Greetings, my good American Friends!
It’s me, Lil' Dieter, and I’m here to give you Happy Meal-eating, Wal-Mart-shopping, moron-electing Jesus Freaks a World Cup update from Deutschland.
Well, the first weekend of matches is over – and here’s what we’ve learned so far.
Best Player to date: Dutch winger/forward Arjen Robben. Not so much for his great goal in the Serbia match, and dominating attacking play throughout the game, but for the Chelsea player’s steadfast refusal to pass the ball to his team’s two other attacking partners – who just happen to play for his club team’s most bitter rivals in England, Manchester United and Arsenal. Funny stuff. This will end badly.
Worst Player to date: Trinidad & Tobago’s Avery John. Totally outclassed on the field, the New England Revolution (the biggest thug team in MLS) club player was lucky to not get a red card earlier than he did, in the 46th minute. It says something when T&T began playing better with him gone, even though they were a man down.
Best Team to Date: England. After scoring in the 3rd minute, totally sleep-walked through the rest of their match, a 1-Nil victory over Paraguay. Smart strategy - you don’t want to play your best match early on, if you’re a title contender. England’s in a joke group – there’s no reason to expend extra energy until the knock-out stages.
(Their world-class hooligans know this too – the real destruction won’t be needed until later this month.)
Worst Team to date: ABC/ESPN game announcers. Just awful. Imagine if the Super Bowl were announced by Fox’s 7th-string football announcers (or Joe Buck), and then multiply that suckiness that by 100. Millions of Americans are unintentionally learning Spanish by switching to Univision’s broadcast to avoid these dopes.
And if you’re going to put a know-nothing chick soccer player in the studio, at least get an attractive one like Heather Mitts, not Julie “Unibrow” Foudy. Christ.
2nd Worst Team to date: Poland. A non-existent game plan, and no urgency whatsoever in their efforts against Ecuador, even with the home field/hooligan advantage. Embarrassing. This team is going the way off the Polish Navy … straight to the bottom of the ocean.
Team Most Likely to Get Raider-like Delusions of Grandeur after One Win: Mexico. In another joke group with Iran and Angola – which may or may not be an actual country – Mexico is guaranteed to get through to the next round. But no matter what they do against these creampuffs, they’ll end up playing either Argentina or the Dutch in the Round of 16. This means: an early Raider-like exit once the real games start.
Anyway, as we Germans like to say: let’s not dwell on the past, please. Especially when discussing years 1939-45.
Instead, let’s look to the future, namely Team USA Cheeseburger’s first match on Monday, against the Team That No Longer Likes to be Called Czechoslovakia.
What will it take for the scrappy Americans to advance in the hardest group in the tournament? Basically, they need a miracle. But crazier things have happened. Here’s a quick run-down of the key issues on the team’s roster:
* Landon Donavan needs to stop deferring to less-talented but more experienced teammates, and lead the team. And he needs to play up front, not as a mid-fielder.
* Once promising midfielder DaMarcus Beasley needs to stop dicking around, and play better. Same goes for forward Eddie Johnson too.
* Eddie Lewis needs to not suck at left-back, or at least score on a couple free-kicks to compensate for the mistakes he’ll end-up making on defense.
* That 33 year-old center back Eddie Pope needs to find the fountain of youth, and avoid Jeff Agoos-like screw-ups.
* That 24 year-old stud center back Oguchi Onyewu needs to stay out of foul trouble, and dominate on both ends of the field.
* Either Bobby Convey or Clint Dempsey needs to provide an unexpected spark, either by starting or coming off the bench.
* Josh Wolff, Greg Berhalter, Brian Ching and Chris Albright need to provide a spark by staying on the bench, and not getting anywhere near the field of play. Seriously, they are all terrible.
* A combination of perpetually-injured midfielders John O’Brien and Claudio Reyna need to give the team 90 minutes a match, and try not to spontaneously combust or anything. O’Brien also needs to cut his hair.
Prediction: USofA 2, Check Please 2.