without the insults and ALL CAPS. And the hypocrisy. For example, you twice ask me to take "no offense" but then spew offensive insults like calling me "BEYOND country-dumb". That stuff isn't welcome on this blog.

On your point about the definition of justice. I agree with you on that. However, if justice was served, that does not mean it was OK for the perpetrator to commit his crime in the first place. Or to argue that the perp won't be remembered "for the wrong reasons" which is how we got into this.

vmrg1974 argues that "Rules are Rules, and they were followed". But that's not true. Suarez broke the rules. That's why he was punished.

Of course I completely agree that the Ghanaian player should have converted the kick. There is no question that he let his team and country down by missing that kick. Perhaps the team should indeed have practiced PK's more. If he had made the kick, many people would still look disapprovingly at Suarez's actions, though certainly this wouldn't be a topic of discussion today if he had converted. Whether "most U-10 girls can finish" a penalty against a professional caliber keeper when the whole world's eyes are on you, as you claim, is debatable. The history of soccer is filled with missed PKs that players "should" have converted.

Posted by: WorldCup | July 13, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

My favorite World Cup memory is being in a bar in Cape May, NJ with a standing room only crowd watching the US-Ghana game. Now I don't know if many of you have been to Cape May, but it is a quiet town with few bars. Anyway, only a few people went there early but as the match went on and passers-by realized the match was on they came in and they stayed.

Till the end.

On a beautiful sunny day at the beach.

You 'more intelligent' folk can fight among yourselves and hurl insults all you want, but you can't spoil that memory for me.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 13, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Best coaches - why no Joachim Loew?

Posted by: esmith22015 | July 13, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

In a sport where so few goals are actually scored, you can't start awarding them for balls that don't go actually go in the net, no matter what a player like Suarez does to keep it out. Heck, sometimes, goals don't even get awarded for balls that DO go in, right Frank?
Was it cynical? Yes. Was it consciously done? Unlikely, given the circumstances. The dude wanted to win the game.
And similar to all the griping and grousing about Thierry Henry back in November, hindsight is making Suarez out to be a bigger villain than should be the case. If Hansson calls the handball on Henry, no one says anything. If Gyan doesn't blow the PK, which is a perfectly suitable punishment for the infraction, then no one says anything.
The only thing I question about Suarez right now is when he says he is looking to move to England, he mentions Tottenham as a club high on his list. Huh???

Posted by: mjhoya12 | July 13, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually played and watched for over 35 years now and I felt the handball was the worst thing I had ever seen. It isn't part of the game like fouling a guy driving the lane. Otherwise it would happen all the time, regardless of the score or the time in the game. It looked like a sissy, loser mentality of a move to me. Sure he got punished and red-carded and all that but, it's just wrong.
I guess anyone that every misses a PK with the game on the line is just a loser that can't meet the expectations of a u-10 girl....hmmmmm. I think it is MUCH harder than that with an entire continent on your back, most of the world watching, your career on the line, etc, etc
I'll just respectfully disagree with both of your points as I guess you will with mine.
Interesting discussion though. thanks

Posted by: marksman37
----------------------
1. You DID ask to have it explained to a first time viewer, so I took it as you referring to yourself.

2. Again, in a flash decision, I believe that ANYONE would do the same. For you to expand the discussion to, "Otherwise it would happen all the time, regardless of the score or the time in the game." is a bit of hyperbole, isn't it?

NO ONE believes that it should or WOULD happen all the time, except for WorldCup, who apparently didn't know that it was a TIED GAME in the LAST FEW SECONDS of overtime. To expand the discussion OUTSIDE the one in that match is disingenuous.

3. Yes, any professional soccer player, 'keepers included, should be able to finish a PK. Look at how the Ghanians celebrated when the PK was called!

PKs are considered to be virtual LOCKS for goals. Otherwise, why would the players celebrate them? If they're "so hard" to finish, why wouldn't they groan and moan and protest to the ref when they're called?

4. Under the CURRENT rules, Suarez was punished as he should have been. If you don't like the rules, that's an entirely different discussion. [For the record, I believe that the rules SHOULD be changed for this type of situation.]

