Well, the matches have begun and we’ve already seen some surprises (Italy’s draw in the rain being the biggest to me). The USA-England result wasn’t a surprise to me, but the way it happened certainly was. As a former keeper, it’s hard not to feel just awful for Robert Green after what happened. England certainly had plenty of chances to win the game, but Tim Howard proved that the US produces top-notch keepers like Boston College produces offensive linemen.
It is usually the case that the national teams take a couple games to get used to playing with new teammates after a long club season – something that should have benefited the USA because none of their players went deep into the club competitions. However, the same is true for England thanks to Chelsea’s and Manchester United’s early departure from Champions League competition. England’s team is loaded with guys from those two teams. Liverpool is also well represented on the English side. I’ve come to support them after watching EPL more regularly for a year or so and liking their style of play, especially the contrast of the steady Stevie G and the Jordan-esque flair of Fernando Torres. It is hard not to enjoy Chelsea’s Frank Lampard’s game; he’s pretty much the Derek Jeter of the EPL.
One thing that was noticeably absent from the USA-England game was the singing that is usually a calling card of any match featuring the Three Lions. Even their supporters seem to be taken by the vuvuzela, the omnipresent plastic horn that is as much a part of South African soccer matches as thunder-sticks are at at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California Angels games. It will be interesting to see how pervasive they are at the Brazil games, where the drum beating, actual horn playing, Samba-loving fans of Jogo Bonito are known turn the stands into Carnival during the 90 minutes of a match. I’ll be shocked if they are drowned out.
Kit of the day? It has to be Brazil,but Ivory Coast’s road kit should win when it is worn.
Until next time,
Sean Scales | CITY SPORTS
Chief Operating Officer