Daily news roundups / Featured

THREE days, I tell ya, THREE DAYS

Union

So I wake up this morning for a little snack and I put on the BBC World Service on WHYY as I get back into bed. What do I hear? An interview with the Union’s Nick Sakiewicz! He talked about the opener at PPL Park selling out in five hours, the tremendous fan base for soccer in Philly, the Union’s tough opening schedule and how the excitement surrounding the World Cup might help the club and MLS, adding that, given the excitement surrounding the new team, it was hard to imagine being even more excited. The Union is international, baby!

US team

Jozy Altidore has rejoined the US squad for full training.

Landon Donovan has talked in the past about how overwhelmed he was in the 2006 World Cup. He tells the Washington Post that he’s ready now.

Have any doubts that soccer is here to stay in the US? Take a look at this piece in Bloomberg Businessweek. If that isn’t enough, consider this: The Onion has satirized “the lone American soccer fan.”

Here’s one view of how the US will beat England. My view: scoring more goals than they do.

What are you more worried about, the US offense or the defense? Here’s another argument that we should be more worried about the defense. Can I be worried about both?

EPL Talk thinks England will beat the US 2–0, 3–0 if Onyewu starts. Bastards. Here’s a look at some of the intrigue surrounding the question of whether Onyewu will start from the Washington Post. And here is Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl’s prediction for how the US will do.

Bradley says Onyewu and Altidore are both fit enough to start.

The Scottish-born Stuart Holden has more than one reason to want to beat England.

Here’s a nice look at Clint Dempsey’s early years. Depmsey believes the US can upset England. Yes, but can the US beat England?

Carlos Bocanegra talks about the need for the US to consistently get out of the group stages. Yes, I think I would like that. After making it out of the group stage for the first time since 1930 in 1994, the US had to suffer the humiliation of finishing dead last in the 1998 tournament before making it to the quarterfinals in 2002. In 2006 the US finished dead last again. According to Farnsworth’s Law of Nonsensical Inevitability, this means that the US will make it to the semifinals this time.

The New York Post looks at Project 2010, the development program US Soccer initiated after the team’s humiliating performance in the 1998 World Cup. Has it produced the best US team ever?” We shall see.

Here’s a look at why ESPN has invested $100 million to show the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. The short answer? People just like you.

The American ambassador to Britain and the British ambassador to the US have a bet going over who will win Saturday’s match. The loser will buy the winner a steak dinner. The British ambassador says he “takes his steak like American soccer victories – somewhat rare.” Hahahaha—slap.

With the World Cup set to kick off in just two days, the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be announced in six months time. The US is starting to ramp up its bids.

Other World Cup news

Nani is out of the World Cup after attempting an overhead kick in training. Pillock.

Andres Iniesta is having a leg scan for “a minor thigh injury.” Torres and Fabregas, who are both returning from injury, each scored in Spain’s  6–0 walloping of Poland on Tuesday .

Arjen Robben is likely to miss the Netherland’s first match.

Etc.,

There will be no Invictus moment when South Africa face Mexico on Friday. FIFA has prohibited South Africa Airlines from buzzing the stadium with a 747 like they did before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. I can’t really understand why, although the sound of the plane’s engines would be drowned out by all those vuvzelas anyway, being as they are louder than bombs.

Here’s a “bluffer’s guide” to the World Cup. “R” is for “Really?”

23% of American cell phone users say they plan to download some information about the World Cup with their cell phone, more than users in Brazil (21%), Germany and Spain (3%). USA! USA! USA!

You may have heard that ESPN will be broadcasting some World Cup matches in 3D. It seems that, unless you own one of the bazillion dollar sets yourself, you won’t be able to see any of the games at a bar this report couldn’t find a bar that had a 3D TV.

You want to know why the new World Cup ball is so freaky in flight? Adidas used wind tunnels to develop it.

It used to be that the small minded paranoid political right in this country would attack soccer for being an exemplar of effeminate socialism. How times have changed. Now, some crank is trying a different angle, attacking soccer because “every Cup winner has had a fascist government at some point in its history, though not always at the time of its Cup victory, with the single exception of Great Britain [Hasn’t this guy ever heard of Oliver Cromwell?],” noting with bravely daring insight, “This fascist connection is clearly not what the FIFA campaign has chosen to emphasize.” It is my belief that this genius clearly is holding back: every World Cup winner is descended from pantheistic Neanderethals (with the single exception of Germany who are clearly descended from Cro Magnons—just look at Michael Ballack) who didn’t worship the one true God (insert your favorite here). Why doesn’t FIFA talk about that, huh? Because they’re fascist Neanderthals bent on destroying our way of life, that’s why. It’s just so obvious if you would only open your eyes.

Michael Ballack and Joe Cole have been released by Chelsea.

Inter have reached an agreement with Rafael Benitez for him too be their new coach. Enjoy your slow and ugly decline, Inter!

Neil Lennon is the new manager of Celtic. Enjoy your ginger-haired resurrection, bhoys!

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