But to combine your lament about the rules into a discussion about SUAREZ/his actions isn't all that cogent, to tell you the truth. Blame FIFA for the rules if you want, NOT Suarez.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@khan1 - If you disagree, that's fine, but please make your case without the insults and ALL CAPS. And the hypocrisy. For example, you twice ask me to take "no offense" but then spew offensive insults like calling me "BEYOND country-dumb". That stuff isn't welcome on this blog.

On your point about the definition of justice. I agree with you on that. However, if justice was served, that does not mean it was OK for the perpetrator to commit his crime in the first place. Or to argue that the perp won't be remembered "for the wrong reasons" which is how we got into this.

Of course I completely agree that the Ghanaian player should have converted the kick.

Posted by: WorldCup
--------------------
1. Then learn what you're posting about. On the one hand you [apparently] didn't realize that it was a tied game. That is, when you posted the ridiculous idea about training a striker to act as a 2nd GK.

2. You posted earlier "If, as DCU_Rick suggests, it's OK to break the rules of the game as long as you are punished according to the rules, then it's OK to commit a crime on the street as long as you do your time."

Now, you posted, "On your point about the definition of justice. I agree with you on that."

I recommend you pick a lane, and drive down it. Either Suarez was punished according to the rules, or he wasn't.

3. I'm not calling YOU "country dumb." I'm calling your IDEAS "country dumb." There IS a distinction.

4. Again: If the PK was finished, as it SHOULD HAVE been, you wouldn't have had the silly ideas you posted. [Again, I'm calling your IDEAS "silly," not you.]

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

S T F U ALREADY KHAN!!!
I'm not calling you a jack a s s I'm just saying you're braying like one.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

S T F U ALREADY KHAN!!!
I'm not calling you a jack a s s I'm just saying you're braying like one.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

*************
Post of the day. Maybe of the year.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 13, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

S T F U ALREADY KHAN!!!
I'm not calling you a jack a s s I'm just saying you're braying like one.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2010 2:26 PM
--------------

Your anguish sustains me. I thank you.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Your anguish sustains me. I thank you.

Posted by: khan1 | July 13, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

******

Your hubris amazes me. I shun you.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 13, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

FIFA is not the NFL or the NBA. They do not usually make "reactionary" rule changes because of one singular event (See the NFL changing OT rules because of the Saints-Vikings game this year). Suarez's play was an outlier. An intentional handball on the last second of the game, and the guy MISSES the PK? Who on this board has ever seen anything like that go down that way? Its such a rare thing that its actually a reason NOT to create a rule for something like an auto-goal. Someone above mentioned giving refs the discretion to award a goal in this case...are you serious? And even if he was trying to make a different point, Rand-al-Thor got it right that at the WC, the end justifies the means.

The Suarez play was far from the most disgraceful thing at this WC. Players like Keita, Robben, and Capdavilla simulating real injury in order to earn their opponents bookings/ejections was postively disgusting. How FIFA can not add some sort of after the fact review for simulation is beyond me.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 13, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Best coaches - why no Joachim Loew?

Posted by: esmith22015 | July 13, 2010 2:04 PM
==========================

+1

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Since a couple of you guys are stuck using other sports analogies, here's one:

Dwayne Wade shoots a three-pointer. Lebron James jumps up and, with the ball on it's downward trajectory, slaps it away.

Is Lebron given a foul and Dwayne has to shoot again? Negative. The three-pointer is ruled good. The reason? To firmly discourage goaltending.

In the Ghana game, did the ref have a choice? No. He did what the Laws tell him to do. But I argue the Laws should be changed to give the ref the freedom to rule the situation a goal, and give the red.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor
********

Thats goaltending and NBA rules sez it counts as a basket. But of its on the upward trajectory and Lebron fouls him, then Wade has to shot 3 FT, which he MIGHT miss, 1 or 2 of them.

And they are on the same team, why would he blocking Wade's shot anways?

The point we're making, which your mental capacity fails to grasp, is that the rules were followed. If Suare commits that same play in the 91st minute, then Uruguay plays with 10men for 29min of OT.

Blame the Ghanians for missing the PK, and for not pressuring early to get that play in the 91st min instead of the 120th.

LOL.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

What is this, a Youtube video's comment section?

