I think I am actually going to make an attempt to watch this year. I think the last time I really watched the World Cup was back in 94 when Alexi Lalas and Wynalda and Balboa played. I had hoped it would take off in the States, but then apparently I and most everyone else lost interest. Now, with Randy here giving us a base of knowledge with his posts, I’m giving it another shot.
Mexico vs. South Africa is live now.
When does Israel play? Wait, they don’t? FIFA iz so anti-Semitic!
I’m totally not watching it at work.
The bandwidth police would nail me to a wall if I watched at work. I should be “working” from home today. Late lunch to catch the first half of Uruguay v France.
And totally pissed off I’m going to miss the England v US game tomorrow.
Nice noise, NOT. I try on occasion to watch “the beautiful” game, but man it’s boring and that noisemaker they favor is like a swarm of bees.
peach flavored shampoo
Did they make Mexico climb over a fence, swim through a river, and duck drug cartels to get to the pitch? Ya know, just to feel like home?
@ Dave (in the previous thread):
My heart says Australia or Portugal, my head also says Brazil, and my perverse sense of drama wonders what North Korea would do if their team won the World Cup.
The spousal unit is traveling to ‘gland on Sunday, for a whole week across the pond fer werk. I tried to tell her that, uh, good luck with the “work” thing, as Gyropeeans dont do much but watch the WC all day long for 6 weeks or so.
They also had a meeting sked’d for Friday, the day ‘gland plays a match. Yeah, she’ll need to cancel that, if they dont pummel her first.
Given their leader’s worldview, the question of how he handles the world-wide conspiracy against the team is more to the point.
number 11 in white, tunch, with the brilliant bicycle kick to move the US into the finals. for such a large player he has astounding agility.
This is the year Spain manages not to choke and wins it all. Mark it down.
As for tomorrow, holy crap, I’ve been looking forward to this since the day they announced the groups.
I’m only a casual fan, so I’ll ask a dumb question:
is RSA getting dominated as completely as it looks to my untrained eye?
I work for a Dutch company, so there’s a good foundation of football craziness. In the spirit, I organized a pool which consists of everyone picking a country out of a hat, and if they win, you win the pool. Simple, no skill involved, but it gets everyone into it.
I got France, and as far as I can gather, I have some chance to win. Better chance than North Korea!
When I was learning to play in the late 1960s, I don’t think I ever envisioned that I would go to work some Friday and have to stop on the way to pick up something for a World Cup potluck lunch.
I’m bringing Irish food, in honor of the team that should be there but isn’t. North Korean delicacies are a little hard to come by, even in Los Angeles with its huge Korean immigrant population.
Brazil and Portugal play next Saturday at 9:30 AM. I live on the border of what is essentially Little Brazil, and there’s a Brazilian bar/dance place right down the street. I’m really tempted to get up early next weekend and see how absolutely insane it is over there.
@TR: I’m a US expat in the UK and you can bet I’m stoked for tomorrow. I’m also not going anywhere near a football pub. Thank FSM my landlord (a die-hard football fan from eastern Africa) has at least 100 football channels on his TV.
USA/UK football matches are the only time I get my Brit boyfriend (who loves cricket and rugby but hates football) to cheer for the States.
No, time of possession is pretty much even, and even though Mexico seems to be getting a strong sense of the game, the shots on goal aren’t that far off (I think) and RSA has put itself in good position a couple times.
Being a U.S. fan means despising the thugs on the Mexican team, so this is an easy call.
Wise, wise move, SC.
I was talking with a friend in Oxford whose idea of restraint was planning to wear a Dempsey jersey to the pub for the game, but putting a coat on over it walking to and from the pub. Yeah, good luck with that.
Definitely an easy call, and RSA is one of the easiest host countries to root for.
…wow. How was that offside?
Oh God, that was the worst call I’ve ever seen.
I’m no soccer expert, but Mexico’s chances have looked really really good to me… South Africa has mustered only a few weak counter attacks.
Not that I’m watching while I work or anything. I heard that from a little birdie.
Efan Ekoku needs to learn the offside rule as well as their graphics person knows the rule. Vela only had 1 SA player goalside of him
@Evil Bender: Yup
Mexico just got screwed on a terrible offsides call.
@TR: I lived in Oxford for a while. There are so many americans and canadians there that the danger from football fans is minimal (as long as one sticks to the city centre pubs). I was there for the last world cup and had a great time finding the pubs where the international students were watching – Picture if you will a group of drunk/drinking brits, mixed europeans, Aussies, South Africans, Americans, Canadians and Chinese students singing football songs arm-in-arm in an Irish pub advertising Swiss food. That’s Oxford.
