In case any of you doubted me about going to the Cup the first two weeks because there is soccer all day every day, I hope you have had a chance to watch some of the first three days of games. All of the games so far have been pretty well played and the number of goals scored is incredible. Most Americans enjoy the games more if there are more goals, but what really makes them interesting, if you don’t have home team to cheer for, is when they have allot of shots taken on goal.
Attacking soccer is more entertaining for the spectators, even if not many of the shots actually go in the goal. In these first three days more than 25 goals have been scored. At the last cup by this time only nine goals had been scored while everyone seemed to be playing their first games just trying not to lose.
If you saw the Italy v England game you saw what Italy did once they took the lead. They had all 11 players playing defense and Italy is renowned for that type of play through the years. They have won four world cups, second only to Brazil. England’s new young speed attack up front seemed to be working, but most of their shots just missed the goal. They generated plenty of offense, particularly in the first half, but kept missing with the final shots.
In addition to a strong defense, Italy has Pirlo playing central midfield and he is unbelievable how many passes he makes right to his teammates. Costa Rica proved a surprise, even to their own fans, right Bernal? Uruguay was a semifinalist last time, but they played without Luis Suarez who led the English Premier League in scoring this year. The Costa Rican goals were all well earned. The last one was really “cheeky” with the shooter breaking through alone and beating the keeper.
I took note of the game in Manaus being 88 degrees at 6 PM and very high humidity. We are scheduled to be there soon. The game in Recife was pouring down rain and we go there too. I did bring a raincoat, but if it is hot I am not sure about wearing the coat.
Tomorrow Argentina with Lionel Messi gets started and Monday, in addition to the US, Portugal with Renaldo and Germany have their first games. As soon as everyone has played once, they start all over again until the three first round games are done. The second round begins on June 29th so it will be lots of soccer before we get there. Let’s hope they keep the attacking type of soccer that almost everyone has played so far.
Still stunned by Netherlands 5 to 1 thrashing of Spain. Anyone can win on a given day, but not often anyone beats Spain that badly. Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, and US represent our region and we need to cheer for all of our teams to win because it shows that our teams are competitive worldwide and maybe we are even better than we think we are. I don’t think we can count on a game in the snow this time.