Posted by: carmines757 | July 13, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

vmrg1974 argues that "Rules are Rules, and they were followed". But that's not true. Suarez broke the rules. That's why he was punished.

Of course I completely agree that the Ghanaian player should have converted the kick. There is no question that he let his team and country down by missing that kick. Perhaps the team should indeed have practiced PK's more. If he had made the kick, many people would still look disapprovingly at Suarez's actions, though certainly this wouldn't be a topic of discussion today if he had converted. Whether "most U-10 girls can finish" a penalty against a professional caliber keeper when the whole world's eyes are on you, as you claim, is debatable. The history of soccer is filled with missed PKs that players "should" have converted.

Posted by: WorldCup
*******

RIIIIIIGGGHTTT. Aint Suarez's fauls that the Ghanian guy choked.

I really don't care. It's an action or play that can occur during a game, for which he was punished, and the oppossing team awarded the closest thing to a goal that can be awarded in the game.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Man this is an exhausting and dispiriting thread to read. I may need some of that Pussy that dcsnowwake was talkin about just to make it through the day

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who noticed the typo here? Steve, you accidentally put stomping on Arjen Robben as a bad thing!

Posted by: rmull1 | July 13, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who noticed the typo here? Steve, you accidentally put stomping on Arjen Robben as a bad thing!

Posted by: rmull1 | July 13, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Suarez's play was an outlier. An intentional handball on the last second of the game, and the guy MISSES the PK? Who on this board has ever seen anything like that go down that way? Its such a rare thing that its actually a reason NOT to create a rule for something like an auto-goal.

Posted by: VTUnited
-------------------------------

It's true enough that that situation is very rare, but why is that a reason to not give the ref a better way to deliver "justice"? The awarding of a "penalty goal" is really the only proper outcome.

When a player fouls another in the midst of a scoring opportunity in the box he is red-carded and a penalty kick is awarded--a high percentage scoring opportunity. But trading a 100% chance for a goal for an 85% chance (or whatever it is) is not a logical rule.

Suarez was incented to make the play he made. And because of that I don't blame him but I wish the rules didn't encourage him to hand the ball in that situation.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | July 13, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Robben plus Ribery plus Van Pummel = Bayern wins the A-whole Trifecta

Posted by: OWNTF | July 13, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

If you have to use another sport to make your argument, you've lost the argument, vmrg1974. You need to make your case based on the facts at hand.


Posted by: Rand-al-Thor |
*******

According to who, the "all-mighty" Rand-al-Thor?!?!?! The "venerable" and "all-knowing" the oracle of the WaPo Soccer Blog Section, the mighty Rand-al-THOOOOOORRRRRRR!?!?!?!?!?!


Bwahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anhahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bro, as in life, sometimes, it's all about winning. Unlike Maradona in 86, Suarez got caught and was punished for his act. The subsequent act is not his responsibility.

And the use of other sports is only because a lot of Americans complain about things that occured in the only football they watch EVER (every 4 years) while totally overlooking that referring errors, arbitraty decisions, judgement calls, gross negligence and incompetence, moral and ethical miscalculations happen in american sports leagues ALL the time, season after season, game after game....but they just chose to overlook those because well...it's and american sport.

case closed. thank you for playing "all mighty oracle of the WaPo blog section" RANDAL-AL-THOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

bwahahahahaha . .. .

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 13, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

So, is a flopper a cheat? Someone who, you know, takes just a little contact and flails like they've been shot?

Hmmm. I say yes. Khan must think it's A ok!

Posted by: delantero | July 13, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Just as a hypothetical for those saying Ghana was cheated - if that had been us, and Findley or Altidore had stopped a goal with their hand and been sent off, and the opponent missed the ensuing PK and then lost the shootout, would you still be saying the losers were cheated and we deserve to win?

Posted by: Josh86 | July 13, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Suarez's play was an outlier. An intentional handball on the last second of the game, and the guy MISSES the PK? Who on this board has ever seen anything like that go down that way? Its such a rare thing that its actually a reason NOT to create a rule for something like an auto-goal.

Posted by: VTUnited
-------------------------------

It's true enough that that situation is very rare, but why is that a reason to not give the ref a better way to deliver "justice"? The awarding of a "penalty goal" is really the only proper outcome.

