Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Viva Los Gringos Futbolistos

Just got back from the old Irish Pub were I had spent the evening for some hot teen soccer. My enthusiasm was still going strong from last Friday's showing against Brasil, BRASIL!!! but really I was looking forward to the hot new hairstylez that have been popularized by the boyz from the barrios of the other U. Well, maybe not. But I did find it interesting that Hugo Chavez's goofy brother Ralf was coaching his brother's neighboring country's top youth team. Explained a lot about the rest of the match.

Ah, the match. The match was a bit appropos of my viewing setting. It was a lot like drunk sex: it took a while to get going, it got pretty messy, and when we got the desired result, it was all worth it. You even had the equivalent of a post-hookup squabble. To beat this simile into the ground like Barbaro (oh snap!), the first goal was a drunken mistake, the second was a 5 bagging an 8, and the last one was like a supreme hatefuck (I am praying to God so hard that my parents don't read this). All in all, a pretty satisfying experience.
I'm not going to the gimmicks this time to assess this win, because it's late and I have work early tomorrow, but I'll spend a little space, and put on my Dr. Tobias Funke analrapist cap and get to analyzing this key match.

Definitely not as strong a showing as the Brazil match, but a bit of an emotional letdown was to be expected after such a tremendous showing, and not too surprisingly the Gringinhos came out a little flat at the start. Fine. Also, Chris Seitz, goalie prodigy, was injured on one of the 8,000 saves he made against Brazil, meaning some dude who looked shakier than Lindsay Lohan in rehab was starting what is probably the most important position on the pitch. As I said to the budding futbol fan my (and MT and Lil Bro's) Dad, the guy played pretty well for being completely overmatched.

The Uruguayans came out with a cheap as Rodman's gameplan to throw our Gringinhos out of sync by playing like a bunch of Medellin thugs (wrong country, I've just been watching a lot of Entourage recently). It worked. They knocked Jozy Altidore out of the match with a cheap foul. Actually, the U'ers were really, really good cheap shot artists. They were much more discrete then the runners up, Mexico, and more effective, knocking out one of the U.S.' best players. It was like Slapshot on grass, all was missing was Michael Bradley doing a mock burlesque show at centerfield.

Freddy Adu, who along with Ryan Zimmerman badly needs a good nickname, played Isiah Thomas for the U.S., even though the U(2!) was doing a collective Bill Laimbeer impression. He made a couple good runs, gave his teammates a number of good setups, and was all in all the best playmaker for the U.S. even if he did overshoot every corner he took. He even seemed to be a good captain, though it's hard to tell from a distance how guys respond to that kind of stuff.

Obviously Bradley was good as well, scoring the winning goal and telling that Uruguayan who charged up after the game to check out that scoreboard. Beck or whatever the surfer dude backup goalie's name was actually did end up stepping up towards the end after gaining some confidence. Despite looking a lot like this guy in the beginning, he ended up playing like my blogsake, Ollie the Short kid from Hoosiers. The defense, especially No. 14 (I am totally mailing this post in right now to get some sleep). Anyway, all ended up going well. You have to like a day in soccer where the U.S. wins and Mexico gets embarassed on a major stage.

Freddy Adu, USA forward: "We played a great game tonight. It was a tough one for us and we had to fight our way back into it...and we did exactly that. A champion team has to find ways to win when the chips are down. No team can win a world championship without winning one of these ugly games." via Sums it up pretty well. Also, match highlights: here.

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