Some editor should apologize for this one.
This Time, Stakes Are Higher for Americans
They’ve met in the World Cup, Gold Cup, Copa America and just 10 days ago in the first round of the Confederations Cup. The settings have ranged from the creaky Yale Bowl to a pretty seaside town in Uruguay, from the Rose Bowl to the banks of the Rhone River in France. The outcomes have usually been close, but except for one extraordinary upset, they have always been the same: Brazil defeats the United States in men’s soccer.
[…]Today’s match means much more to the Americans because, while Brazil has dazzled the soccer world for decades with its sizzle and success, the U.S. program has remained on the second tier.
I may not be a sports reporter, but on no planet in this universe would the stakes be higher for America than for the Brazilian soccer team. From America’s perspective we already beat a world-class team when we won the lottery against Spain. Whether we beat Brazil or lose 7-0 America unequivocally surpassed what anyone expected us to do. From Brazil’s perspective this is about as rewarding as a schoolyard fight with a handicapped kid, and about as risky.
I mean seriously, look at the matchup on the bottom right of this page. Brazil has everything to lose in this one.
America SCORES FIRST! For every American who cares a thousand Brazilians just banged their head against a wall.
Has America EVER led Brazil 2-0?
2-1. I blame the vuvulezas.
If I paid god knows how much for a seat next to a dick with one of those air horns, I would put my fist in it.
That no-goal call was complete bullshit. Brazil got robbed.
Tie game. In a fair world the score would be 3-2.
…and so it is. America’s only real advantage right now is that Brazil has so many yellow cards today.
The Main Gauche of Mild Reason
Is this more of that clever “well, sensible people may think x, but let me BLOW YOUR MIND WITH MY AWESOME JOURNALISTIC POWERS by asserting contradictory statement y” strategy? It seems to be the modus operandi of the Washington Post these days. I think the nonsensical contradictory arguments help satisfy their belief that they are the wise career journalists who possess the critical je ne sais quoi bloggers lack.
Death By Mosquito Truck
Is the stadium under a bee attack?
I can’t believe I’m actually watching this.
But as a youngish lady who doesn’t care a lick about soccer, I can’t deny that the US team has lots of nice eye candy.
It’s Sunday afternoon, I’m allowed to be this shallow.
American exceptionalism! Also! Wolverines!
But, but, America’s the bestest country in the whole wide world, so it hasta win in soccer too or maybe the whole wide world won’t know what America knows!
It seems to me no non-political event brings out nationalistic tendencies more than soccer.
Hmmmm, this might just be interesting.
These guys are playing almost as well as the American women!
Brazil looks a little out of sync. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.
@burnspbesq: It could be the air raid siren that’s going off in the stadium. Or whatever the hell that noise is.
@burnspbesq: Our exceptionalism and cowboyish bravado is intimidating them. Obviously.
Well, if Brazil lose, there will be much rending of garments in Brazil, but they’ll still be BRAZIL, the greatest footballing nation in the world. On the other hand, if the USA can beat BRAZIL in a cup final, even as one as inconsequential as the Confederation Cup, then maybe it might be another jump-start to enthusiasm about football in the USA. So, it think it’s defensible to say that the USA have more at stake than Brazil.
The US team keeps getting better and better. From a soccer fan’s perspective, the fact that only 5 of the 23 players play for a US soccer team is a good thing: since there’s not that much interest in soccer stateside, it helps to play in countries where people have been known to commit suicide (or murder) because their favorite team lost.
Even if we win, let me say right now that I pledge to remain steadfast in my indifference.
If Brazil loses, there will be massive handwringing, with the whole country discussing it, and people will get fired.If the U.S. loses, people will yawn and their families and the hardcore U.S. fans will pat them on the back for not sucking as much as usual.
Fuckin Dempsey almost cost us a goal. You CANNOT be caught ball watching against a team as good as Brazil.
Some of the Live Commentary from the Brazil – South Africa match:
70′ No idea why Dunga isn’t changing this. Currently he’s being paid to be an ornament
71′ Brazil’s passing tonight has been as erratic as Amy Winehouse’s heartrate.
72′ Tshabalala really is a first class name. Apparently he has brother called Po and Tinky Winky.
77′ Booth – who has one of the longest necks I’ve seen and looks like one of hammerheads from Return to Oz – knocks the ball out of play, but is awarded the throw anyhow, much to Fabiano’s consternation.
81′ Alves is rolling down his girly poloneck in preparation for his imminent introduction. He replaces Santos.
83′ Luisao has really quite a magnificent nose.
85′ And another thing I’ve just noticed. The very front of Dunga’s hair hides the baldness that lies behind it. Good effort, but not good enough.
90′ I know I’ve slated him tonight, but I do like Dunga’s velvet jacket, although I wouldn’t wear it.
@Tim F.: Vuvulezas. They are designed to make you want to throttle the hornblower.
You’ll know the US has arrived as a first-class footballing nation when the shit that Luizao is doing to Altidore starts to get called.
The adidas spot with Messi is just weird.
You guys might not realize this, but this is the biggest thing to happen to your lives. Incredible – a minor tournament, but against A+ level squads. Go team.
How much money is Tim Howard making? I hope it’s at least a bit more than some random nobody who plays for the Washington Nationals.
I jinxed it, didn’t I?
