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Bob Weiser started playing soccer as a youth and has been following the sport ever since, dating back to days of watching the Bundesliga on PBS on Saturday afternoons.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Group C jumbled

I held off posting for a few hours to let the rage simmer down. Like most Americans watching the match, I yelled at my computer (the first match I forgot to DVR all tournament, just genius) as the third goal went in and then was waved off. Disbelief. Frustration. Anger. The blood boiled.
Now that's been 12 hours or so since I watched the game, I simply am left to marvel at the performance of the U.S. in the second half. Yes, the first half was bad. Unlike some fans, I thought Slovenia was going to be a legit test. More so for its defense than its ability to score twice against the U.S. When it was 2-0, I thought the U.S. would really struggle to earn the draw against a good defensive team. Landon Donovan's rooftop blast early was just what the doctor ordered, though, and eventually, Michael Bradley tied things up. Throughout the game I had wondered why, when the ball was coming tantalizingly through the box, our players seemed to just let it go. I thought a few times a better effort could have been made to stick a foot out and try to redirect the ball. Finally, Bradley did almost just that to tie it up.
I wasn't happy to see Robbie Findley get the start, but I'm going to give him his props - he played well, I thought. I just don't think he's a threat to score. He runs hard, plays hard, looks like he can create things. But finishing? Not at this level yet. And this is probably something that is going to hurt this team this year - the forwards just lack experience.
Of course, when the game was over, it figured to be a tough few days trying to figure out how the U.S. was going to get to the knockout stage knowing England and Slovenia were sitting on 4 points and we were stuck at 2. And then England took the pitch against Algeria, in a game English fans thought would be even easier than facing the U.S.

Now, England is a tie or loss away from not even getting out of this superEASY group. Nice job Brits. I can only hope against hope that Slovenia beats England and the U.S. beats Algeria. No England and no France? That would be awesome.
The other game Friday was the surprising 1-0 Serbia win over Germany. Miroslav Klose got sent off, the Germans missed a penalty kick and now they'll be up against Ghana, which should be 2-0 for 6 points in a few hours after beating Australia. Of course, there's no use predicting anything as we all saw Friday.


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