The American Dream
Belgium v. Algeria will see a European side sporting black, yellow and red that could very well become one of the sustaining darlings of this World Cup. They are fast, quick on the ball and creative. The snapshot analysis from a post on this blog late last week compared this Belgian side to (potentially) Uruguay from four years ago in South Africa. Also, don’t forget about the team play that propelled South Korea to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup. Working and playing together matters. This is not to imply a direct replica in performance and/or style, but more so in a broad sense of an underdog that could make a serious run under the radar with efficient team-based soccer.
Brazil v. Mexico will be an exciting match between two nations that are clearly good, but nobody really knows how good just yet. With the opening night adrenaline likely subdued, Brazil will be a little closer to the pitch this afternoon. And, once on that pitch, they’ll meet a Mexican squad that was energized and dangerous offensively in their first game versus Cameroon. However, Cameroon is not Brazil and there’s the rub.
Who will win Group A? In all likelihood, that will be today’s winner.
Russia v. Korea Republic is not the marquee match today, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Both teams can cause problems and disturb the flow of their opponents. Russian midfielder Victor Fayzulin had this to say about Korea Republic. “They are disciplined. As a footballer, I find it hard to play against them. They are quick, small and sharp players.” It’s very likely the #2 team from Group H (or maybe #1…) will be victorious in this game. One of the best parts about the group stage of the World Cup is to watch as many teams and varying soccer styles as possible. It’s always fascinating to see how different nations and cultures interpret the beautiful game. There are always surprises at this tournament every four years, but you never know when they’ll happen…
Speaking of which: well done Clint Dempsey (an American World Cup record 30 seconds into the game!) and John Brooks for scoring the two goals in a thrilling 2-1 victory against World Cup foes Ghana! With Brooks as a second half sub, Jürgen Klinsmann proved once again that he’s a maestro at substitutions. In fact, Brooks said he dreamed about his shining moment in his World Cup debut, in shocking detail.
“Two nights ago,” Brooks said. “I told my teammates about it. In the dream, I scored in the 80th minute and we won the game. I scored on a header from a corner kick.”
The 86′ minute is pretty damn close!
(Also, great cross from fellow substitute Graham Zusi to Brooks).
The World Cup: where soccer dreams come true.
Posted on June 17, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged Belgium Algeria, Brazil, Clint Dempsey, entertainment, football, futebol, Graham Zusi, Jürgen Klinsmann, John Brooks, Korea Republic, Mexico, popular culture, Russia, soccer, sports, The 2014 World Cup. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.