When a player fouls another in the midst of a scoring opportunity in the box he is red-carded and a penalty kick is awarded--a high percentage scoring opportunity. But trading a 100% chance for a goal for an 85% chance (or whatever it is) is not a logical rule.

Suarez was incented to make the play he made. And because of that I don't blame him but I wish the rules didn't encourage him to hand the ball in that situation.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21

My argument against your statement that "Suarez was incented to make the play" is that he would not have had incentive to make the play had it not been the final moments of the game. The reason the punishment applied seemed so injust is that Uruguay did not suffer at all by having to play with 10 men. Suarez found one of the few loopholes in the laws of the game.

as for giving refs better ways to "deliver justice", they already can not award legitimate goals or assign bookings properly, so why give them any more power to influence the game?

Posted by: VTUnited | July 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Bwahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anhahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(other rants clipped...)

Posted by: vmrg1974
----------------------------

Chill, dude. We can discuss like grownups here.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | July 13, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@vmrg1974 - not sure if you are new here, but we don't attack each other on this board. we have polite and snarky discourse here. we don't yell, or insinuate that others are not knowledgeable.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 13, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I've dwyane waded through the crap...

BlackandRedRedDevil, Cape May is the anti-Jersey Shore part of the Jersey Shore. Quiet, beautiful Victorian town where you can walk/bike to everything, with large beaches. I'll be there in a month.

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Q: What do you get when you mix dcsnowwake's energy drink with 5 Hour energy drink.

A: Smiling Bob, erstwhile of Fox Soccer Channel fame.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 13, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Reignking, Cabanas (used to be Gloria's) was very welcoming to World Cup viewers. They even served breakfast for the England Germany game. Good beer, decent food. If I had known you were going i would have saved my 298 skee ball tickets for you.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 13, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Would you still be saying the losers were cheated and we deserve to win? Posted by: Josh86

Wouldn't matter, cheaters are cheaters, whether they be divers or like Maradona's hand of god, they're cheaters.

But an American player would have headed the ball out not swatted at it like a two year old learning to catch. An American would not then have tried to hide from the ref after knowingly knocking it with his hands.

Posted by: delantero | July 13, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

as for giving refs better ways to "deliver justice", they already can not award legitimate goals or assign bookings properly, so why give them any more power to influence the game?

Posted by: VTUnited
-----------------------------

Yeah, I get your point. I do think the rule would useful and also be needed exceedingly rarely so why not put it in place? But...I suppose if I were to concede I would say "but where does it end"? We could start coming up with rules for lots of rare situations.

All that said--and while I know it's been discussed ad nauseum--I can't find fault with Suarez. I have a much bigger problem with players who dive or do over-the-top embellishing. Those are common and often effective attempts to cheat and it's a stain on the game, imo.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | July 13, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

How can you hate on Luis Suarez, Uruguay: red card for desperation handball? He gave his team a chance to win the game. It was a hell of a play.

Posted by: mjwies11 | July 13, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

wow I hope all of you are planning to bring this spirit to RFK this Thursday and Sunday.

Posted by: DCB23 | July 13, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

To those advocating for a rule change to give a referree the power to award a goal - have you thought that through?

Would you be ok with referees awarding phantom goals (instead of just phantom penalty kicks now) in games? Because that is exactly what would happen. The referees have a hard enough time now determining if fouls have occurred. But you want them to also make judgement calls on whether or not a goal 'might' have gone in?

That's great in theory, but you have to think larger than this one situation if you are proposing a rule change. No way do I want the referee to have that much power. Think of what you are advocating - you are saying you want to give the referee the power to award a goal when the ball never crosses the goal line.

Personally, I think what Suarez did was one of the smartest things I've ever seen in sports. Was it "wrong" and "unjust" for Ghana not to advance? Absolutely.

But sports (like life) is not fair. The best team (or the most deserving team) does not always win. Uruguay and Suarez were punished for their infractions - it is not their fault that the punishment did not lead to 'justice' - however you define it. Justice would have been served if Gyan makes the PK. But sometimes real life gets in the way of justice - that's no one's 'fault' - that's just the universe we live in.

