Monday, September 24, 2007

Once more

Aw, predictions! It's all a gamble.

Here's some reader reaction I've already picked up.

Ms. Canales,

I rank the remaining teams in this order: Germany, Brazil, US, Norway.

I buy Germany. The US, on the other hand, has not convinced me,
whereas Brazil has. No doubt the US is strong enough to pull it out, with a
little luck; but the cliche that the US "has yet to play it's best
soccer" is getting worn out and annoying. We simply just don't know
what the US' "best soccer" looks like. This may be as good as it gets.

I certainly was not impressed by the US showing against Nigeria in a
game that meant something, and the scoreline against England was
gaudier than it merited (so many defensive gaffes in this World Cup!). And the
way they just fell apart when Wambach was out for just 8 minutes was
disappointing. You'd think the team was Abby + 10. Brazil, on the
other hand, has shown me some soccer, At their worst they still beat
Australia; at their best, they utterly destroyed China.

Who knows? I think it'll come down to Lady Luck and the referee. The
US is a physical team, and if the referee allows that kind of play the
Brazilians may well get frustrated.

I have been reading your articles about the World Cup and I have to tell you that 99% of the times I agreed with you, but not on your last posting about Thursday´s game predictions.
First of all, Brazil had only one fairly bad game against Australia, while the US has not played well at all in the entire competition, but the second half against England. The Brazilian players had a great wake up call against Australia, and based on several interviews with its key players such as Marta, Formiga and Daniele, now it is their time to win. They are very focused and I think it will be very hard for the US to neutralize Brazil´s offensive power. Winning experience is important, but there is always a first time, otherwise, Brazil would always win every title on the men´s side. I think too many people are over rating the US team based on their past victories, but fail to understand how "average" their soccer has been during the competition. On the other side you have Brazil, probably the best team in the entire World Cup, and after only one below average performance, all of the sudden, they are not as hot as before. Sorry but I do not see things the same way you do, since Brazil in my opinion, will finally not only beat the US, but it will once for all, prove to the world that the US is no longer the #1 team in the world as it was in the past. You shall see!
If I am right, you should consider adding my predictions or comments to your next posting!


Anonymous said...

"the scoreline against England was
gaudier than it merited "

I love when people believe that bs. The goals weren't gifted by some devine being. Foot to ball to back of the net equals goal earned. Let me know if you ever find the trophy they hand out for moral victories.

Unfortunately the US needs to win 5-0 and possess the ball 75% of the time to be convince some people. The teams that are able to dig it out when not playing their best are the ones that impress me.

EdTheRed said...

Brazil does play some nice attacking football, but they don't appear able to defend set pieces if a World Cup title depended on it. That's going to be a serious problem for them against the U.S.

glen said...

it's funny to me when I hear that the US is a physical team, sorry I don't see it that way. the referees have been really horrible in the world cup and from some of the games I have watched, it almost looks like some of them are being bought off from some of the calls that have been made. plus, maybe next time the US will have a easier group like Brazil and Germany had.

JT (Chicago) said...

At this level, with these final 4 teams, the team that limits mistakes and can be opportunistic will win. The USA showed in the England match that they can jump on errors (losing Wambach on a corner, and the keeper miscue). The Boxx goal was a joy to see for US supporters. Her health in the center of park is a big key. If she can control the middle and play with her usual aggression, the US has a great chance to win it all.

The US doesn't need to play 5-0 and possess the ball 75% of the time to impress. They do need to get away from playing Route One and start playing the dynamic soccer that has long been part of their reputation. Perhaps, Coach Ryan has been keeping that under wraps to spring in these final two matches. It sure was good to see them break that out in the 2nd half vs. England.

At this point, I'll say Germany 3 Norway 1 and the USA 2 Brazil 2 wit the USA winning on penalties.

Anonymous said...

In a World Cup the wraps are off of any surprises as soon as you hit the knockout stage. Otherwise, you may go home without a chance to ever show what you had in reserve.

And what you have is a fair to middling coach in Ryan, players who either can’t or won’t attempt to beat someone on the dribble (where is Aly Wagner??), not a lot of depth, an offense heavily reliant on set pieces and long balls, a heavy reliance on superior conditioning so the opposition will wear down first. Does this mean they can’t win the Cup? Hardly.

I think they will beat Brazil because the US is sort of a more powerful version of Australia. Had they not been so physically depleted the Matildas might have beaten Brazil. It will be very close, and the US will try and fail to push around the Brazilians, but Wambach may well kill them on set plays and I think Lilly and O’Reilly will exploit their disorganized defenders. If they do get past Brazil, Germany will probably beat them. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if Brazil wins