England 1-1 USA: England poor in possession, US get wide players forward well

June 13, 2010

“England were the better side, but struggled to make their dominance count and came close to losing the game. The USA’s 4-2-2-2 shape caused problems and prevented England’s full-backs from getting into the game. England started with their usual shape from qualification, Wayne Rooney partnering Emile Heskey upfront. In Gareth Barry’s absence, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard played together in midfield and James Milner started on the left – although only stayed there for half an hour.” (Zonal Minute)

For Abject England, Expect More of the Same
“England fans have traditionally been guilty of the sin of not really looking. Reading the English press, there seems a general sense of shock about how their team performed in their first game yesterday. But to a neutral observer, the result, and England’s sorry, tired performance, was not really all that much of a surprise. And while they are still a smart bet to get out of this group, it is hard to imagine an English team with so many obvious deficits advancing very far in this tournament.” (EPL Talk)

Luck of the draw
“For the United States, Saturday’s 1-1 tie with England wasn’t quite 1950 vintage, but the team will take it. Ties, of course, never taste as sweet as victories. But when your team falls behind early, gets a Santa Claus-sized gift from the opposing goalkeeper and hangs on to snag a point against the presumed group favorites, the aftertaste is plenty satisfying. In the process, the U.S. did plenty to enhance its chances of reaching the second round.” (ESPN)

England miss out on fine start as USA benefit from Robert Green gaffe
“Just as South Africa opened their World Cup with a goal that will be remembered forever, so England, as is their wont, contrived to open theirs with a goalkeeping blunder that will never be forgotten. No sooner had Fabio Capello placed his confidence in Robert Green than his judgment was mocked by the sort of bungle no professional footballer can comfortably watch, an unforced error that allowed the United States back into a game on which England appeared to have a comfortable grip after Steven Gerrard’s early goal.” (Guardian – Paul Wilson)

England ask too much from Rooney bursts of brilliance
“It’s all very well saying that England have the man to beat the world in Wayne Rooney but no one can really do that, not on his own and not even Diego Maradona when you get right down to it. Not when one disaster is piled upon another as swiftly as it was here last night, which is to say as quickly as the night swoops down on the highveld. Suddenly, Rooney and his team-mates knew that they had two huge tasks. One was to beat a United States team who had made an impressively spirited response to an early setback.” (Independent – James Lawton)

World Cup 2010: Alan Shearer on England
“I feel desperately sorry for goalkeeper Robert Green after his horrendous mistake led to the United States’ equaliser against England. But I’m not surprised to see the criticism he has got in the newspapers back home because that is part and parcel of being an England player – in fact, I expected him to get more stick than he has done. I was impressed he came out to face the media afterwards because he could have hidden away. Instead he has faced up to what’s happened, and said how he was trying to forget about it. Strangely, he appeared more relaxed and composed when he was talking after the game than he did beforehand.” (BBC)


June 13, 2010

“Tim Howard may be Jesus’s desktop, but pride kills progress. You can’t claim honest rivalry on one end and moral victory on the other, especially if you went to the game as a knowing participant in a fury of modern hype. Not even Manchester City does that. So for the sake of self-respect, or whatever the equivalent is when you’re writing about hope and strangers, it has to be acknowledged: our guys missed chances that didn’t want to be missed (Altidore missed one in each half), gave up a goal that didn’t want to be scored, defended clumsily at times, and got pinned back in their own territory for far too much of the second half.” (Run of Play)

Serbia 0-1 Ghana – Video Highlights, Recap and Match Stats – World Cup – 13 June 2010

June 13, 2010

Soweto, Kliptown. 1890 and 1910.
“Serbia and Ghana faced off in Group D action with both teams knowing that a loss would put their knockout stage chances in the balance. Both teams are likely fighting for second place with Germany a clear favorite to win the group. The teams played the early match (13:30 local time) on Sunday, June 13, 2010.” (The 90th Minute)

Algeria 0-1 Slovenia – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – World Cup – 13 June 2010

June 13, 2010

“Two teams who made it to the World Cup through playoffs met on Sunday, June 13, 2010 in Group C of the World Cup. It was Algeria facing Slovenia in a match that neither team could afford to lose if they wanted to have a realistic chance of getting out of the group stage. Slovenia would be slightly favored to win the match.” (The 90th Minute)

World Cup 2010: Algeria 0-1 Slovenia
“I volunteered for this game. On paper it seemed a good idea to do. I’d seen Slovenia play Spain at Euro 2000, and Slovenia are some of the loudests fans I’ve ever come across. They only really have one song: “Kdor ne skače,ni Slovenc, hej, hej, hej”. And when they sing, they jump up and down in unison, and if you’re in the upper tier of a stadium with 10,000 Slovenians ten feet away for them, you get that a great atmosphere, with the slight sense of unease that the stadium is going to collapse.” (twohundredpercent)

America Wakes Up To The World Cup

June 13, 2010

“Is America a soccer nation, now? On the morning of the United States’ most-hyped ever game against England, I combed through the front covers of every single American newspaper listed at Newseum, a good couple of hundred of them (which is not comprehensive, but is a pretty hefty sample-size), to see what Americans were waking up to read about it on their front pages — if anything at all.” (Pitch Invasion)

Happy at the Margins

June 13, 2010

“We’re into the cycle — as dependable as the World Cup itself — of the never-ending discussion on soccer in the U.S. It’s an incredibly predictable pattern, one already nicely explored in Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism and Soccer in a Football World, and it gives me a little bit of a headache. While fans, advertising firms, and networks gear up for the World Cup, a plaintive wail echoes across the land.” (Soccer Politics)

Where You Watch Depends on Your Colors

June 13, 2010

“Best places to watch – A World Cup pub crawl might start here, and it might last all month.” (NYT)