Posted by: isaac101 | July 13, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

My two cents on Suarez:

1) Harry Kewell, from Australia, in this same tournament, did the exact same thing Suarez did against the same team: Ghana. Did we see an ounce of ink dedicated to this? Nope. Anyone called Kewell a cheater? Nope.
2) Uruguay had the same thing done against them in Italy 1990. A Spanish player stopped a goal-headed ball with his arm. A penalty was awarded (no red card, per rules back in 1990). Uruguay missed the penalty, which meant they ended up facing Italy in the second round instead of a more accessible opponent. No one has brought this up, and no one called the Spanish player a cheat then or now.
3) Jackie Charlton did the same thing (even a better save) in the semi-finals against Portugal in 1966 (Eusebio scored on the penalty kick). No red card according to the rules back then. No one called him a cheater then or now. Actually, he's been awarded the Order of the British Empire.
4) If you don’t like the rules of the game, watch something else. The rules were followed in this case. They were not followed in Maradona’s “hand of G-d”, in Henry’s case, or in Luis Fabiano's score against Ivory Coast.
5) In the play leading to the penalty: a) the Ghanian player takes a dive and the referee calls a phantom free-kick that leads to the penalty, b) Appiah is offsides when Boateng heads the ball his way (you gotta have 2 Uruguayans between you and the goalline). Videos of showing this are on youtube, just search. If the rules of the game had been applied correctly, the play where the penalty occurs would have never happened.
6) When Suarez spoke about his being the "hand of G-d", he was using irony and sarcasm, which are easily lost in translation.
7) If Gyan had scored the penalty this would be a non-issue. If it had happened in the 1st minute of the game, it would have been a non-issue because Uruguay would have been a man down for a long time.

Posted by: JPHT | July 13, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@ isaac101 & JPHT
--------------------
+1

Posted by: VTUnited | July 13, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

BlackandRedRedDevil, were they from Frank's? (arcade, on the beach)

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

BlackandRedRedDevil, were they from Frank's? (arcade, on the beach)

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Yup. I gave them to some two year old's Dad. Don't miss Harpoon Henry's (the old Whaler's Cove, along the bay past the Ferry Terminal). Great sunsets over the bay. Now I'm getting hungry for a Cheesesteak.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 13, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

From the Lemon Tree...

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Who knew? USWNT plays Sweden tonight at 9.

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Hang in there, vmrg1974. The medics are on their way with your prescriptions.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 13, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The World Cup is still over, right?
Where's some MLS/United content?

Posted by: dcufan | July 13, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

would have been nice to see a mention of Robben's diving.
good list though.

Posted by: nico78 | July 13, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought Quagliarella's goal against Slovakia was a memorable one.

Posted by: hawaiiangradstudent | July 13, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I thought Quagliarella's goal against Slovakia was a memorable one.

Posted by: hawaiiangradstudent | July 13, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

wow I hope all of you are planning to bring this spirit to RFK this Thursday and Sunday.

Posted by: DCB23

Flying out to Seattle early Thursday morning for a wedding on Sunday. (So wouldn't even be able to attend Sounders/Celtic friendly if I wanted too...) let alone watch the DCU/Gals match. :(
Good news is I should be rocking the black and red at a bbq on the west coast and watching the game on tv with old friends Thursday evening. :)

Posted by: DadRyan | July 13, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Just curious.....


Any news on Emillio's status?

Posted by: Curious99 | July 13, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Goff's mention of peri-peri is interesting. Nando's Peri-Peri in Chinatown, across the street from Fado (or down the street from Hooters, if that is a more meaningful reference point for you) chooses to identify itself as a Portuguese restaurant. I did a bit of digging and learned that peri-peri actually originated in Mozambique, and made its way from there to South Africa, Portugal, 7th Street NW, etc.

Another item that could be added to Goff's list of memories is the near-meltdown of Twitter in the minutes following Donovan's strike against Algeria. That really grabbed the public's attention.

Posted by: universityandpark | July 13, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Who knew? USWNT plays Sweden tonight at 9.

Posted by: Reignking | July 13, 2010 4:54 PM
_________________________________________

Indeed, and for Freedom fans, it will be interesting to see whether Sarah Huffman and/or Allie Long get into the 18, let alone onto the pitch. (I don't believe either one has been capped at the senior level, but I could be wrong.) Of course, this just gives me a pretext for asking whether Long ever lived in Boalsburg.