I’m in a city a bit further north now. They look at me like I’m an alien whenever I open my North-American-Accented mouth.
@Dork: The offside call was not even sort of wrong. The AR got it right.
SA like the Confed Cup has no good strikers
He’s going to replay that missed header for the rest of his life. Damn.
Can you explain further? There was a defender (not the goalie) standing on the goal line, so how could the Mexican be offside?
@Steeplejack: Maybe the ref is from Arizona? (ducking)
@Bill Murray: There was a defender standing at the goal crease! It’s absolutely not offsides.
@Steeplejack: The rule is two players have to be in front of him to be onside. The fact that the goalie was behind him is irrelevant because there was only one player in front of him.
Yes, but the keeper was beyond the player with the ball, leaving just one defender – there have to be two players in front of the ball, one of whom is usually the keeper. Such was not the case here.
Checking to see whether offside is determined by being ahead of the next-to-last defender. The goalie is presumed to be the last one, but in this case he was forward of the other defender.
Heard on the radio that due to the SA fans constantly buzzing those damn vulvas, or whatever they’re called, the radio broadcasts are going to be really difficult to hear. Have to agree, watching some highlight clips on ESPN.
That would have been the goalie, in this case.
RE: Off sides call. GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. I should be home.
JenJen, I laughed. Maybe I should duck to. I don’t remember if I found this article on referee fitness and training here or somewhere else. Any way, there are no US referees.
VIDEO LINK PLS
@Punchy: “Constantly buzzing vulvas”
Nice phrase. Nice.
The offsides rule is that if you’re ahead of the ball, there has to be at least two defenders between you and the goal line (once you’ve crossed the half, of course). Clearly he only had one defender between him and the goal line.
However– there is also a rule that there are no offsides on a corner kick. Eventually the offsides rule kicks back in, but it’s not clearly defined when that happens. In this case, it seemed quick to me, though I’m happy to see Mexico get a goal waved off. ;)
If you watch MLS, you know why.
Careful about which games you watch; some are bound to be totally boring, particularly during the first phase.
“Vuvuzulas.” And yes, they’re annoying.
A few years ago at a Galaxy match, there was a young (late teens/early 20s) couple sitting in front of me. He was wearing a Chivas jersey, and she was wearing a bright yellow America t-shirt.
I wondered what their fathers thought about this romance.
Whatever those buzzing things are, it’s a terrible marketing decision. The casual viewer (like me) will be run off by the sound before they get a chance to become interested in the game. It sounds like you are in the middle of a bee hive – not a relaxing sort of feeling.
the vuvuzulas are not that bad. especially when you consider they used to use wind chimes.
Wow! Home team scores the first goal of the World Cup.
Mexico got sloppy. Trying to push up the middle on attack, which wasn’t going to work with the SA boys all packed up there. SA doing little tickytack possession passing until the defenders would take their little moment to quit playing the man, and it cost Mexico dear.
This would be awesome and really shake up the group maybe, if SA can get the 3 against Mexico.
Wow. SA scores, and likely earns at least a push.
Buzz buzz buzz!
Yep, I’m near Birmingham, and they all laugh at my accent the first time they hear it.
I’m sure this will upset all of the fans, but things like the offsides rule are why soccer basically sucks. Creating a situation where the keeper can defend his goal by moving away from the goal is ridiculous.
It’s 0 – 0 woo-hoo!!
Nice shot from Santos.
It would be, if that happened more than 1 times out a 100,000.
Most keepers who get caught off their line have an easy tap-in goal sail over their heads.
Goal by Bafana Bafana! What a shot!
@JayP: One of the few smart things I’ve ever heard from a football commentator was, “If you can’t make a song about Tshabalala, you aren’t trying very hard.”
Ohholyshit that was close to a 2-0 lead.
ok, i’m watching now.
is there a swarm of bees or hornets?
According to NewsBusters
Must thank Wonkette! The entire article reads like the Onion.
Yes, that would be the fellows in yellow.
Holy shit, ESPN3s feed is nice – I’ve got gigabit going to my desk.
I’m going to be working a lot of nights and weekends to make up for my lack of office productivity.
and the black ones are killer bees?
where’s all the honey?
No, those are desiccated ones. That explains their lack of movement.
And those who don’t like the world cup can blow me. (Virtual Vuvuzela)
gross. so i guess all those missing bees are just on holiday in africa. ben and jerry will be relieved.
when does tunch go in the game?
