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Archive for the tag “World Cup”

USA’s World Cup run ends too soon, but future is promising

usa loses belgiumWhen a team enters into a tournament format like the World Cup knockout stage, you always know that the next game can be the last one.

But that doesn’t mean it is any easier when the end finally comes.

Such is the case for the U.S. team, which saw its World Cup run end on Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to Belgium.

We try to come to terms with the end, and take a look at what the future may hold, in our latest post at World Soccer Talk.

(Photo courtesy of The Associated Press)

 

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Altidore is back, but can he make a difference against Belgium?

altidoreThe USA received some good news on Monday, as forward Jozy Altidore has been cleared to play against Belgium in today’s round-of-16 game against Belgium.

The question is how much will Altidore play, if he plays at all?

USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann faces a tough decision on how to work Altidore back into the lineup. Does he start him and risk having to use an early substitute if Altidore can’t go? Does he bring Altidore off the bench if things are not going well? Or does he save him, not wanting to risk further injury, knowing that there may not be a next game without Altidore?

We start figuring out what this means in our latest post at World Soccer Talk.

(Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer)

Why are we still surprised by Luis Suárez?

luis suarez latest banOver the past couple of years we have written more words about Luis Suárez than we ever imagined possible.

From suspensions to transfer rumors to key goals at the most opportune time, we thought we had seen it all and there was nothing left that could surprise us.

But that all changed on Monday while watching Uruguay’s game on Monday when Suárez and Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini clashed in front of the Italian goal with just a few minutes left in the game. Suddenly, Suárez was on the ground holding his mouth, while Chiellini was chasing the ref, pulling at his shirt collar to show something on his shoulder, and we were left in disbelief.

Did Suárez really do what we think he just did? Did Suárez really just bite Chiellini during a win-or-go-home World Cup game?

Unbelievable.

How is it that Suárez continues to surprise us? And what does it mean for Liverpool?

Find out in our latest post at World Soccer Talk.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

 

World Cup Preview: USA vs. Germany

Ghana v USA: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilThe USA and Germany face off today at Noon ET/9am PT in the final game for each side in Group G. A win by either team wins the group, but both teams only need to walk out of the Arena Pernambuco in Recife with a single point to ensure advancement into the next round.

The teams have reached this point after opening wins followed by shocking draws in their respective second games – Germany coming back against Ghana, while the U.S. gave up a game-tying goal with just 30 seconds left against Portugal.

Check out the full preview in our latest post at World Soccer Talk.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

USMNT content to do things the hard way

usa loses to portugalIt’s been almost 24 hours and we’re still trying to accept what happened in the final 30 seconds of the USA’s game with Portugal on Sunday night.

To come so close to qualifying for the knockout stage with one game to play only to see it all fall apart at the very end would be difficult for any team to overcome. The good news is that the U.S. doesn’t have to wait very long for their next match and this team, more than others, is a resilient bunch. They came back after giving up an early lead to Ghana, and then did it again on Sunday after falling behind Portugal just five minutes into the game.

“That’s who we are,” midfielder Michael Bradley said. “We talk all the time about what we’re like on the hardest day and when the spotlight comes on brightest. When the biggest tests come, what are we like? How do we respond in the difficult moments? I thought tonight was another example of us showing everybody who we are and what makes us a good team.

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Spain’s reign comes to a crashing halt against Chile

spain loses world cupWe knew it was going to be difficult for Spain to repeat as World Cup champions – there is a reason no country has lifted the trophy in consecutive tournaments in 52 years – but we don’t think anyone saw this coming.

Following their 2-0 loss to Chile on Wednesday, Spain is out, making them the first defending champion eliminated after just two games.

While the score was not as bad as their opening-game loss to the Netherlands, Spain looked just as out of sorts against Chile and never seemed like a threat to walk out of the game with a much-needed point.

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USMNT starts the party early in opening win against Ghana

usa beats ghanaIt was a start that the U.S. Men’s National Team dreamed of.

More importantly, it was a finish that the team so desperately needed.

John Brooks’ goal at the 86-minute mark gave the U.S. a 2-1 win over World Cup nemesis Ghana on Monday at the Arena das Dunas and the all-important three points.

“We have a great spirit and (we) fight until the last second,” Klinsmann said. “There is undoubtedly things that we need to improve. At the end of the day we got the three points.”

There was much to like from the game, starting with Clint Dempsey’s opening goal, which made him the first U.S. player to score in three different World Cups and allowed the U.S. to play from in front. It was the fifth-fastest goal scored in a World Cup match, which seems pretty amazing given that it only took 29 seconds for Dempsey to find the back of the net.

But it was the goal by Brooks that stands out the most, and not just because it was the game winner.

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5 Questions – World Cup edition

united-statesThe World Cup kicks off on Thursday with the host country, Brazil, taking on Croatia.

Over the ensuing month, 32 teams will compete in 64 matches across 12 venues in Brazil. The U.S. team will travel almost 8,900 miles all together, as they move from their training camp in São Paulo to Natal for the match against Ghana, to Recife to take on Germany, and to Manaus to face Portugal.

Spain enters the tournament as the defending champion and No. 1 ranked team in the world, looking to be the first repeat winner since Brazil turned the trick in 1958 and 1962. Other favorites include Germany, Brazil and Argentina.

Sometime in the early evening of July 13, one team will lift the World Cup trophy.

We’ve gathered a panel of soccer enthusiasts to talk about which games and players to keep an eye on, and try to figure out who will walk away with the sport’s ultimate prize.

Murray Alexander is an Arsenal fan living in Glasgow, Scotland. Follow him on Twitter @SadFactory.

Dr. Ralf Borrmann is a native of Mainz, Germany, a longtime soccer coach and chair of the Modern & Classical Languages Department at Western Reserve Academy.

Ash Day is a London-based Arsenal fan. He can be found on Twitter @AshDay29.

Craig Lyndall is one of the founders of Waiting For Next Year. Find him on Twitter @WFNYCraig.

Tom Moore is a Liverpool fan (and proprietor of this site) who realized what all the fuss was about after watching the U.S. draw with Italy in the 2006 World Cup.

Adam Yankay is a longtime soccer fan, a founding member of the soccer program at the University of Texas-Dallas, and a member of the Mathematics Department at Western Reserve Academy

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