World Cup Watching

Darius Soriano —  June 26, 2010

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This is your official FB&G World Cup thread for USA vs. Ghana.

There’ll be an entire off-season to continue our discussion on all things Lakers and the going ons around the rest of the league, but today I’m watching what happens on the pitch and rooting for the red, white, and blue to get the win.  Kobe’s on site in South Africa and doing the same, so if you need a Lakers’ connection there you go.

I’m hoping the U.S. can pull this out, but Ghana should provide a strong challenge especially if they can control the tempo of the game and turn this into an up and down affair.  So, I’m hoping the U.S. can hold possession and create a tactical advantage to generate enough scoring chances to put the ball in the back of the net.

But I’m no expert on this.  Who do you got?  What are the keys of the match for you?  Let me know in the comments and go USA!

Darius Soriano

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  1. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

    This one’s for Warren! (is it ok to use that for soccer?)


  2. Dang it! Another early mistake and goal.


  3. The US really misses Charlie Davies. He used to play for my Swedish club Hammarby. When he arrived, it was obvious that he lacked some knowledge of the game – probably due to the fact the he was american and hadn’t been exposed to soccer on TV all his life (like Europeans). The same thing can be noted when Swedes play bball for instance, since it’s never on TV here.

    When he learned the X’s and O’s though, his raw physical ability made him a superstar in the Swedish league and an instant fan-favorite for Hammarby. ( <–Charlie leading the fans in song:D).

    His speed would add a lot to this US team. Speed is everything (almost) in soccer.


  4. Good game so far. Both teams hold nothing back and play positive football.

    Ghana has been doing a good job not allowing US midfielders too much time with the ball. In the second half, USA has to try to release the ball faster and feed the wings. I highly doubt it would stay 0-1.


  5. #4. Agreed. Both sides going hard. The foul that led to the penalty was huge but the US looks much more poised and alive this half. If the US can continue their push to counter Ghana’s aggression, they can get another to go up.


  6. Yes, US just looks like a different club in the secomd half. Don’t like the talk about PK’s though. Keep the pressure on and don’t get sloppy.


  7. Uggghhh… US looked dead tired the last 15 min.


  8. Hum…Ghana is certainly bettern than I though. When your team doesn’t have better quality and the other team is physically stronger you better prey for a better team performance.
    US coach did very well introducing that quality midfielder-creator in the second half, but he certainly srewed subing Altidore which Ghana couldn’t handle.


  9. Did anyone notice that USA fan in the Lakers jersey celebrating in the stadium after the PK went in?


  10. that was infuriating– really seemed as if the USA had more and better chances.

    but I’d rather beat the Celtics, so f*ck it.


  11. Renato Afonso June 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Ghana is a superior team… Better players, technically and physically, and they were also better organized.

    Look, the Ghana coach did his homework and the Ghana midfield recovered a lot of balls due to the pressure they put on the wingbacks and inside midfielders. USA was never able to properly build a play. Best team won…

    However, USA did overachieve in this cup. They have no star players (Donovan and Dempsey are considered normal to good players in Europe) and they played with the best team spirit of all teams present. An amazing job by coach Bradley and he proved it once more when he made the second half adjustments in this game. He extracted all he could from these players. He should stay with the team for at least 4 more years.


  12. As a Jamaican with Ghanaian on my mother’s side I can’t say I’m unhappy with the result… 😛

    It was pretty much a game of 2 halves, with Ghana dominating the first and the US looking the better side in the second. At the end of the day the difference was that Ghana had a quality finisher up front and the US didn’t. The one chance they did convert was a penalty (which I’m not convinced was the correct decision).

    I don’t think this should be seen as a terrible result for the US by any stretch of the imagination. Both sides are more or less on the same level and Ghana did go to the second round in 2006. As Renato says I think Bradley got the maximum out of his squad and they performed admirably in South Africa.


  13. Got to give it up for Micheal Bradley too. He was very good all tourney, and certainly raised a few eyebrows.

    Loved the US’s heart in these games, just not sure their heads are quite there…yet.