@Pointy Stick: Yes it is clearly defined. When the ball is played forward by an offensive player (since this is a corner kick the own half portion of the rule is usually moot), offsides kicks in. I’ve seen the corner kick taker get called offside when doing a short corner routine.
and Steeplejack for one is correct, it’s two players between the receiving player and the goal line, receiver in the offensive half, when the ball is played forward
That isn’t really true. The keeper could move out and try to play an attacker offside, but if he comes out of the goal, the player with the ball can just shoot at the goal himself. It’s only offside if the player in the offside position is involved in the play. It is a somewhat subjective standard since he doesn’t actually have to touch the ball; for example, if he blocks the keeper’s view he could be considered to be involved in the play. But basically, the risks of coming out of the goal (unless he has a chance to catch or punch the ball) are much greater than the potential benefit of a player being called offside. In this case a bad play by the keeper helped his team because the ball happened to deflect to the offside player, but he certainly wasn’t trying to get the offside call by moving out of the goal.
If you don’t like the game that’s fine, but it is rather annoying when people rationalize their subjective dislike for a game by trying to make an objective criticism that isn’t accurate. If your going to troll a soccer thread, just tell us how boring it is and leave it at that.
that was waaay too easy.
Wow, horrid defense on a corner by SA.
Who gets the blame on that one? That was like a jail break.
that goalkeeper needs help from arizona on how to keep the mexicans out.
I liked it better back in the day when it was a private vice. When ESPN wasn’t ashamed to have Bob Ley do pbp. These English fops doing this broadcast suck. I blame you Johnny come latelies.
By contrast the Univision call of that Mexican goal was orgasmic.
I don’t mind the vuvuzelas, reminds me of the 1974 World Cup (first I can remember) when every game was accompanied by an incessant barrage by 1,000s of air horns, a particular favourite of German fans in the 70s.
Meh’he’co with a nice shot. GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL or something.
i like when the whole stadium sings.
I still waiting for the Brutal Deluxe v Violent Desire game.
oh man, that was close to 2 – 1
Oh for fuck’s sake, how do you miss that?
Well, that tie has to be sort of a “win” for RSA.
I hope Randy is around to dissect this match, because if I’ve got my players right, it looked like Salcido and Rodriguez repeatedly shit the bed on defense.
The World Cup broke twitter.
I expect we’ll be seeing that a lot over the next few weeks.
did twitter crash, man?
@Crashman: Maybe Twitter could save everyone some effort by just putting a ‘Gooooal’ tweet in every account as soon as someone scores.
@The Bobs: If you’re going to troll a soccer thread, I’m going to have to respond with trollish opinion of America’s favorite sports:
Baseball: 10 people standing around for 4 hours, occasionally moving on the occasion that the ball comes into play. Especially exciting given that games are often decided in the first few innings, providing for an hour or more of two disinterested teams going through the motions!
Football: Two lines of fat asses stand around waiting for several minutes to enjoy 20 seconds of actual play. The thrills!
And don’t even get me started on the stupid, convoluted rules in these two sports…
Armored fatasses, because they’re pussies.
Doubtless you are referring to the offside call that cancelled the apparent Mexican goal in the first half.
Actually, it WAS the correct call – here’s why.
– You saw the SA defender on the line, ahead of the positiion of the MX attacker when the ball was last touched by a MX teammate. Did the AR blow the call by failing to see the SA defender?
– NO! EXCELLENT CALL BECAUSE: The SA goalkeeper (as well as every other SA player) were BEHIND the ball and the MX attacker at the moment the ball was last touched by a teammate of the MX attacker. The offside rule is that a player is “in an offside position when he is nearer to his opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.” (…and is actively involved in the play, which a player scoring a goal certainly is). NOTE THAT the “last” defender is usually, but not at all necessarily the GK (!!) Which situation (GK not the last defender) the incident under discussion is a textbook example of.
Again, excellent call. I referee soccer, and belong to a soccer-referee discussion blog that a great many very experienced and higher-ranking refs participate in, and the opinion is unanimous: EXCELLENT CALL! Despite what the teevee announcers may have said at the time.
Soccer – proof that 6 billion people can be wrong.
So when’s the Hall of Fame game to kick off the real football season?
Man, the entire rest of the world sure got that wrong didn’t they?
I’m always bemused at how proud so many Americans are of their ignorance about football. Everyone except the US and Canada loves it. Doesn’t that make them stop and wonder just a little bit? Or are they just convinced they’re superior to everyone else by dint of being American?
Yup. That’s what I thought ;-)
Actually, when the offside rule “kicks back in” on a Corner Kick is one of the most crystalline-clear rules in the Laws of the Game: After the corner kick itself is taken, it occurs the moment the FIRST attacking player TOUCHES the ball in any manner, accidentally, deliberately, controlled or an uncontrolled deflection. In the crowded scrum in front of goal on a CK it is sometimes challenging to definitively see who touches the ball and when, but the rule itself is crystal-clear on the point in question.
