I love the talent of these guys using their feet, the flow of the action, and the passion of the fans both here and elsewhere around the globe. I have some sense of the strategy, and realize albeit imperceptibly when the game I’m watching is a good one or not.
Other than that, I claim nary a scintilla of expertise.
But I do know this.
Brazil vs. Mexico might have been nil nil, but it was a mighty fine game.
And this. That Mexican goaltender fella — Guillermo Ochoa is his name — gave us THE performance of the tourney so far during the stunning, scoreless but far from actionless tie.
After the last of Ochoa’s many miraculous stops in the 86th minute or so, announcer Fernando Palomo screamed, “Will they build a statue of him back in Mexico City, or what?”
Like I said, the passion is infectious.1
Hey, I’m one of those casual fans, but I’ve even got a favorite player from south of the border now. Other than Ochoa, of course.
So what that it’s based on his nickname.
The Little Rooster.
Maybe it’s the way Palomo says José Juan Vázquez’s nickname, but I couldn’t stop smiling when he said it. I can’t stop smiling now.
* * * * *
Much is being made of relatively large number of German Americans on the U.S. Squad.
Get over it. The NBA champion San Antonio Spurs notwithstanding, fútbol is without question the most international of athletic endeavors. Guys from remote African villages star in England’s Premier League. Chileans play in the Fußball-Bundesliga.2
So I’m embracing Fabian Johnson and John Brooks (and their fellow mercenaries) like they live down the street and glory in Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, just like all true red, white and blue patriots.
Both of those guys were significant contributors to the Americans’ 2-1 W over Ghana on Monday.
* * * * *
I’ve been in Granada, Spain on a day when Spain was competing in the World Cup. You think time stops when UK plays U of L in hoops? Fuhgettaboutit. It’s nothing compared to the focus when one’s fútbol-first country is playing in the World Cup.
Thus, I can visualize Spaniards throwing themselves off towers of the Alhambra after the defending champs’ devastating opening 1-5 loss to the Orange of The Netherlands.
* * * * *
All of which is to say, if you’re not paying attention, do so.
If only because, like the first two days of the NCAA tournament, it’s a great excuse not to pay attention at work during the day.
The second round of group play is just beginning.
The U.S. of A. is one most-winnable W over beleaguered Portugal from doing what was once considered inconceivable, advancing to the knock out round from the Group of Death.
I’d ramble aimlessly along a bit more. But Australia’s Socceroos just kicked off against Holland.
— Seedy K