August 1, 2014

WFNY World Cup Diary: I Believe that we Just Won

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NATAL, Brazil — After a lively US Soccer party on Sunday night I decided to pass on a Bohemia beer as we sat at a beach-side bar to watch Germany destroy Portugal Monday afternoon. I picked up a Caipirinha instead.

This is also how we started our pregame in preparation for the USMNT game being played down the road. There are no tailgate spots at these games, and you can’t park anywhere near a stadium. So people gather at any bar, restaurant, or street-side joint that sells some sort of alcohol. And in Brazil, if there’s a game in TV, the places fills up.
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Watch John Brooks’ go ahead goal in USMNT’s 2-1 win over Ghana

Just four minutes after the United States gave up the 1-1 equalizer, they fought back. John Brooks got his head on the ball and put it in the back of the net with less than ten minutes to go in regulation. When the team had a chance to fold, they did the exact opposite in an electrifying win over Ghana 2-1.

Watch Clint Dempsey’s goal vs. Ghana

The first goal for the United States of the 2014 World Cup occurred within the first minute of the opening game against Ghana. A great individual effort and finish by Clint Dempsey sure set the tone!

[Related: What a start! – United States defeats Ghana 2-1]

What Should Bob Bradley’s Future Be?

Over the weekend, the United States was eliminated by Ghana from the World Cup.  It is always sad to lose, but when we look back on this experience later, I think most of us will appreciate how well the United States did.  They won their group despite some suspect officiating.  They scored a gift of a goal against England in the opener for a fortunate tie.  They should have won the second game against Slovenia if not for a disallowed goal that eventually saw the referee’s dismissal from further World Cup action.  Then they overcame another disallowed goal in beating Algeria to take the group over England.  It showed a lot of heart.  Finally, the United States was not able to beat Ghana on Saturday.  The United States survived another early goal to tie it up and take it into extra time, but the journey ended there.

It was a great showing, but there were definitely some questionable decisions by coach Bob Bradley in the deciding match.  The man who almost single-handedly gave up the early goal, Ricardo Clark, was a controversial choice as starter.  Clark then compounded matters by getting a yellow card and was subsequently replaced at a very early 30 minute mark in the first half.  That used up one of the United States three allowed substitutions with a whole lot of time left on the clock.  Seeing as how the match went into extra time, it was even more.  Now, I can’t blame the loss on the coach.  At the same time, it left many wondering what the future of Bob Bradley should be with the next World Cup heading to Brazil in 2014. [Read more...]

United States’ World Cup Ends Against Ghana 2-1

It was a decent showing in the World Cup for the United States, but that is for analysis down the road.  Today, the taste of defeat is still just a little bit too bitter for that viewpoint.  The United States survived the referees and the early goals in the opening round.  The defensive issues proved too much of a deficiency for the United States to continue in the knockout stage, as they lost to Ghana on early goals.

In the 93rd minute (very early on in extra time) the United States’ sloppy play on defense haunted them again.  It was a great finish by Ghana’s Gyan through two U.S. defenders and Tim Howard.  A long ball bounced through, Gyan survived a couple of bumps and blasted a left footed rocket practically through Tim Howard.  The United States would have twenty-some more minutes to answer once to send it to penalty kicks, or twice to win the match outright. [Read more...]

World Cup on WFNY?

Last night when Rick and I were sitting in the Tribe Social Deck area of the Jake he made an off-hand comment about soccer.  It seems the world’s most popular sport isn’t good enough for at least one of the people who populate the pages here at WFNY.  I like soccer.  I love the World Cup.  I got to thinking about it and I was wondering if there would be any interest amongst our audience of sports fans.

Are you going to be watching it?  Are you all rooting for the U.S.A. or are you clinging to some other part of your heritage?  I grew up with lots of people with last names ending in vowels that preferred to root for Italy over the United States.   [Read more...]