RK and others down there: What players from the Beat roster are involved?

Posted by: universityandpark | July 13, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

UNIQUELY SOUTH AFRICAN: vuvuzelas

These are banned from MLS, right? Can we keep them uniquely South African?

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 13, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@Curious99,

No doubt he's mulling over the multiple offers from MFL clubs he told us about.

Posted by: benonthehill | July 13, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

U&P

Solo is, with full knowledge of a potential yellow, flying Solo from the Beat. Which I was surprised to see, Chalupny is playing GREAT.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 13, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Next time a forward on the other team breaks away and is dribbling down the sideline while I'm out resting (which is often), I'm going to step onto the field and clothesline him. I will get banned from the league for a week, but it will be a professional foul and will be worth it because it will stop a goal. Anyone would do it. Right?

I guess a better analogy would be: Okay, I don't touch the guy, but I do step in and kick the ball away. As the 12th player on our team. It's worth the punishment, right?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | July 13, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Biggest upset was
New Zealand 1 - Italy 1
I rank this as one of the best games of the WC too.

Posted by: dmeaston | July 13, 2010 9:56 AM

Seconded! Also, New Zealand was the only nation to finished unbeaten with three draws. Who saw that coming?

Posted by: ImWithStupid | July 13, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

UNIQUELY SOUTH AFRICAN: vuvuzelas

These are banned from MLS, right? Can we keep them uniquely South African?

Posted by: Southeasterner |

---------------------------------------


Actually, these are not uniquely South African and, at times, have even been handed out at RFK.

Maybe 10 years ago Maryland women were playing Santa Clara in the NCAAs at Maryland. I took my daughter and a friend to watch and they each brought a vuvuzela with them to the game. They spent the first half in the first row of the stands behind Santa Clara's bench blowing the horns. At half the fourth official approached me, asked if the girls were mine, and said that he would eject them if they didn't stop. They stopped.

Posted by: Curious99 | July 13, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Vuvuzelas have been around for awhile. My daughter has a couple from game giveaways (I don't remember from where). However, they just have never been used to the extent we saw in South Africa.

Posted by: croftonpost | July 14, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Can't say for sure whether the Cup is responsible but there is definitely some more interest among the non-soccer types in my office. Posted by: DCB23

*I hope so! I was able to drag 4 newbies down to United games after 2006, even with the dismal US showing. They were already soccer fans--one from Ghana no less!--but were excited to see DC. They must have subsequently come to 20-25 games over the next 4 years, bought jerseys and scarves . .

Posted by: delantero | July 14, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm bummed that Brazil dropped out early only because the reigning champion and host each get automatic bids. Had Brazil won, that would have left one more group seed available. Not that FIFA would ever give one to the US, but it would be nice to think about.

Posted by: troy6 | July 14, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

The champs do not get an automatic bid now.

Posted by: Reignking | July 14, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

of course, those two would be automatic seeds anyway, but still...

Posted by: troy6 | July 14, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Henry seals NY move (FIFA)

Coke rankings out. Spain #1 by a mile. USA only up 1 to #13. We must've had points roll off, because we only gained 12, while Italy lost 202.

There are a number of big movers in this month’s top ten, with Chile (10th, up 8), Egypt (9th, up 3) and Uruguay (6th, up 10) all scaling the heights. La Celeste, the tournament’s surprise package thanks to their outstanding performances and qualification for the semi-final, thus take up their highest position since the world ranking was introduced. These three teams have benefited from disappointing performances by two giants of international football, Italy (11th, down 6) and France (21st, down 12). The 2006 finalists pay the price for group-stage elimination in South Africa and, together with Croatia, no longer find themselves among the ten best teams.


The latest ranking also brings mixed fortunes for the African teams. While hosts South Africa (66th, up 17) and Ghana (23rd, up 9) make considerable ground, Nigeria (30th, down 9), Algeria (33rd, down 3) and above all Cameroon (40th, down 21) tumble down the pecking order.

