Monday, June 12, 2006

A Few World Cup Thoughts

The World Cup has begun and it's dawned on me that I haven't posted any predictions or thoughts on the soccer world in a few months. So with out further pause I will now confidently tell you that the winner of the 2006 World Cup in Germany will be.........Argentina. This is a powerful squad with speed, skill, poise, and a good combination of youth and experience. They are strong on the attack as well as defense and can match up with anybody. Brasil of course is very good as well, but I think that they are letting Ronaldo play to much of a role too far into his career. I also think that the pressure of expectations will get to them.
As for my own country the US, I am doubtful of their ability to get out of Group Play. This is of course easier to say considering at the moment they are losing 3-0 to the Czechs, but that's how I felt beforehand as well. The U.S. squad is made up of too many MLS players and not enough players from abroad. Players such as Landon Donovan and Eddie Johnson aren't going to develop to their fullest potential in this league. This is especially tough for me to say as I value loyalty and can appreciate a player sayin that he would rather stay and try to help build a better league, but I think this is detrimental to the national team. Of course maybe it's not all loyalty either. Perhaps in the case of players like Donovan it's more about being a big fish in a small pond. He can look like a superstar here while truly only being a mediocre player on the international level. I love American soccer and can't wait to coach my daughter's team this fall, but I also realize that if she continues and grows at the sport then she will move past what level I could succesfully coach her at. There's no pressure from me, I'll just enjoy my time with the girls and see if I can help any of them become a star.
I do honestly think that youth soccer will provide better players in the next ten years for our national team. Competitive club teams continue to get better and more organized each year, but unfortunately I don't think they always get the best athletes. The economic cost to be on these teams cuts out a large percentage of kids that could really excel at these next levels. I have coached YMCA teams the past couple of years and I have certainly had a number of kids that could be playing at a higher level and I would love to see have that opportunity, but unfortunately will never get the chance.
Joga Bonita!!!!!

5 comments:

Q said...

I disagree with your prediction, I think that Brazil or Mexico will when it all. And if I had to choose between one of those I would go with Brazil. The best game that I have watched was the Portugal/Ivory Coast. The Americans are just not that good of a soccer team, you look at these other Countries and there squads have guys who are considered among the best in the world. We have Landon Donovan, a guy who just could not cut it in Europe. Soccer is just not mainstream enough in the states, it is an after thought as far as sports are concerned I think in large part to the lack of televised events.

Q said...

I am sorry it was portugal and angola. I was going to make a comment about argentina and ivory coast but got side tracked.

Q said...

Es la hora para mirar el Brasil, el mejor equipo maldito del fĂștbol del mundo.

Gyuss Baaltar said...

I've only got one thing to say:

GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!

But seriously, come up here for a United game sometime. The DC South American population comes out and makes the games into the best MLS experience.

Dagromm said...

Brasil of course has a very good chance and it irks me to no end that I won't get to watch their game live today. I hope it gets replayed tonight. I will be pulling for Mexico, but I don't think they will be one of the final four teams in the tournament. Their play against Iran just wasn't sharp enough to warrant thinking they will be able to ghold up against tougher opponents. I would like to see our neighbors to the south be successful though because I know it would mean so much to their citizens.