Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Yankees We Descend From the Cloud

All I did last night was read translations of foreign sport newspapers. This is a good roundup of the fun I had. Let's just say sleep came much later than usual.

Oh, and football (err, soccer) commentary is much better overseas. We are a truly naive soccer country. But that helped yesterday. We didn't know that Torres and Villa and Xavi were supposed to kill us. I bet many of the players barely know who they are... much like most of you, coming to think of it. Incredíble!

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At 6/25/2009 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Actually watched this game yesterday; one of those moments when everything came together, stars aligned, and I watched soccer for a couple of hours.

I admit, I certainly couldn't figure out why the US should have been torched in that game, but I DID notice that Spain had the ball an awful lot in the US zone, somewhat equivalent of watching a Red Wings team on the power play. It was a bit scary there for awhile.

At 6/25/2009 10:56:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Exactly like the Red Wings. We fell back and put ten in the box, as they say, moving everybody to defense. We let them own the midfield for much of the second half. The Penguins did something similar in Game 7. Made for some tense moments! It's a tension that low scoring games like soccer and hockey bring. It'd delicious until your heart gives out.

Happily, the Spanish were very lazy in their attack, just doing the same thing over and over and over again. Moving down the right or left side and crossing it in. It was a perfect setup for our big and brave defenders, who could easily head it away. Teams like Spain are sometimes not ready for physical play. Have you noticed that they tend to flop around a bit?

The Italians beat us with 30 yard bombs that we didn't know how to defend, but I don't think Spain took the time to study and learn that particular weakness of ours. And Del Bosque was horrible in his substitutions, leaving ineffective players in, probably because they are untouchable. Torres sucked, couldn't even trap a ball effectively, but he played the full 90.

Say what you will about how Spain are really the better team, but our defense was far superior to their's today. And I don't think that was a fluke. Quality teams should take note. This weakness can be exploited.

At 6/25/2009 10:59:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

And one more thing. The boys played with heart. That's all we ask. Leave it all on the field. If they had lost 2-0 and left the game exhausted from effort, I would have been satisfied. But now they know they can beat anyone when they play hard. THAT'S the spirit we demand. The continentals may flop around, but we play our ass off, and we can win doing it.

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