Let's be honest, there's only so much off-season talk we can have while the Spurs are waiting for Free Agency to start and the draft, and hopefully Splitter, to get here. So, as a break from all of that let's take a look at the biggest sporting event in the world. I'm a huge soccer (I'm from Texas and that means I call soccer, soccer, and American football, football) fan. I love the international game, the Champions League and most any soccer. I don't get to see a lot of soccer outside of what ESPN decides to air (and what I can find around the interwebs), so I also get super amped for the World Cup.
It's 1 month of some of the best soccer you could hope for on the world's biggest stage. More people watch the world cup than any other sporting event. It's huge. I figure that since we've got folks from all over we can get a good WC chat going about what people's favorite teams are looking like, who we all hate or love and who's going to win it all. Join me for some great soccer banter to get this summer started.
Here is the Nike commercial that should get you a little pumped up for the games:
So here are the current FIFA rankings:
|41||Republic of Ireland||709||2||19|
In my opinion you've got to figure that Spain and Brazil are probably the favorites. Spain, the reigning Euro champs are loaded and confident. Argentina and the Netherlands are both super talented, but have their issues. From what I read, because I'm no expert, the two top teams are the most complete. Argentina has the talent to go all the way, the question with them is their manager. Maradona, considered to be one of the greatest players ever, has not been a big hit as the national team coach/manager.
The US, ranked 14th, have injury issues, losing Charlie Davies to injuries sustained in a car accident last year and having their best defender Oguchi Onyewu coming off of a knee surgery. There is a whole list of injuries that the US is trying to overcome before their first match against England on the 12th of June. Here is a look at the US' roster for the World Cup:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (2010), Marcus Hahnemann (2006, 2010), Tim Howard (2006, 2010)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (2006, 2010), Jonathan Bornstein (2010), Steve Cherundolo (2002, 2006, 2010), Jay DeMerit (2010), Clarence Goodson (2010), Oguchi Onyewu (2006, 2010), Jonathan Spector (2010)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (2002, 2006, 2010), Michael Bradley (2010), Ricardo Clark (2010), Clint Dempsey (2006, 2010), Landon Donovan (2002, 2006, 2010), Maurice Edu (2010), Benny Feilhaber (2010), Stuart Holden (2010), José Torres (2010)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (2010), Edson Buddle (2010), Robbie Findley (2010), Herculez Gomez (2010)
As you can see, lots of first timers in the bunch. They've got speed, a good mix of veterans and youth, but there are questions. The back line (a.k.a. the defense) has several guys coming back from injury and haven't played really well in the friendlies leading up to the big match on Saturday. The US beat Austraila 3-1 last Saturday in their final tune-up game. The US looked good with the ball and not so good without it. Hopefully, they get everything ironed out before the huge match with England this weekend.
So tell me about your team. Who are they, who are you rooting for and against? I have to say that I hope Italy falls flat, I'm their biggest fan. I would like to see strong showings from Honduras and Mexico. I'm really interested in Argentina and how they'll do with all their distractions. Let's get amped for some World Cup!
(UPDATE) For those of you who don't care about the World Cup and even for those of you who do, check out this very funny article from Cracked.com.