Random World Cup Weekend Thoughts

Robert Green gifted the United States a goal but the US deserved the point.  Jozy Altidore's shot hit the post after Green got a hand on it and England was fortunate not to be down 2-1 at that point. 

Tim Howard was fantastic in goal for the United States.

England is very slow in the back with Terry, King, and Carragher on the pitch at the same time. 

Cuauhtemoc Blanco played 20 minutes for Mexico on Friday and looked okay but didn't do anything outstanding.  Blanco's days as a 90 minute player are probably behind him.  Aguirre is optomizing his abilities by bringing him on as a second half substitution.  That being said, is a guy who can't go the full 90 every week worth designated player money?

South Korea and Germany looked very good against their competition this weekend.  Argentina could have had several more goals if not for Nigeria's keeper Vincent Enyeama. 

Neither Slovenia nor Algeria looked particularly impressive in their match.  Algeria's keeper Faouzi Chaouchi allowed a goal almost as ridiculous as Green's howler. 

Patrick Nyarko was probably really happy to know that Ghana's 1-0 victory over Slovenia marked the first World Cup victory by an African nation.

The Cubs really suck.  The White Sox suck only slightly less.  The Fire will have an opportunity to garner some attention before the Bears begin play.  All they have to do is not suck. 

I see the Revolution drew over 2,000 people for a World Cup viewing party on Saturday.  That's only slighly less than the actual attendance at most Revs matches. 

The World Cup is the best tournament in sports.  You can have your NCAA hoops.


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  • I think after everyone gets the 1st round of games done then we will see alot for exciting action and play. Any word of the ratings for US England game?

  • Blanco would be DP money well spent. Playing 20 min for a world cup team when theres not one player on the fire that could even hold a water bucket for those teams.

    If you're content with our midfield, and Blanco wouldn't be an effective DP at our level your sorely mistaken. Mr. White's ability to control a game and distribute the ball is uncanny. Imagine how much better John and even the "workmanlike effort/majestic" Mcbride would be when there getting great services from Blanco. Is there really anybody on the Fire now that's worth what he's getting paid...

    As for Blanco slowing the game down, the fire play so slow as it is. So that argument holds no water. Freekicks, penalty kicks would be a no-brainer (McBrides last pk was almost saved). free kicks become dangerous again.

    Right now Blanco is the perfect fit for the Fire, he knows the team, and he knows how to make everyone else play better around him. If you tell me Blanco's assist vs ITALY was not impressive and that the game didnt matter, that's ridiculous. The guy can flat out still play. Maybe he couldn't go a full 90 minutes for the Mexcican world cup team...but I know he could play 90 for the Fire no questions asked.

  • In reply to jking:

    This is pretty much the way I view Blanco. He's a super-sub at international level, but could still make a significant impact in MLS. My wife, who has only been following soccer for five years, made a pretty astute observation. The 2010 Fire are playing just like the 2007 Fire before Blanco arrived. As soon as he got here, he injected life into our attack.

    Time takes its toll on all players, however. So the 2010 Blanco may not be as effective as the 2007 Blanco was. I think he could help this oftentimes moribund Fire team wake up.

    But I really hope that Frank Klopas was on the phone with Michael Ballack's agent right after Chelsea said that they didn't want him back.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    This team is better than the 2007 team that Blanco came into. Osorio took over for Hamlett after Sarachan was fired. The Fire's record at that time was 4-7-4 and looked absolutely dreadful.

  • In reply to cesba:

    You don't think that the 2010 Fire look dreadful? Are we watching the same team? The 2007 Fire had 16 pts from 15 matches; we now have 14 from 11. Yeah, we're sooo much better than we were at the start of 2007.

    This team needs exactly what the 2007 team needed: a creative midfielder who can control the game. Blanco provided that, to a certain extent, during his time with the Fire.

    Do I desperately want him back? Not necessarily, but the Fire have no one like that on their roster right now.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    This years team has scored 16 times while allowing 16. The 2007 team scored 11 goals and allowed 15 through the first 11 matches and got progressively worse before Sarachan was let go. The 2007 team did not improve until Blanco, Conde, and Osorio joined the team.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Based on the stats that you cite, can you honestly say that the current Fire team is significantly better than the 2007 team before Blanco arrived? Arguing about the difference between mediocre and dreadful is really splitting hairs.

    The point here is that the 2010 Fire are unfortunately all too similar to the 2007 Fire before Blanco arrived. Without someone to run the show from the center of the field, the attractive soccer promised us by Klopas and de los Cobos will be a myth and the Fire will not make the playoffs.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    We can agree on the second point....the Fire will be dangerously close to not making the playoffs without a central playmaker.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    "but the Fire have no one like that on their roster right now."
    That is a good thing. I don't know about everyone else but Blanco does not have a position that he can play. He just jogs around up top and demands the ball and then plays a little lobbed ball into the corner or makes a bad pass. And that is with his country. When he comes here he will be guaranteed DP money and will have NOTHING to play for. He wont care if he wins the MLS Cup or helps us win. He just wants the paycheck that he can't get in Mexico because nobody wants him there.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Joe: So what your saying is that Blanco will come in, take the DP money and do the same thing McBride has been doing for the last 2 years, nothing.

    I don't want to hear about mcBrides hustle, winning headballs or his workmanlike efforts (from chris doran) anymore. hustle doesn't win games, goals win games.McBride has to come back to the midfield to touch the ball, which makes him ineffective. Just ask rooney if you watched the US game.