Posted by: Reignking | July 14, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

this is probably going to come out all jumbled, but what the hey:

Final Yahoo World Cup pick 'em standings:
Correct Picks
1 Bartapest 42 5 140 140
2 BooThisMan 37 9 136 136
3 randomness 37 12 134 134
4 GoldenChild 37 6 125 125
5 JkR- 38 5 124 124

Not sure what spoils go to the winner . .

Posted by: delantero | July 14, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

So maybe NYRB will put Henry on the goal line in the 90th minute to prevent added time goals that would tie or win the game for opponents.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 14, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

How is Egypt 9 when they didn't qualify for the WC and finished behind the US in the Confed Cup? And how are they moving up three slots while everyone else is playing meaningful games? Bizarre.

Better question: Why am I getting all argy bargy over meaningless FIFA rankings?

Posted by: benonthehill | July 14, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

It looks like Ronaldinho is trying to emulate Ronaldo by moving back to Brazil and gaining weight. This article on Marca shows a non-flattering pic of him on the beach.

I hope he has fun at Flabmengo.

Posted by: Reignking | July 14, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@RK that pic of him has lead to speculation on Big Soccer that instead of moving to the Galaxy he's headed to the Philly Flabbies...
;)

Posted by: DadRyan | July 14, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Thats a hot pic of 'Dinho. It seems he has just lost his drive. It is a shame because I can easily remember what a player he was. Oh well. I doubt he wanted to come to MLS and deal with getting hacked a bunch. Plus, he probably wasn't in the mood for the frantic pace either.

Who is our DP again? haha.

Posted by: grubbsbl | July 14, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Soccer America agrees with Rand-al-Thor

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

"Afterward, FIFA President Sepp Blatter rejected calls for a "penalty goal," saying a referee wasn't empowered to "award" a goal. We think otherwise. Basketball has an answer to such a situation. It's called goal-tending."

Posted by: OWNTF | July 14, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Thats a hot pic of 'Dinho. It seems he has just lost his drive.

Posted by: grubbsbl

That's unfair. He has always had the drive to party hard and not care about his career.

Posted by: Reignking | July 14, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Houston finally dumped Landin and John Spencer resigned as assistant coach. big day for the Dynamo...

Posted by: VTUnited | July 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Turning to all things local (I need a fix). . . any news on the Black and Red and who will or will not be active for tomorrow's game?

Posted by: edmundburke247 | July 14, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I do think there needs to be some rule adjustments giving more disincentive to the diving/flopping/simulation/writhing-in-pain displays we saw from SA. Some refs will card the most obvious offenders particularly if attempting to draw a PK, but there was still way too much of this crap and it is one aspect of the game that my "part-time fan" friends cite as their biggest problem with soccer.

Posted by: soccerman | July 14, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

None of you have probably heard of him, but I would add "Jimmy The Guinea Pig", he's a celebrity in his (our) native Peru right now, but mostly because he is the absolute opposite of "Paul the Octopus", he got every single game he predicted wrong, every single game, now that's something...

Posted by: WillyJoel | July 14, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

someone wanted to know about world cup coverage in South Africa. 2 options: a)SABC1, free local television-'pay your tv licence, it's the right thing to do' and all that jazz or Super Sport on satellite tv which is our go to for all things sport. our bouquet costs R500 a month (about $64)- that's expensive right but you get everything you could ever want to watch. Interestingly enough, Al Gore's made headlines for introducing a rival provider, TopTv? Hopefully that'll help make DStv cheaper.
a sort of summary show, South Africa Nightly was the only espn offering i can remember. that and the Landon Donovan photocopier advert which was pretty funny
-about ke nako,lotsa people here didn't even know what it meant, along with ayoba, until the world cup but they're both cool to say especially when taking cheesy pics so yay
-about vuvuzelas - as annoying as they are on tv, they were REALLY fun in the stadium..atleast, i thought so.almost everyone had them, locals and foreigners. that annoying wasp noise was basically made up of a whole bunch of separate hilariously entertaining and atmospheric 'symphonies' with different spontaneous leaders..
-someone wanted to know if there was 'integration'...if you have any matches on tivo, check behind the goalposts, those seats were reserved for South Africans...it's not some world-cup phenomena, our country has been like that for years. My generation, 25 and under grew up singing our lovely hodge-podge anthem and we know every word by heart and sing it with passion.
-another point, I don't think people realise just how much of a multi-cultural society we are. It's one idea i think the tv crews didn't do justice to. Apart from the US, UK or Australia, I don't think any other country could provide a Cup like ours where teams like Italy, Greece, Portugal etc had huge contingents of local support.
-Lastly, for millions of people my age, South Africa has been a great home, not perfect but certainly a place where we see a future. I think the people who came here and stayed long enough understood that. South Africans have the potential to make life better for South Africans.

