Whoever you’re rooting for in this game is probably a good indication of whether you rooted for the Heat or Spurs in the NBA Finals. Do you want the team who totally deserves another title (San Antonio or Germany), or are you rooting for the individual player simply for greatness (LeBron, Messi — notice I didn’t put the names of the teams itself right here, only the names of the star players).
That being said, I’m bucking the trend, because I’m rooting for Messi after rooting for San Antonio. I want to see Lionel Messi transcend to a level of greatness that we rarely see. In fact, I’m thinking of him in many of the same ways that I’m thinking about LeBron with his Decision 2.0, because I’m really in the mood to see an athlete amaze us to the point that we have no choice to appreciate the art that we’re seeing.
2-1 Argentina. Messi on the winning goal.
That was painful. Both the game and that video.
Seriously, what’s worse than losing like that on your home turf, in the biggest sporting event ever created, in a year when everyone in the country was taking nothing but a win as a success. A friend of mine compared it to USA-Canada in 2010 if the US had won in overtime, but that doesn’t begin to take into account the severity of the score. It would be like Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, and co. putting up 10 goals to Team Canada’s 0. And then multiply that magnitude by 2, because it’s the fucking World Cup.
Who’s angrier now, Neymar, or every other Brazilian person. I honestly can’t decide.
If you aren’t jacked, there’s something wrong with you. Team USA plays today for a chance to escape the Group of Death, which no one expected. Right before the game starts, lemme just post the scenarios.
If Team USA wins, they get 1st in the group, and Germany will likely get 2nd.
If Team USA ties, they get 2nd in the group, and Germany gets 1st.
If Team USA loses, it comes down to goal differential. We are 2 goals ahead of Ghana, so if we lose by 1 and they win by 1, we’ll both have 4 points. Then, it’ll come down to goals scored. We have scored 4, and Ghana has scored 4. If that’s also tied, then it comes down to head to head, and we’d beat Ghana.
We are up on Portugal by 5 goals, so if they win and we lose it’d still take a monumental defeat on our end and Ghana’s for us to not make it out of the group.
If Portugal and Ghana tie, we’re automatically in.
Basically, we want to root for a tie, but it would be almost as good if Portugal wins, which is why Ghana sending some of its players home was a blessing in disguise.
I feel like this is a Boston Sports playoff game right now. That’s what the World Cup does to you, and that’s what somehow having a great chance to get out of the group of death does to you.
The US walks into the game without Jozy Altidore, which is also why they’ll only have 1 forward in Clint Dempsey. (By contrast, Portugal has 3, including Ronaldo.) That is mainly the case because of Altidore’s inury, but it could be a small sign of Team USA just being happy to pack it in and play for a tie, which may be smart because…
The ways that the US reaches the knockout round:
If USA ties Portugal today, then they have 4 points along with Germany, and Ghana and Portugal each have 1. The US would have a +1 goal differential, Germany at +4, Portugal at -4, and Ghana at +1. That would mean that the United States would only have to lose to Germany by a respectable score, and hope that Portugal and Ghana don’t kill one another by too much. In that case, we’d be rooting for Ghana, who would be closer to us if we tie Portugal today, surprisingly. A tie would be huge today, and I think it’s a realistically positive expectation.
If USA loses, then they’d have 1 point, Portugal would have 3, and we’d have 1 with Ghana and either a worse goal differential or the same. Essentially, we’d need to beat Germany (I know, right?) and hope that Portugal and Ghana beat Portugal while we still win in goal differential. That’s gonna be real hard, so the US has gotta get a result today.
If Team USA wins today, they’re in. But you knew that. So get the Budweiser on draft and let’s do this.
The 2008 and 2012 Euro Cup Champs, and the 2010 freakin World Cup champs, Spain, is out. Chile eliminated them with a 2-0 win today, and then the Spanish coach Vincente De Bosque said that they “deserved to go out.” Amazing. I thought Spain was gonna contend for another Cup this year, but they disappointed everyone.
By the way, did you see Chile’s fans today? I would post a link to a video or photo or something, but this is worth some Google search investigating of your own. That’s how cool it was… what this tourney is all about.
I’m not a huge club soccer fan. The New England Revolution? Who cares. It might not be smart for a guy with a website entitled “Get The Duckboats Ready” to admit that he doesn’t care that much about a Boston sports team, but I just can’t go it. I’ve tried to get a little bit into European soccer, and I’m a little bit of a fan of FC Barca, but even that isn’t that big. I’d trade a Barcelona La Liga for even a 1% greater increased chance for Kevin Love at this point.
But international soccer? Holy shit is it awesome. If you don’t like the atmosphere that surrounds the World Cup, you don’t have a pulse. I haven’t posted on it much before, but that’s going to change for the next month.
I’ll be doing a preview of the United States over the weekend, as our first game is Monday. But for today, let’s just go over a few basic predictions. I’ll post who I think will advance, and who will win in each round.
A: Brazil, Mexico
B: Spain (Upset city right here), Netherlands
C: Ivory Coast (Their flag’s colors are the same as Ireland’s, Ireland’s not in the tourney, and I’m Irish), Colombia
D: England, Costa Rica (Ok, this one’s actually an upset)
E: Switzerland, France
F: Argentina, Nigeria
G: United States, Ghana (Kidding). Portugal, Germany
H: Belgium, Russia
Second Round Winners:
Brazil over Netherlands
Spain over Mexico
Ivory Coast over Costa RicaEngland over Colombia
Switzerland over Nigeria
Argentina over France
Germany over Belgium
France over Russia
Brazil over Ivory Coast (The riots in Brazil would be downright insane if they lost this one)
Spain over England
Germany over Switzerland
Argentina over Portugal (This will be the game of the tournament)
Brazil over Germany
Argentina over Spain (Lionel Messi becomes the most hated man ever in the history of Madrid)
Argentina over Brazil. Brazil riots uncontrollably, Messi is the MVP of the World Cup, and he gets approximately 17 million bounties placed on his head.
Happy World Cup, everyone. Brazil vs. Croatia today at 4 pm.