Friday, June 16, 2006

Back in the land of socks with sandals

And killer mullets. And currywurst.

Made it. Along the way I learned what is worse than listening to Marcelo Balboa speak. And that is watching his words on closed caption. There was a lot of: MARCELO: WELL, THE... and MARCELO: YEAH, BUT...and MARCELO: BUT, YOU KNOW...

Anyway, it made the poor first-half of England v Paraguay even worse. Until the guy came up to me and asked, "What inning is it?" Honest to God.

Things improved in Newark where I settled in at the bar next to a pleasant Portuguese chap and a great American guy named Dirk. I gave him my Sanford's Soccer Net card (THANK YOU GRANT!!) which was funny. Hopefully I'll run into Dirk in Kaiserslautern or Nurnburg. Anyway, it made for a very nice Paraguay/Sweden. Especially when Freddie sealed the deal for the Swedes.

Anyway, I've purchased my "World Cup Rail Pass" which gives me unlimited train use for my time here. And I'll make the most of it.

I'm currently watching Argentina/S&M at Alec and Simona's flat. Argentian looks bloody good. As of now, they're playing the best football in the tourny, in my opinion. Alec says Spain played just as well, but one match against Ukraine leaves me needing more proof.

Ecuador: Who knew? They couldn't do anything outside of Quito in qualifying yet here they are kicking major ass. Impressive. Speaking of Latin America, I was in line at the train station behind some Costa Ricans. It was sad.

OK, I'm off to central Hamburg with Simona and Alec. We'll meet up with Bjorn (who welcomed me with a smashing breakfast of breads, bacon, turkey, fruit and some weird jelly that looked like agar) and watch the Dutch face Ivory Coast.

Oh yeah, I took the photo in the local shop. Lots of goodies to sample...


Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup Today

France feel tension as Henry lays into Ribéry,,1797539,00.html

Goodnight galacticos

Tickets: The system stinks

Alan Hansen's World Cup verdict

England drowned out by German din

German police dogs an entirely new breed

Germany 1-0 Poland: Super subs save the day

An international incident

'Dizzy' Ronaldo undergoes medical test

The impossible dream?

Siesta turns to fiesta as Spain start to believe

Convey: U.S. players dazed and unsure

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Brazil 1-0 Croatia: Kaka cracker

France 0-0 Switzerland: Les Bleus deja vu

South Korea 2-1 Togo

Grant Wahl on the USA;_ylt=Aksqfn8l7oBgJ5hKkvva1YImw7YF?slug=cnnsi-pickingupthepie&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns

Poland-Germany Preview;_ylt=AqT.5EzSvPGQcm1I5QdbQKQmw7YF?slug=ap-wcup-poland-germanypreview&prov=ap&type=lgns

Roberto Gotta on Italy/Ghana

Czechs bouncing in Germany

Brazil blasts overweight, out of touch Ronaldo

French media disappointed by Les Bleus display

My World Cup Itinerary

OK, here it is. My World Cup juggernaut. I've told my employers not expect me to return refreshed...

Please note: All times Continental European unless otherwise indicated

June 15: Depart RDU 13:20 EDT

June 16: Arrive Hamburg - 7:30

June 16: Hamburg

June 17: Train to Kaiserslautern - 10:24 ___ 15:59
Hopefully attend Italy/USA - kick-off at 21:00

June 18: Train to Munich - 1:00___4:43
Attend Brazil/Australia - kick-off at 20:00

June 19: Train to Stuttgart - 14:45___16:47
Attend Spain/Tunisia - kick-off at 21:00

June 20: Train to Hamburg - 3:25___9:35

June 20: Hamburg

June 21: Train to Gelsenkirchen - 9:46___13:04
Attend Portugal/Mexico - kick-off at 16:00

June 21: Train to Cologne - 19:15___20:19

June 22: Train to Nuremberg - 8:12___11:28
Attend USA/Ghana - kick-off at 16:00

June 23: Train to Hamburg - 1:31___7:51

June 23: Hamburg

June 24: Depart Hamburg - 9:00
Arrive RDU 14:54 EDT

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

World Cup Today

Arena's men left with scars and strife

Good for Bruce. Give those clowns hell. All this crap we've been fed by the media and quotes from the players about representing the States and they "represent" us like that??!! This is when Reyna really needs to step up and get the team in order. As captain, it's his job to make sure the players are giving 100%, something they did not seem to be doing at all yesterday.

United States 0-3 Czech Republic

Gordon Strachan column,,1796360,00.html

Preview: France v Switzerland

I fear for France. If they they can barely score against China I don't see them doing much against the steady Swiss. They had trouble with them in qualifying too. The problem is that I really like the French players (OK, not Freaky Fabian) and hate to see them booed in their own national stadium. But, I suppose they did win a World Cup and European Championship recently so they've had their good times. I would be shocked if they even make the semis this year, and that will be a sad way for Zizou to bow out. Perhaps he should have ignored "the voice."

USA: Change in attitude required

World Cup ratings up on ABC; Univision performs well

Focus on Brazil as champions meet Croatia

Berlin's Fan Fest makes history with fun and friendship for free,,1796215,00.html

Shades of NASCAR nation: Soccer fans pitch their tents and pack their RVs at World Cup

Australia 3-1 Japan

Italy 2-0 Ghana: Azzurri pushed

Seething With Anger

I'm angry.

Angry because Bobby Convey and DeMarcus Beasley are best when running at people and all they did today was pass the ball back. That was when they were not losing it after atrocious first touches.

Angry because my team looked as if they were not trying, as if this match were a friendly of little importance. "Flat" is too nice of a description.

Angry because even after going two goals down, the attitude of the players did not change.

Angry because when it comes to the World Cup, I like to see some energy, commitment, and passion. Today I saw none from Team USA.

Angry because we could have gotten something from this game.

Angry because Eddie Lewis had a stellar season for Leeds crossing the ball into the area but produced a performance today of such utter uselessness.

Angry because we all know Donovan plays best when he is in the midfield, not as a second forward.

Angry because I don't want USA vs. Ghana to be meaningless...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Phil Ball in Spain

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

Czechs still dangerous even without Baros

Czech golden generation gear up for last big test,,1795516,00.html

Fifa may shut roofs to cut shadows on TV pictures,,1795512,00.html

Hiddink hits back at claims of 'dirty play',,1795515,00.html

Richard Williams on England

Terry Butcher's view on England

Roy Keane announces retirement

Shearer Slams Eriksson's Decisions

Target man Toni leads Italy's challenge

Czechs pay U.S. due respect before clash

Argentina ruthlessness enough vs. gallant Elephants

Trinidadians celebrate tie as a victory

England grind out win over Paraguay

US enjoys Cup atmosphere without safety fears

Totti to feature against Ghana - Lippi

Thank God for Univision

Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa suck. O'Brien sounds like he's watching a baseball game and Balboa can't start any sentence without stuttering. Maybe since there is so much grease in his hairfarm he'll get electrocuted and we'll be done with him. Why can't American announcers get it right? You don't have to talk all the time. You don't have to explain every damn thing that is going on in the match. Let it flow! And quit using terminology for other sports for soccer. The guy did not take that shot "from three-point land." The goalie's clearance was not "like a pop-fly." Trinidad & Tobago are not trying to "be like George Mason." The two players are not "battling for position in the paint." Come on. Enough.

Soccer is lame - they never score

The Sweden vs. Trinidad & Tobago match is irrefutable proof that individuals such as Frank Deford, Jim Rome and Tom Powers are very, very stupid.