Mexico’s defense was terrible. They are really lucky to have escaped with a draw.
For anybody who thinks the concept of offsides is too complicated, I refer you to ultra simple, easy to understand rules of football:
If you can understand that, you could understand soccer. Come on! You’re not as stupid as you think you are!
This is a frequent complaint by people who don’t watch or understand soccer very much. The offside rule is actually an essential component to what makes the game so dynamic, athletic, and skilled.
– A tactical objective of the defenders is to compress the space available for the attackers to occupy and use.
– A tactical objective of the attackers is to time runs so as to send a player forward against the grain of the defenders moving (the offside line) up, and send an accurate through-ball for that on-running attacker to control on the run.
This is exactly how South Africa scored their brilliant goal today. Beautiful run, beautifully timed. It takes IMMENSELY more skill to time and receive a through-ball using only the feet and body on a dead run (and touch it with control to keep possession on the run) with a defender in close chase than it does to catch a ball with the hands on the run. And then, you can’t simply run the ball over the goal line, you again have to shoot it with your feet or body and beat a GK who CAN use his arms and hands to try to stop it. Anyone who’s ever played the game knows what incredible athleticism and skill is required.
It’s called “the beautiful game” for good reason. Action is far more continuous and dynamic than even basketball – it’s also part of the deliberate framework of the game that the refs keep a far lighter touch on the game than in most sports you’re used to – soccer refs rarely ever touch the ball before it can be put back in play after a stoppage – nor should they. The “advantage” rule is also central to the concept of soccer (unlike say, basketball): the ref doesn’t stop play for a foul when it seems more advantageous to the fouled team to continue with attacking play – you’ll NEVER see any competent soccer referee running around with the whistle in his mouth, rather than his hand. Think before you stop play! (That’s why).
I didn’t understand soccer very well when my kids started to play years ago, and the rules seemed baffling. But I got into it, started playing it myself, coached for several years, and have been refereeing the game 14 years now at competitive levels. There’s very good reason it’s overwhelmingly the most popular, most passionately followed game in the world, no other sport even close. Not that I’m denigrating other sports (I enjoyed the Celtics v LA last night, plan to watch US Open golf between soccer matches next week)…but don’t criticize something until you have better understanding of it.
Yeah, I realized the mistake a little later. I let four years of rust on my rules knowledge get the better of me.
I agree with you. I would much rather watch a soccer game than baseball.
ok, thank god for a bit of futbol so i can quell my unending political rage.
or maybe i should say damn distractions like this for keeping me too passive to actually do anything.
Wow. It’s amazing how many soccer fans do not understand what it means to be in an offside position. I’m not knocking those who don’t understand it, I’m just saying it’s amazing how many. It’s even MORE amazing that an announcer and former professional player (a STRIKER no less!) in the EPL (Efan Ekoku) doesn’t understand. I’m DEFINITELY knocking him! I’m giving Martin Tyler the benefit of the doubt since he kept his mouth shut. He probably knew Ekoku was wrong but didn’t want to correct him on a worldwide broadcast. So here it is for those who don’t understand the offside position:
If an attacker is in his attacking half of the field, and is closer to the goal line than the second-to-last defender, and is closer to the goal line than the ball, then that attacker is in an offside position. Period.
Usually the keeper is the last defender and one of the backs (i.e. the stopper) is the 2nd-to-last defender, but in this case it was the keeper himself who was the 2nd-to-last defender.
Now being in an offside position alone is not an offside offense. But if you are in an offside position when your teammate touches the ball and you subsequently interfere with play, interfere with an opponent or gain an advantage by being in that position, THEN you’ve committed an offside offense, and the assistant referee (AR)’s flag goes up.
Vela was clearly in an offside position, and when his teammate played the ball to him, he clearly interfered with play (obviously, he kicked the ball into the net!). This was an excellent call by the AR. I’m still astounded (and kinda disgusted) that Efan Ekoku got this wrong.
FIFA refs rarely make mistakes. I know it doesn’t seem that way because when they do, the whole world hears about it. But they RARELY make mistakes, and it is even far rarer for them to misjudge an offside offense because it is such an easy call to make.
@The Bobs: That’s like saying “Things like ‘Pass Interference’ are why American football basically sucks.” Or “Morons like The Bobs basically make us Americans look like idiots to the rest of the world.”
