Saturday, June 12, 2010
World Cup Soccer Day 2 Matches & Breakdowns
Group B to me is the Group of Traditions. Argentina will do well, score a lot and impress everyone into believing they can in fact win it all. Nigeria has always done well in previous World Cups since '94 yet funny enough lost to Maradona (in his last game) in the same year. They always entertain and play fearless, which is quite commendable. There is South Korea flying like crazy up and down the field, but speed alone does not cut it in the end and someone has to go down and they're just missing something (consistency), don't look for a repeat of 2002 when they went to the semi-finals. It's a bit early to tell, but I'm liking what I see in an even more fearless Korea, that doesn't look great on paper, but really looks to challenge. Lastly, although Greece has not faired well, they will turn things around, though it may be too late, scoring and challenging for the 2nd spot to move on depending on their match with Nigeria. This is a great group to learn from for Greece, but too hard to move on to the 2nd stage. But hey anything is better than losing all 3 games and scoring no goals as they did in their previous World Cup outting.
For today's match of Korea v. Greece, it is said that the little Koreans can't match up against the Greek towers, but the English Premiere league experience of Park Ji-Sung against an untested Greek defense that is not the Spartan line will score. Very different teams, very different styles and that means someone is going to go down. I would expect Theofanis Gekas to keep scoring as the #1 scorer in the World qualifiers, however this time Korea is the underdog and likes it so a 2-1 finish for the #1 answer qualifier would not surprise me.
What's the expectation for the Albiceleste in Argentina, nothing but a championship, so do you think that means waiting around to win, better yet score, HELL NO! Argentina puts so much importance on getting an early goal and dominating from the get go that it will be too much for Nigeria who does not have the same star power or unity as they have before. The South American 2 time World Cup winner is super loaded with talent and has show much unity and inspiration in the last year behind media darling (I say that with a grain of salt) Diego Maradona as their coach.
What's good for Nigeria, pride, playing on their own continent and with something to prove, but the Super Eagles would be hard pressed to beat this South American traditional winner and tradition shows Argentina over Nigeria, but this time 3-1. Look for Nigeria to challenge for 2nd place if the pressure of performing in your "homeland" isn't too much to deal with. Hey it works everywhere else in the World.
Now today isn't just about Group B, this Saturday the 12th of June, there are 2 groups playing and this next group displays one of the biggest, if not the most anticipated match of at least 1st games. Who do I speak of, why England v. USA and not all is hunkey dorey on the Island of the Brits at this point. What's wrong in England town? Well no Rey Ferdinand (who was their captain) means less experience and leadership in the backfield. David James in the goal for England, uh no, not today it's a guy named Green (Robert Green), but he's not their #1 so despite this indominatable English backfield with Terry & now King (good when not injured) your going to see a US team with Jozy Altidore back as the main striker and pressure from Landon Donovan & Clint Dempsey so London bridges will come falling down.
England will put pressure on up front with Rooney accompanied by Hackey getting fed by Gerrard and Frank Lampard (in his final World Cup appearance), but I don't think it's enough and they're not gelled as a team. The US has always played well one World Cup and bad another, well thank our lucky Stars & Stripes, this is an upswing year, so look for the US to make soccer-futbol super exciting again as they did in '94. Oh you want to talk about tradition? It was 60 years ago that the US beat England in the group stage 1-0 in a shocker. But what's more interesting to me is the large amount of players born here of immigrant parents such as myself who did well in '94 and even better in 1930 when they finished 4th (their best ever)...let's hear it for 80 years of tradition.
You don't like it, tell me about it, comment on my website http://www.futboldelcorazon.com/ and leave me a comment on my board...and we can discuss, but save the real talking for the soccer field.