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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.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Welcome to Red Cards, a new blog dedicated to soccer in the Philadelphia area and around the world.
With the Philadelphia Union’s Chester debut just a little more than a week away and the World Cup in full force, there’s no time like the present to get things off and running.
So let’s get started with a look back at the first few days of the World Cup:
The United States’ 1-1 tie with England was crucial to the red, white and blue’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stage. Robert Green’s bobble heard round the world gave the U.S. a point that both Slovenia and Algeria will struggle to match when they face England. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While the Slovenia-Algeria game may have been a bit dull and devoid of flash and flair, neither is a going to be a pushover for the U.S. With Slovenia on the docket Friday, it is imperative that the U.S. get at least a draw — and three points would be ideal. I say play the hot hand and start Edson Buddle up top with Jozy Altidore. Robbie Findlay played well against England, using his speed to run the Three Lions ragged, but he just doesn’t look to be a true threat to score.
As for the rest of the World Cup, the Swiss pulled off a major upset with a victory over Spain Wednesday. Spain played well and was extremely dangerous, just missing on several good scoring opportunities, including Xabi Alonso’s vicious strike off a corner that nearly dented the crossbar. Though teams that lose their first game of the tournament struggle to advance, the European champions are strong enough to overcome the loss.
Switzerland also is in good shape to get through. The Swiss defense didn’t allow a goal four years ago and got off to a good start Wednesday despite the many body blows Spain landed. Chile’s 1-0 win over Honduras put the South Americans in position to get through as well.
The team that probably looked the best through the first few days has to be perennial power Germany, which rocked Australia, 4-0. The Netherlands is another dangerous team and opened with a 2-0 win over Denmark. If only the Dutch’s uniforms didn’t look like something you’d see a bunch of 12-year-old girls running around wearing on the local field.
The Group of Death was one of the last to take the field and it was a bit of a disappointment. Brazil didn’t look like Brazil in the first half, but turned things on in the second to beat North Korea — excuse me, the People’s Republic of Korea — 2-1 after yielding a late goal. Portugal vs. Ivory Coast looked to be one of the best first-round matchups but turned into a 0-0 draw. It was a good match, with plenty of action, but two teams of that talent level should be able to find the back of the net. And Cristiano Ronaldo, considered the best footballer in the world by many, should stop by a South African sporting goods store to by a bathing suit before the next game — he did more diving Wednesday than the rest of the teams combined.


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