    I think we will see a US team in the quarter finals in the next Cup or so…


  14. Nice seeing you Soccer.
    Maybe we’ll get together again in 4 years.
    Maybe not.
    Until then,


  15. a lot of teams have already swooped in and scooped up some of the more prominent undrafted free agent pgs for their summer league teams.

    a couple of names still out there are 3 euros: thomas heurtel, alexey shved, and edwin jackson. jackson and heurtel both worked out for LA, by the way. the biggest prize is probably mikhail torrance, who has about 5 or 6 teams to choose from.

    i think Fisher’s status makes the back-up position here kind of attractive, so i’m hoping for the best. heurtel and jackson are more in the fisher mold, and shved and torrance are both big guards.

    all 4 of those guys have extensive draftexpress profiles, if any of you are interested.


  16. Feel for you guys, my team (SK) just got beaten by Uruguay in the match before, with identical scores.

    That was the best team SKorea put together in history, with 10 players playing abroad… and we came up short…



  17. Altador is one of the most frustrating players to watch. Donovan played a great cup and seemed like the only one who knew how to lead the offense.

    I think that the first PK was a bad call, but the refs let one or two slide later as “makeup” calls. The take down of Beasley in the box comes to mind


  18. Renato Afonso June 27, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Oh c’mon harold… SK did quite well in this tournament. They got out of a difficult group and this Uruguai squad is really, really good. They are reminding me of Italy circa ’90/’94… No shame in SK’s defeat.

    Now, if you want to see humiliation, take a look at my team (Portugal) being trashed by Spain next Tuesday… It will be pathetic!


  19. agree on uruguay, they look like they are on a mission.

    hopefully my country (germany) can put in a focused effort and defeat the englishmen today.


  20. Renato Afonso June 27, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Go Germany! The rest of Europe is with you…

    Vielleicht konnen wir eine semifinale mit Portugal und Deutschland haben 😉


  21. Dodol Surodol June 27, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Yes, go Germany! Where I live, it seems like everyone is an England fan. They don’t seem to realize that English clubs are good because their top players are all foreigners.


  22. é isso mesmo! faça favor!

    your german is very good, my friend.


  23. Renato Afonso June 27, 2010 at 4:47 am

    That’s right Dodol, the english players are all hype… Rooney is not one of the top-5 players in the world, for example. Not even top-10 and yet american and english media talk about him like he is some sort of prodigy. We (europeans) never get frightened when we draw England during the Euro. Easy to prepare against, predictable offense and not very good quality overall apart from Gerrard.

    About today, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I believe that Germany’s chances depend on how well is Schweinsteiger…

    MdT, thanks. You know how it is in small countries, we learn a lot of languages 😉


  24. schweisteiger is indeed one of the key-members of the german team. without him the defensive part of the the schemes are in jeopardy. schweisteigers substitute would be toni kroos, a huge talent, but just not as defensive minded as schweinsteiger is.
    i am really hopeful that he can play through his muscular issues.

    i guess it really helps to learn languages if you live in a tourist friendly region of the world like the iberian island. there are not very much tourists in central germany. i have to rely on the languages i learned in school.


  25. Wow, a lot of Germany supporters here! Feels good for this German Lakers fan right here!

    Huge win, although the disallowed goal would have changed everything. For those relatively new to soccer, go to Youtube and search for “Wembley 1966” to see how history was corrected today. 😉


  26. Renato Afonso June 27, 2010 at 9:55 am

    44 years of Karma… I laughed histerically when I saw it!!!


  27. Ok, England looked bad and Germany looked good, i.e. England got trashed.
    My team, Spain, isn’t looking very well but fortunatly Portugal isn’t looking very good either. I just hope Spain can find their track on time hehe.


  28. Alright, so can July 1st get here soon enough so we can talk about important Lakers news. Unfortunately I’m not that into watching soccer (especially on t.v.) I just can’t stand that we just won a championship and now we’re going to finally have that space we’ve been wanting to replace our pg position but I can’t find anything on the web that’s new news. This will probably be the most boring few days of my sports year.


  29. So I just got into an argument about whether or not some NBA players could play soccer. Endurance-wise and skill. I think we have quite a few ballers that could have played soccer if they were born with the ball on their feet instead of their hands.