OK, so that was my speech. We've had the best time hosting everyone. Hope the ones who visited come again and the ones who didn't finally decide to.

Posted by: fats1 | July 14, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Goff: For "memorable for the wrong reason" you forget Ricardo Clark! For goals to remember you should list either Donavan's net topping smash against Slovenia or his last gasp game winner against Algeria (probably the later). Mani the Parakeet!? Spare us ....

Posted by: lovinliberty | July 14, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

this is probably going to come out all jumbled, but what the hey:

Final Yahoo World Cup pick 'em standings:
Correct Picks
1 Bartapest 42 5 140 140
2 BooThisMan 37 9 136 136
3 randomness 37 12 134 134
4 GoldenChild 37 6 125 125
5 JkR- 38 5 124 124

Not sure what spoils go to the winner . .

Posted by: delantero | July 14, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I will be at RFK tomorrow night in Section 130 to watch DCU beat the Flounders. Where do I pick up my 4th place prize?

Posted by: Golden_Child | July 14, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@ fats1

Thanks for the insight. Waka waka.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 14, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Suarez cheated and it always should be remembered as such. Those who don't agree seem willing to let the world be ruled by laws, ragardless of ethics. His reward is his team got through. His punishment should be lifelong scolding from fans of fair play. Worse, he was punished to the absolute minimum, so FIFA essentially endorsed his actions. It's a shame the rules don't comprehend such a situation but that's no excuse for his actions, only an explanation of why they weren't punished adequately. I didn't think of it until the Paraguay-Spain match but I wish the Ghana-Uruguay ref had let Ghana retake the kick, noting the keeper moved or some such thing. I'd of loved to have seen Uruguay try to argue the "unfairness" of that which they undoubtedly would have, given that they consider Suarez a "hero" and that they had the nerve to surround the refs after the Holland match. At least Henri and the French have the decency to be remorseful.

Posted by: davidsbNC | July 14, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The Suarez situation was just magnified because Gyan missed his PK.

The US was on their way to losing the 2003 Gold Cup semifinal but Cory Gibbs used his hands/arms to deny a sure goal in extra time (in the age of golden goals no less). Gibbs got the red card and Diego stepped up to convert the PK. I doubt US fans would not accept advancing to the final against Mexico if Diego screwed up the PK after Gibbs "cheating" move (and the US would have to pull it out in PK's or even ET).

I haven't seen anybody bring up the Gibbs moment...probably because Diego converted.

PS - too bad Kaka scored at 89' to tie that match. :-(

Posted by: LAfanofSI | July 15, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

The Suarez situation was just magnified because Gyan missed his PK.

The US was on their way to losing the 2003 Gold Cup semifinal but Cory Gibbs used his hands/arms to deny a sure goal in extra time (in the age of golden goals no less). Gibbs got the red card and Diego stepped up to convert the PK. I doubt US fans would not accept advancing to the final against Mexico if Diego screwed up the PK after Gibbs "cheating" move (and the US would have to pull it out in PK's or even ET).

I haven't seen anybody bring up the Gibbs moment...probably because Diego converted.

PS - too bad Kaka scored at 89' to tie that match. :-(

Posted by: LAfanofSI | July 15, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Not to beat a dead horse... just to kick it around a bit.

Folks keep bringing up older situations of intentional handballs to save a goal, all of which I had no idea about. Cory Gibbs in 2003? I can't remember what I did last weekend!

I think it's safe to say that those of us with the conviction that what Suarez did was wrong will say the same about all of the other situations described on this thread. This isn't situational ethics.

BTW... I write about my musings here:
http://www.potomacsoccerwire.com/news/458/11939

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 15, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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