Did It Really Matter?

June 27, 2010

Yesterday’s game was a good effort by the U.S. team. The bottom line is, they made it to where they should have, and anything more would have been icing on the cake. It’s probably better that they went out valiantly against Ghana, because quite frankly, I think it would have been ugly had the U.S. had to play Uruguay in the quarterfinals. We saw it happen in three out of the four games that the U.S. played; they gave up the early goal, and it’s extremely hard to come back in soccer. The fact that they managed to come back two of the three times is pretty incredible in itself. Yes, it’s hard to accept defeat against a team in consecutive World Cups, but sometimes that’s just the way things go. I’m not sure how much this will help soccer in the long run, but it certainly hasn’t hurt the popularity in the U.S. like another early exit in the group stage would have done.

On the bright side, at least we won’t have to wonder “what could have been” for the next four years as England and Mexico will likely have to do. Both were the victim of missed calls by the referees; in the England game, a shot by Frank Lampard that clearly crossed the goal line was not ruled a goal. This would have tied the game at 2-2 in the first half, and although Germany went on to win the game 4-1, could have had an impact on the game. According to England coach Fabio Capello, “We could have played a different style” had the goal counted. So, are you saying that had the goal gone in, you would have changed your style of play from that point on? Since we’re in the knockout stage, I’m pretty sure the name of the game is to aggressively attack and try to win instead of play for a tie. How exactly does that style of play change whether the game is 2-1 or tied? The fact of the matter is, England did not play well throughout their stay in this World Cup, and one goal was not going to change the way they played. Germany was the better team, and that was evident by the fact that they scored four goals for the second time this World Cup.

Mexico on the other hand was victim of those all too common offside calls that aren’t called. In the 26th minute, Argentina’s Lionel Messi headed the ball to Carlos Tevez, who was clearly behind all the Mexican defenders, and Tevez promptly put the ball into the back of the net. However, like the England vs. Germany game, you’re splitting hairs if you argue that the missed call was a game changer. Argentina won the game 3-1, and was in control for most of the game other than the first couple of minutes. With this being said, what we have here are a couple of cases of overmatched teams on the wrong end of a call arguing that they were cheated. Sorry guys, but regardless of the calls, you didn’t deserve to win.

Tomorrow I’ll begin with my “Live from Omaha” posts. It’s not really anything special; basically, I’ll just be writing about my experience at the College World Series finals in addition to the other topics that I would originally cover. Other than the actual baseball part, I’ll also comment on the waiting in line, the food, the atmosphere, and of course, the ladies. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully this lighter tone in my writing will attract more than my usual readership, which typically maxes out at about four.

– K. Becks

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