    We need a player that can ditribute the ball PERIOD. By the way, Ballack is not the answer. What were his part-time stats at Chelsea? When he wasn't injured...

  • In reply to jking:

    Sure McBride hasn't had a great season so far but he does run his ass off for the team and has 4 goals in 11 games. If he continues at scoring 4 goals every 10 games, we would have our first double digit goalscorer in forever. And Blanco could possibly be the worse teammate of all time. Blanco played 21 games last year and scored 5 goals. McBride scored 7 goals in 22 games. SO by your logic of "goals win games" then McBride is better than Blanco. If given the choice of McBride or Blanco, it is McBride everytime.

    Ballack played in 32 of 38 EPL games for Chelsea this season. Scored 4 goals in those 32 as a holding midfielder. Has the ability to get up and down the field and I would say he is a better player than Blanco at anytime in each of their careers. Ballack would be a great fit for our team, PERIOD.

  • In reply to cesba:

    ghana had a very unimpressive win. they looked like they were going to be happy to tie until serbia had a player sent off. whats with all the terribly dumb and unnecessary handballs this tournament?

    germany looked good, some impressive goals. but australia spent too much time playing "assistant referee" instead of defense

    greece was slow and ineffective until they put in a sub sometime around 75 min mark, then they at least showed a bit of effort toward goal

    argentina looked good, messi coulda had several goals. nigerias goalie played well. was a bit disappointed nigeria didnt put up a better attack.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Anti-media rant time.
    What was with that dopey Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrell segment? Why even touch on the "soccer is boring" canard when you're broadcasting the game?
    Mike Adamle had an odd comment on the sportscast Sat. night, something to the effect of "in the ethnic melting pot that is Chicago, soccer is just as popular as hockey, maybe even more." Duhh you think so? They could have gone to any number of places and showed people cheering the goal and the draw. If the Chicago media gave a tenth of the coverage to the World Cup that they did creating the Hawkeytown buzz people joining the bandwagon. People didn't randomly gravitate to that team, they were bombarded with "this is important and you should follow it and here's why" message. And if they scaled back the Hawk coverage they would become like the '94 Women's WC team. Big for a couple of years then fade to obscurity.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    You're 100% correct about the "this is important and you should follow it" over the top coverage....but that's the way the media operates. Winning=bandwagon coverage.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Sorry. Meant the '99 Women's team.

  • In reply to jking:

    Maybe the Blanco 7 or 8 years ago. McBride and Blanco played together for 2 years and nothing happened. We would have a 38 year old and a 37 year old as our attackers. If you think that wouldn't slow us down you're "sorely mistaken." Blanco's free kicks are terrible. Sure he makes his pk's but that should happen with any player. Conde wouldn't miss a pk. McBride will make his pk's. Paying Blanco more than 200,000 in this league, with our salary cap restrictions, is bad business.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Hamlett played Blanco out of position; Hamlett had him playing on top with Rolfe playing in the midfield. Name one player from the Fire that is better with the free kicks? I would have Blanco serving free kicks than any player from Fire right now.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    There isn't anyone on our roster now. Blanco plays lofted balls that have no pace on them that are never dangerous. I would rather have Pappa or Mapp play in a dangerous ball into the box every other time than Blanco playing a lofted ball either to the back post or over everyones head like usual.

    And what is Blanco position? He can't play up top and he cant play in the midfield because he is a defensive liability. If we play a 4-5-1 with Blanco and McBride then we would have to have Pause and Lowry in the middle to make up for Blanco's inability to defend at all. That lineup would make us the slowest team of all time. That would also make CJ Brown the third oldest player on our team at 35! 4 or 5 teams don't even have 1 player that is 35. Blanco is no longer a DP player for our team. If we are simply looking to put butts in seats then he is a DP for us. But if we are looking to win games and the MLS Cup then he is a bad signing.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    The mere idea of the Hawks taking away from the USA's World Cup performance disgusts me. Absolutely disgusts me. On ABC's Saturday night news the game's highlights came after a Red stars score, the outcome of a useless baseball game, the NBA Finals, and some useless information about the bandwagon hockey team we have in our town. The Blackhypes(the official new name for them here at this blog) are destroying the local media priorities.

  • In reply to jking:

    Ratings for the USA-England match made it the fourth most viewed soccer telecast in ABC history. It averaged 7.3 rating or approximately 12.9 million viewers. USA-Brazil in 1994 averaged a 9.3.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I almost thought they would be higher then that. Now getting out of group stage is the only important item on the list.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    The numbers were actually more than double what Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals got.

  • In reply to cesba:

    They also beat out the NBA finals numbers. Also keep in mind that ABC's numbers don't include ratings for the spanish language broadcasts in the US.

  • The World Cup is the biggest tournament in sports. there isn't any question. As for Blanco, I just don't see him leaving Mexico after this. The oldest outfield player at the World Cup, playing for Mexico, who I believe will make the quarterfinals, will be a national hero. He'll finish his career there.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    If the Fire offer him a DP contract he will be here. He wouldn't get anywhere close to the money in Mexico as he would with us. He already is a national hero so being at this WC will have nothing to do with that.

  • take the blanco goggles off. He can't move the whole time he was on he was so slow and you could see the extra work the rest of the team had to do to cover for him.. Hes a nice change of pace at the end of the game but that is it. I want more from a DP someone like Angel or Ljunberg who give their all for the team.

  • Yes.....that did make the Hawks celebration more enjoyable.

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