Monday, June 19, 2006

The US has a tomorrow

Photos of USA-Italy here.
Videos of the US rally also shown here and here.

So the good news: this is technically our best World Cup result on European soil.

Now the bad news: We still have to win. We still have to score. And we would rather we scored a lot in the final game.

(thanks to dirtskier of BigSoccer for this picture)
Let this picture be iconic of the US' character in this World Cup. The image (before Photoshop, of course) could be seen on the Sunday covers of the New York Daily News and New York Post, among other sports covers post-Italy. Everyone knows the story by now: McBride and De Rossi goes up for a ball, and the Italian, unexplicably, elbows him in the face. Our guy gets up and plays while their guy heads for the showers. Maybe we're not the most talented players in the world, but Americans are the type that never stays on the ground beaten. Compare that to the 572 dives by the Italian team last night.

I've been very vocal about it. I don't like Beasley in this World Cup. He had one good shot against Italy that, if McBride hadn't touched it, would have had a small chance of not being called offside. Other than that, he was dead weight. No desire at all to chase or attack. He has to sit down against Ghana.

Everyone's in agreement, I think, that Eddie Johnson has to play against Ghana. No one around me understood what Arena was thinking not subbing him in, or subbing anyone in when any amount of fresh energy would have tipped the balance in the final minutes.

Why was Dempsey subbed out?

Talked to a few people yesterday on the way to the game:
- Christian. I met him on the train to Kaiserslautern, and he was coming from the Holland game in Stuttgart, after which he said he was partying until 5:30AM. Speaks at least three languages, the result of traveling all over Europe. I'm sure he went to the Fan Fest all night after the Italy game.
- Three American fans, one of them named Matt (sorry, I wish I could remember the others!). Shared a beer with them as they waited for a friend, who was holding their tickets. I've been keeping my tickets within reach since I got here. To each his own, of course.
- Bryan, who sat next to me during the game. Admittedly, he's more knowledgeable about the game than I am. We sat in the very last row, and we had a guy jump on us celebrating the disallowed Beasley goal just prior to the flag going up. We ended up throwing him (accidentally) into the next row. Good times.
- Christian (on the left), a Luxembourgian (<- is that right?) who went for Italy because, hey, his country doesn't have a real national team. His first team, of course, is England. Oh well. He said he had fun, though. I invited him to join us American fans. Not surprisingly, he declined.
I'm packing up and will be in Nuremburg on Tuesday. Don't know about the Internet access there, but I hope to have more pictures up after the Ghana game. Will there be a party for the US afterwards?

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