The Opening Round

…is complete today, with the stunning upset of Spain and Chile looking tough.  There’s been much written and said about the vuvuzelas, which are sure to turn off any casual or borderline viewers.  I know I’ve already had enough of them.  If you want to learn more about just how un-authentic these little plastic horns are, check out the indefatigueable Dan Loney on the subject.  And if you somehow missed the USA-England match, here are your lego highlights…

There’s also been considerable commentary about the Jabulani ball, how it dips and flies all over the place.  I know we certainly haven’t seen many decent free kicks or volleys, and the goalkeepers are certainly having their problems.  How much of that is the ball and how much is the extreme pressure of the world’s biggest sporting event?  Hopefully the players can settle down and adjust and we’ll see some better passing and shooting, not to mention fewer goalie blunders.  But for once, how about a World Cup in which they just use the standard ball familiar from most of the top leagues around the world?

The U.S. will need to rediscover their scoring touch on Friday, and expect Slovenia to park 8 men behind the ball and look for the quick break.  A nil-nil draw would suit them fine.  The U.S. has had some experience with this from some of the smaller regional teams, but the results have been uneven.  It will probably be an ugly game, but we’re hoping Landon or Clint can find some inspiration.  Either that or some kind of a set-piece goal.  Still holding out for Torres in the midfield and Edson Buddle or Herzulez Gomez up top along with Jozy.

And did you know Rivers Cuomo, Weezer’s frontman is a huge soccer fan?  Well you do now.  And here’s his unofficial U.S. Team World Cup anthem, Represent. Has a good 80’s movie montage feel to it:

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