Friday, June 13, 2014

The Fix Is In

Get him and kick his ass...
Well, it didn't take long for SPECTRE FIFA to put their stamp on the proceedings on the pitch, did it? Good grief, could you be more overt? We're still attempting to get that disgusting taste out of our mouths here at SSN Headquarters. Here's your lot from the yesterday's opening "win" for the hosts:

Jonathan Wilson: Brazil fail to convince
Dejan Lovren: Referee scandalous

Podcast! Well that was exciting wasn't it? The 2014 World Cup kicked off for reals, and it was almost a case of Croatia pooping Brazil's big party - but a Neymar double saw the hosts to victory. AC Jimbo, Barry Glendenning, James Horncastle and Jacob Steinberg give their thoughts - as does Barney Ronay, our man in São Paulo. Plus, we hear from our old friend Sid Lowe as he looks forward to Spain's clash with Holland and tells us why it all went from for Chelsea-bound Cesc Fábregas at Barcelona. Sort of.

Be very, very afraid...
Today's matches are as follows. Mexico vs. Cameroon at 12pm EDT on ESPN2. Here's a preview. Spain vs. Holland at 3pm EDT on ESPN. Here's a preview. Here's another from Eduardo Alvarez. Chile vs. Australia at 6pm EDT on ESPN2. Here's a preview.

Stay classy, England.
Hey! What else is going on? Well, David Bentley has decided to retire at the age of 29. Good. Cesc Fabregas has moved from Barcelona to Chelsea. Bad. Here's some transfer stuff:

Grant Wahl's got a nice little ditty here. And friend of the blog and Sunday Soccer Mate David Fellerath has an article about El Tri. They're the U.S.'s most popular soccer team, don't you know?

With that we'll head out. Enjoy the weekend. Italy/England is the big one tomorrow. That's at 6pm EDT. Sunday features Bosnia and Argentina, which could be quite tasty. That's also at 6pm EDT.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Let The Games Begin

Here we go!
Finally! Let's get this (shit)show on the road, folks! Brazil vs. Croatia at 4pm EDT on ESPN, right? Right. Barney Ronay will kick us off with his article. He's in São Paulo for the match, don't you know? You want more previews? OK:

Brazil vs. Croatia: Preview
Brazil vs. Croatia: Preview II
Brazil vs. Croatia: Preview III
Brazil vs. Croatia: 50-50 Challenge

Lawro has all his predictions for Round One complete. Without further Freddy Adu, here are Lawro's First Round Predictions. He thinks the U.S. will get out of the group. Hmmmm.

Our mate Rob Kirby claims with some conviction that The Group of Death is not Group G, not Group B, but Group B. Why? Because if you come in second in Group B, you'll most certainly get Brazil in the next round. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Juan Mata is talking to Sid Lowe in anticipation of tomorrow's clash with The Dutch. Will there be blood? Chances are good.

Personalized room. Very nice.

Louise Taylor is The Guardian's Football Expert for the Northeast. As such, she's quite familiar with Sunderland's Jozy Altidore. Is Jozy at poor man's Emile Heskey? Ouch. Prove them wrong, son!

Top Tenner, yo! What else but World Cup Openers?

Hadley Freeman is in São Paulo and she likens the World Cup to Disneyland. The Editor was lucky enough to take in a lot of World Cup 2006 in Germany, and he can understand the comparison.

Gosh, there are still rumors to address amongst all this match madness:

We'll end today with this article on why Brazil should never have taken on the World Cup. "The World Cup has lost its innocence, but football’s soul can never be bought."



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

More Fun With FIFA, Transfers, Tim Vickery in Brazil, Meet The USA 23

Poor Tevez. At least he made it on the plane...
Ahoy! Only two days left to get all your viewing plans sorted. We had to take a few days off to deal with familial obligations but SSN Headquarters is back up and running and running and running and passing and running. What's been going on? Well, for one thing, SPECTRE FIFA is under a bit more scrutiny, which is nice. John Oliver pretty much summed up the mood at SSN Headquarters with this astute piece. Good 'Ol Sepp has lashed back in typical fashion by playing the race card. Wait. What? Oh, dear. Thankfully for Brazil, South Africa has some advice. Here's some advice: Don't host the World Cup if you're a developing nation and you don't want to get fleeced.

The U.S. beat Nigeria on Saturday night in Jacksonville with Jozy notching two. We'll just go to The Wahl for Three Thoughts and leave it at that.

There continue to be rumors, speculation, and what not. Here's all of that:

Golden Generation is a term that's tossed about rather casually these days. But Ivory Coast can certainly claim to have had one recently, what with Drogba, Yaya and Kolo, Zakora, Kalou, et al. emerging at the same time. Have they done anything at World Cups? No. Jonathan Wilson is worried that won't change this year because their form of late has been quite poor.

There's so much out there on the tournament that we don't feel it necessary to spotlight everything. Especially since a ball has yet to be kicked. We would, however, like Tim Vickery to tell us about Brazil's footballing language.

Remember this guy?
Want to know more about each of the 23 U.S. players? Sports Illustrated has a nice little guide here. DaMarcus Beasley's hometown in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. But you already knew that.

And finally...Brad Friedel has signed a one-year deal with Spurs that will carry him past his 44th birthday. Wow.