Monday, June 28, 2010

The Game That Is Soccer

1.  The United States is not good in soccer.  I watched a number of teams.  Besides North Korea, there was no team that the United States was significantly better than.  They do not have the strikers who can score goals when they should score goals, much less can score goals on their own.  They also do not have a real defensive prescence.

2.  I thought that the U.S. would be bigger, faster, and more physical than most teams in the world.  They are none of these three things.  Against Ghana, they were smaller, slower, and much less physical.  I know some of this is due to football and basketball.  But I thought it was sad.  You take the fourth best wide receiver on Division I-AA football team, and they would have been a top 5 athlete on the U.S. soccer team.

3.  The World Cup has shown my pod system for college football could work.  But it also showed that ties would be a problem, and no system can be perfect.  All I can say is "it could work."  

4.  My sports career taught me about 50-50 teams, 50-50 games and 50-50 sports.  50-50 teams are mediocre teams.  Teams that are average.  Teams that would be .500 after 1000 games.  I played on a 50-50 team my senior year of high school.  (We finished 2 and 8.)  I also played on a 50-50 team my freshman year of college.  (We finished 5-5.)  50-50 games are games where if the two teams played 1000 times, each team would finish with 500 wins and 500 losses.  It is a game between mediocre teams.  A game where all you can expect is average.  These games can be fun to watch or hard to watch, and usually it would be filled with a number of mistakes.  50-50 sports are sports where most games are 50-50 games with 50-50 teams.  Sports where the best teams don't always win, because there are very few "best" teams.  I would argue that most professional leagues strive to make their leagues 50-50 sports.

5.  World Cup soccer is one of the ultimate 50-50 sports.  This explains the U.S team's result with England.  England would beat the U.S. 6.5 times out of 10, but World Cup soccer is a 50-50 sport.  The U.S. tied and won the 50-50 games with Slovakia and Algeria.  (I am hesitant to put Ghana on this list.  I thought Ghana was clearly better than the U.S.)  The U.S. is clearly a 50-50 team that I cannot get excited about in the near future.  Now, Argentina and Germany, and England to a lesser extent, are not 50-50 teams.

6.   Argentina and Germany and Brazil and Spain will keep me interested in the World Cup.  But without the U.S. team, I will not retain any interest in soccer after the World Cup.        

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