Soccer is the most widely played sport in the world by far. Americans don’t embrace it for one reason. Ready for this? …… A running clock. Yes, a running clock! As long as the clock is running and play is restarted immediately, you can’t cut to commercial until half time. It’s all about the almighty dollar. If Americans could figure out a way to get the advertising dollars that they get with all the other sports that have 50 opportunities per game for ads, soccer would be as huge here as it is throughout the rest of the world. I’m proud to be an American, but we are WAY behind when it comes to soccer.
I like Uruguay to beat France in this next game. I think Les Bleus are going to flame out in this tournament.
@Mark S.: I’m guessing that’s not going to happen. =) Final score will be something like 4 – 0 in favor of France. I hope you prove me wrong because I love the underdog, but not likely.
i’m excited to watch france.
4 – 0 is highly unlikely.
Uruguay is no longer the soccer superpower they where in the fifties, but they are a professional team with players that play in European clubs, and traditionally have a good defense.
I’ll say 1-0 France or 0-0.
I hope they (Utuguay) give a “batacazo” and win!, but dont have too much hope
Note that Uruguay is actually ranked higher than France, and is quite good.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
It must have been commented on already, but the constant drone of those horns is really goddamned annoying. I’m keeping the sound down pretty low on the TV.
Evra needs to watch it from the looks of the first few minutes. The yellow was well-deserved.
Used to be that Uruguay were the guys who got booked. I think they still hold the record for the quickest send off in the World Cup at 20 seconds or so.
@J.W. Hamner & NameRequired: Ok, maybe 4 – 0 was a bit extreme. I’ll back off to 2 – 0 in favor of France, but that’s as far as I’m going. ;-) And I say this without knowing anything about the current score… I’m TiVo’ing it. No spoilers please! For all I know, Uruguay might be up 4 – 0! I knew Uruguay was a strong team, but I don’t see how they could be ranked higher than France. The rankings always baffle me.
I am watching France and Uruguay on Univision. According to the announcers, you can also keep up with the action on “Tweeeeeder” and “Face-aBuuk”.
I love watching in Spanish. Even if I only understand half of it, they’re so much more into it.
No offense, but coming into a World Cup open thread and asking for no spoilers is kind of retarded.
@Morbo: My angle on and distance from the TV at lunch was terrible but the foul didn’t look that bad.
Le main de dieu!
What a terrible game. Let’s hope tomorrow is more exciting than today was.
The first game S.Africa v. Mexico was, while well short of the best sort of game the top level can produce, nonetheless a shining example of why soccer fans call it “the beautiful game”. Lots of creative play, accurate passes, good short-short-long mixed ball movement, lots of individual skill and athleticism…and as importantly as those other factors, both teams played to win throughout the game. It makes a good example to show people relatively unfamiliar with the game what it is the rest of the world finds so enthralling and passionate about (the real) football. It helped to see the home nation of SA so proud and utterly engaged with love for their team.
The second game France v Uruguay was an unfortunate example of a style of game the top level can produce that only already-committed passionate fans of the game or ardent partisans of the particular countries involved could find much beautiful or charming about. One team playing most of the game in an effective defensive shell, playing not to lose, play for the draw unless their great striker Folon can score a lone goal, otherwise get their single point and move on to try to pick up a win against another opponent (Uruguay), the other playing to win, but in ploddingly uninteresting fashion (I know he’s getting older, but leaving Henri on the bench?) The French attack only showed potential dangerousness once Henri was on the field.
As a born and bred former South African hosting the cup is a dream come true. I grew up playing and following soccer but could only watch the local white semi pro league and follow English soccer. The black teams in Soweto were a universe away. South Africa was banned from almost all sports and my dream was to see a non-racial SA team in the WC but thought it would never happen – it did and now we are hosting.
Sadly, I can’t be there but friends there tell me the entire country has gone nuts. The spirit is amazing and a country that was torn by strife for so long is now truly the ‘rainbow nation”.
Watch this Bafana Bafana tribute video al’a the united colors of Beneton.
Don’t underestimate the team. The coach has done an incredible job. The players have the prerequisite skills and 4 months of training camp for the locally based players has got them incredibly fit and cohesive as their brilliant goal showed. They also have the advantage of playing at altitude (Johannesburg and all but the 3 coastal venues are over 4,500ft.) Mexico is the only other team used to it so watch both Uruguay and France struggle with it. It’s not just the thin air but crosses and lofted balls carry further and adjusting your touch on the ball doesn’t come easy.
@Face: Is it me or does the constant drone of Vuvezela make it sound like the sound engineers placed the boom Mic in the opening of a hornets nest.
Sounds F*cking awful
Answer Watch it on Mute with subtitles……..