    So my question to you all is who out of the NBA would make the best soccer players? My top 10 current players would look like this:

    1- Allen Iverson
    2- Steve Nash
    3- Kobe
    4- Rajon Rondo
    5- Ray Allen
    6- Richard Hamilton
    7- Leandro Barbosa
    8- Manu Ginobli
    9- Brandon Jennings
    10- Bron Bron

    Doesn’t necessarily have to be in this order. Could you imagine Lebron and Kobe as strikers? Headers left and right…


  30. If you ask me I’m probably smaller but better soccer player than most of those you listed. Maybe not better than Nash and soso Ginobili.
    Iverson,Kobe,Allen,Jennings are to selfish to be good soccer players.
    Barbosa and Bron lack the physical tools.
    The rest may do fine but maybe I watched them as BB players so I have a hard time figuring them out as soccer players.


  31. Feel-

    Not knowing you at all I would still guess that if you play soccer you are better than them, but the question was if they had played soccer their whole lives instead of basketball. I think they have the endurance for futbol, but they wouldn’t have the skill because they don’t play the sport. As for being selfish…Kobe would do whatever it takes to win and Ray Allen is not selfish. Barbosa seems like he has a soccer body to me, but I don’t know the sport extremely well. I could imagine Bron being an awesome defenseman who comes up for corner kicks and set pieces.

    Who could you see being a soccer player then aside from Nash and Ginobli?


  32. A new post is up. We’re taking one last look at the past season.


  33. Nash and ginobli?? I don’t get this these are the only 2 who grew up playing soccer and weren’t good enough so they played basketball. But I think Kobe lebron and a lot of the quick players ( point guards) could be great


  34. Renato Afonso June 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm


    Ah! We don’t look good? We look TERRIBLE!!!! Our coach made very stupid choices when selecting the 23 and then our player in best form (Nani) got injured…

    Trust me, you are going to walk all over us. Confidence is really low in Portugal. Our only chance is to score first and then “park the bus” 😉


  35. @18,

    Good luck to Spain.

    i realize their FIFa rating is 2 versus Portugal’s 3.

    If Ronaldo plays plays team play instead of 1 on 3 or 4 and 40 yd set play shots you may be in trouble. That guy is a real game changer with just a sick level of talent. It’s like Michael Owen meets Hasan Sas, at both of their primes.


    Deutschland looked fantastic today. They still play the mousetrap counter-attack style to perfection. Podolski is still great and Klose still finishes well. Should be interesting. I never bet on a young team, but the old teams (Germany 1994, Italy this year) don’t ever seem to do well. Germany did get a break with the missed goal. Pretty bad missed call. Not unlike a few bad US offsides called and not there as well as the missed offsides by Argentina. Best teams still won in all games (or tied in the case of USA v. Slovenia).

    I’m looking forward to no missed calls leading or involving goals and more great world cup.

    It was a shame to see the US lose, but the better side did win. We didn’t play with proper heart, intensity and seriousness all game. It wasn’t as lame as Italy in their last game in group phase, but still we need to do better. Plenty of talent.


  36. You’re right Kensic Ray Allen isn’t selfish I think that I just messed it with Allen Iverson while reading.
    Barbosa doen’t have good feet:
    Lebron seems to bulky to have good touch. But yes for a defender or defensive mildfielder may be fine.
    Elite soccer players have a very good sense of the space, which makes them antincipate the ball and put it where they want, so I’d say that good Basketball scorerand passers like Nash would perform good on soccer.
    Speed is important but you need the full skill set to take advantage of it. Look at Teo Walcot, the guy could go to the Olimpics but he barely plays for his national team and is not a star.
    Regarding Kobe, his will to win or dominate is great for any sport, but if your skills can’t help you get what want you start to lower your expectations and ambition. In soccer you need your teammates to trust you by trusting them, if you don’t act with that in mind the team goes down, you go down and you never know where the south pole is.

    Renato don’t be negative I’d say it’s pretty much 50-50 Portugal-Spain, and Spain is the reigning Euro champion so you should be positive 🙂


  37. I like your analysis. I would love to get your thoughts (or anybody else’s) on the Laker’s chances next year (and who their competition will be). Please take a look at my analysis:

    Let me know what you think (or if you want to subscribe). I’m going to be posting on different things every 2-3 days. I hope you use your format as a model. Thanks.