The big day is Monday – USA v. Ghana at 5:00 CST. But today and this weekend (just in time for Father’s Day) we have World Cup Viewus Maximus. Four games today, three games tomorrow. No overlap, all available to watch on ABC and ESPN. It’s like Sweet Sixteen weekend – all the games are on, all of them are important – only with higher stakes and it only occurs every four years. Have a seat on the couch or head out to your favorite sports bar.
So far we’ve seen some bad refereeing decisions (Brazil penalty, Mexico disallowed goals) and a shocking dismantlement of the Spaniards by the Dutch. The games this weekend all have some intrigue and reasons to watch.
- Colombia v. Greece – 11:00 Sat: Without Falcao, Colombia aren’t as fun, but they’re still pretty fun. Will the Greeks come to play or will they bunker down?
- Uruguay v. Costa Rica – 2:00 Sat: Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani are worth a look. Let’s hope Suarez’s knee is really OK. The Ticos of Costa Rica are from our region and feature exciting players like Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz. They’re definitely the underdogs in this group.
- England v. Italy – 5:00 Sat: Euro Old Guard powers square off. The winner has the inside track on this group; the loser blames the weather and gets scorched by their home country’s media. A lot to like here Ballotelli and Pirlo against Gerrard and Rooney. This is one to watch.
- Japan v. Ivory Coast – 8:00 Sat: Which Japan shows up? The technical swashbuckling samurai or the overmatched, over-pressured team of last summer? Ivory Coast features big names like Drogba and the two Toures (Yaya and Kolo). This is a potentially great match-up and we could see either of these teams winning the group or completely bombing out of the tournament.
- Switzerland v. Ecuador – 11:00 Sun: Can the Swiss take the heat? The weather and Ecuadorians will oblige them. Is Ecuador for real or are they just the beneficiary of playing all their qualifiers at a very altitude?
- France v. Honduras – 2:00 Sun: Hondo, our other regional cousins (we don’t claim Mexico) are big underdogs here. Many of their players are MLS guys. France has star power, skill, and talent, but you don’t know if they’ll show up to play or end up on strike.
- Argentina v. Bosnia-Herzegovina – 5:00 Sun: Messi, Higuain, Aguero for Argentina. How will they play together? Will Messi exert some leadership and lead this team like he can? Bosnia will certainly try to bunker and counter but they do have Dzeko and Pjanic in the attack.
Here’s hoping for some great play, plenty of goals, and fewer bad calls this weekend.