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A good tie; Slovenia is next

June 13, 2010 | 9:42 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

I’m still trying to recover from the US-England result. I never figured on a tie.

Of course, history was on my side. In the nine previous meetings there had been seven wins for England, two for the US and no draws.

Oh, well.

I also didn’t figure on such a good crowd turning out on a downtown street in the cold and the rain to watch. The British Bulldog and the Colorado Rapids are to be commended for organizing the event that closed down a couple of blocks and opened up a lot of beer taps. It was a good Anglo-American get together, with lots of  US and England jerseys and cheers.

The only odd moment was the end of the game. The referee blew the final whistle and … nothing. To describe the reaction as muted is to disrespect the term. Perhaps everyone has used their cheers, but the crowd went from shoulder-to-shoulder to quietly walking for the exits. Weird.

On the 11: Bob Bradley delivered one surprise by putting Robbie Findley on the field as a starter. Clearly, I don’t get the Findley charm. He was not a significant presence on the ball, but his off-the-ball runs opened space for Landon Donovan and goalscorer Clint Dempsey. I have to give that to Bradley.

Despite my hopes for Jose Torres, Ricardo Clark got the nod in midfield. Clark didn’t get ejected, but he also lost Steven Gerrard on the England goal. I’m still not impressed.

Against Slovenia, I hope Bradley gives Torres a look. We need a possessor in the midfiled, and Michael Bradley can cleanup on defense. However, I suspect Bradley won’t make a change unless someone is injured.

Following: Now, with a point in hand, the US and England are both in good positions to advance. It also makes the Friday match against Slovenia that much more engaging. The US needs to win, and I think the States will.

I pity Algeria, which I suspect will face the wrath of England. The English do wrath well. It will be ugly.

I’ll take the US to win, 2-1. The English will put at least three in the net against Algeria.

Elsewhere: I fell for Ghanian (Ghananian?) soccer at the ‘92 Olympics. They were a fun side to watch with some of the best fans in Barcelona. Now, I’m still seeing one of the strongest African sides at this World Cup.

I picked Ghana second out of its group behind Germany. This ran against conventional wisdom that says Serbia is at least the second-best or possibly the top team in the group. After the result this morning, I’m feeling like a genius. Ghana was composed, Serbia erratic, and the west Africans won 1-0.


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