Holy shit. I’m no soccer fan, but I know a little about it. Team USA really scored 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers of the futbol world? Seriously? The Rapture is surely on its way.
It’s times like this I wish I had TV access. I love high stakes sports games.
I don’t have cable but, right now, I don’t even get network reception–too lazy to hook up my new antenna and digital box.
Wish I were there. BTW is it being aired on network TV? if so I’d get off my bahind and hook the dern thing up right now.
It’s on ESPN. In some places, you may be able to watch online at espn360.com
Yahoo! UK has a real-ish time webpage for the game here.
I’m watching it on Unavision. Good for brushing up on my pitiful Spanish.
Most Americans are fundamentally indifferent to a competitive sport in which only the feet are used.
That said, this is a pretty good game.
In the Los Angeles area (and some other cities), the game is being carried on Spanish language station channel 34.1, digital broadcast.
This is one of the few times that I have been happy about the switchover to digital TV, because the picture is so much more clear in my area than was old analog broadcast.
You think? Even when the entire ball is required to cross the line? I thought it hit the cross bar and ricocheted out without fully crossing the line.
@gex: It definitely went all the way in. The US got lucky. I guess that’s what you get in a sport with no replay though.
Look, this isn’t even debatable. Our goalie punched it out with the ball clearly across the line. After he hit the ball back, it hit the cross bar and bounced downward. Brazil should lead the fight for instant replay in soccer after this game.
@Tim F.: Ah, I see. I thought it hit the cross bar, not the goalie.
That was a fantastic save.
Are you required to look bored if you watch a sport in a luxury box?
And now it is 3-2.
I walked in the living room, turned on the TV, and this is what I saw: blocked kick, boot out of bounds, corner kick, goal. Seriously, that wasn’t even worth the effort of leaving my room.
It’s a stretch to say that something isn’t debatable when there isn’t a camera angle right along the line(at least from what I saw). Both the ball and line are fairly large. There’s a lot of play there.
@burnspbesq: et al
Oh, well. This isn’t real football, anyway. ;-)
Brazil is such a dick.
Fucking Dempsey. Lucio was his responsibility, and he let him get loose.
Still, three solid performances in a row. Bodes well for the rest of qualifying.
It’s real football in virtually every nation except the US.
No, the Republican Party and their enablers like Brian Williams, David Gregory, Bob Scheiffer, Mark Halperin and most of the Washington Press Corps are the real dicks.
@JK: Both were jokes. Maybe not good ones, but jokes nonetheless.
I was wearing my Landon Donovan LA Galaxy jersey while watching the match, for example. :-)
Davis X. Machina
We remain a nation of goalies — Tim Howard, Kasey Keller, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Friedel….
I realize that. Given all of the nonsense that has come from voices within the Republican Party and the MSM since Obama was sworn in, I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to call them out for their dickish behavior.
Although this loss still hurts, this is still probably the most impressive set of results (the past 3 games) for the US since I’ve been following the team, and that includes the 2002 World Cup. Can’t wait for next summer.
We still have a bit of work to do to qualify.
We need a performance as good as the one we turned in against Spain when we go to Mexico next month. For an American soccer fan, the sweetest sound on earth would be 115,000 Mexican fans booing their team off the field after getting shredded by Los Yanquis.
The saddest guy on earth tonight is the CFO of Standard Liege. He’s going to lose Onyewu on a free transfer, instead of collecting a transfer fee of 10-15 million Euros, because they botched the negotiations on a contract extension.
AGF Aarhus, Hammarby, and Borussia Moenchengladbach are looking at big paydays on Feilhaber, Davies, and Bradley. And a Premier League club may make Watford an offer it can’t refuse for DeMerit.
It's Too Hot To Sleep
The horns are called “vuvuzelas”, and are causing quite a controversy.
We got out coached.
The US team found its stride. Found a little system that minimized their weaknesses (like skill) and maximized their strengths (like speed). Spain couldn’t figure it out. Brazil looked at it for 45 minutes, went in to the lockers and came out with a system that simply took ours apart. They stretched our defense out and then overloaded one side of it again and again. With our customary utter lack of midfielders worth two shakes of a rat’s ass we were doomed so long as we tried to keep doing the same thing.
Should have switched to a catenaccio-style defense for the 2nd half. Someday, somewhere the US will get over its namby-pamby suburban non-contact view of the sport and actually start playing physical football every once in a while. We should have won 2-1 … and had several more yellow cards.
The only real football is Gaelic football.
Shane in Utah
If I paid god knows how much for a seat next to a dick with one of those air horns, I would put my fist in it.
Then don’t go to any World Cup matches next year. Vuvuzelas are everywhere at South African sports events–even at cricket matches, much to the disgust of many traditional cricket fans…
**sigh** I want to throttle every asshole who complains about how sucky U.S. men’s soccer is and how they “blew” a 2-goal lead. Oddly enough, the fans @ the BBC Sport website have given more respect to the Yanks than the numbnuts shooting their mouths off @ Fox Sports and ESPN.com.
The US were simply outplayed by Brazil’s superior skill but also, experience in these situations. But given the strong way this US side recovered from their shaky start there is no shame in this loss.
I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t watched much women’s international soccer. But, like Ash, the only reason I started to watch it was because of the parade of hotties on the men’s sides. The US women’s pro leagues have started up again, though, so I will have to try and catch them.