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"All the great contests at some point become head games."
June 24, 2010 6:52 PM   Subscribe

The whistle has blown in Port Elizabeth. Stoppage time in Pretoria, and three men run into the box. Altidore flicks the ball across, but Dempsey walks it straight into the goalkeeper. On the rebound, Donovan puts it in the net. The world reacts.

Sorry if that video is a bit pompous, but I found it moving.

The actual goal
Donovan post-game interview
President Clinton post-game interview

The boys celebrating [PIC]

England fan gets pie in face

FIFA match reportGuardian match reportGuardian minute-by-minute

Handy: Cup Calculator
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (194 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Congratulations, Team USA, and good luck against Ghana on Saturday. It is with pain in my heart for what will almost certainly be the only African team surviving the group stages, but I will be rooting for you.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:52 PM on June 24, 2010


Landon Donovan linked to that video on his Facebook page -- I expected it to be really cheesy, but I actually found it very moving. The amount of people in this country that care about soccer really has grown since I was a kid learning the sport. It warms my heart to see all those celebrating fans.

What an intense match that was. We had so many chances that it was frightening to get so close to the end of the game without scoring, but it just made the winning goal all the more dramatic and meaningful. That post-game interview is quite sweet -- did anyone see him at the press conference afterwards? He got all choked up and said something like, "It makes me believe in good in the world." Bless his heart.

I'm really proud of our team and as an Everton supporter, I'm extra proud of Donovan and Tim Howard -- truly standout players on an excellent side.
posted by Put the kettle on at 7:04 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I cannot recommend 'The actual goal' link enough --- if just for the announcer, who clearly loses his mind for about 5 seconds, hollering "GO!!! GO!!! USA!!!" before regaining his composure and dignity moments later.

I mean, I'm an England fan, but I've watched this 20 times over and it utterly warms my heart.
posted by Tiresias at 7:08 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd just like to say that the Boston portion appeared to be filmed at a hotel bar right after the breakfast buffet ended. Everywhere else that mattered was jammed at 10am. Just sayin'.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:09 PM on June 24, 2010


I love the pic of Bill Clinton, just chillin, holdin' a Bud.
posted by gnutron at 7:10 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Holy crow, that's the bar my sister tends in Tucson. She's probably in that shot somewhere. Cool!

I was stuck behind my service counter while the game ended, but there's a food court right outside and the cheering was intense. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits the rest of the day. =D
posted by carsonb at 7:14 PM on June 24, 2010


I wisely scheduled a bite-adjustment that morning so was able to be home for that game. My reaction was pretty much:

Stage 1: (First shot) Foote! Foote! Oooh-urrfff!!
Stage 2: (Followup and Goal) AAAAAHHHH!
Stage 3: (Hit hands on ceiling fan) AAAARRGGGHH!
Stage 4: (Smack self in mouth after retracting hands from fan blades) AAAIIIEEE!!!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:14 PM on June 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


The world reacts

to be fair - the US reacts with one shot of seemingly expats in a bar in france and some americans in south africa, no?
posted by nadawi at 7:18 PM on June 24, 2010 [26 favorites]


I was watching in a bar in NYC and you could not hear any the commentary on the "the actual goal link."

A friend's 13 year old was at the game. At the end someone kicked the football into the stands and this kid caught it! But he had to give it back. Some sort of FIFA rule? Seems very lame.
posted by shothotbot at 7:19 PM on June 24, 2010


That gave me goosebumps. Of course, anything will give me goosebumps if set to Jerry Goldsmith's Rudy theme.
posted by sallybrown at 7:21 PM on June 24, 2010


TIME TO BLOW THE WORLD'S LARGEST VUVUZELA
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:23 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Great game, great goal. However, the U!S!A! Chant squicks me out. It's the biggest thing from preventing me from embracing my national soccering team.
posted by askmehow at 7:23 PM on June 24, 2010 [16 favorites]


We have a soccer team? How funny!
posted by acetonic at 7:28 PM on June 24, 2010


the U!S!A! Chant squicks me out. It's the biggest thing from preventing me from embracing my national soccering team.

Huh? It's the "World" Cup, you know, where teams are divided along national boundaries and people cheer for their favorite teams.
posted by stbalbach at 7:29 PM on June 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


That was the final game, right? Or do we get an FPP for each US win?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:31 PM on June 24, 2010 [15 favorites]


not gonna lie: i wanted Algeria to win if only so that 2 African countries would make it at least to semi-finals. that game was insanely tight and Algeria lost with more dignity and more bravado than France could have ever dreamed of having during this World Cup.

i've been tweeting all the games i can while watching them in either Portuguese or Spanish. love translating the outrageous lingo from both teams of "comentaristas". yet on a more personal note, seeing how US Americans are all over this World Cup, how incredibly international is the USA team and how a mainstream cable franchise like ESPN has gone out of their way to not just include Spanish but Brazilian Portuguese men and women sportcasters into the mix, just makes me a proud Latina.

this World Cup is socially the equivalent of electing Obama. what with the anti-immigrant legislation and the ever increasing rates of hate crimes against Latinos in this country, it warms my heart to see that if not through politics, then through fútbol, the United States is finally realizing it's place in the one and only América.

needless to say, albeit my love/hate relationship with Spanish TV, Univisión and ESPN Deportes will have this Puerto Rican mami and her brood as lifelong viewers of anything they broadcast about fútbol.
posted by liza at 7:33 PM on June 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


A few weeks ago I was having trouble caring about soccer. After the US/England match, I've been watching every game I can. And Donovan's goal (of which a hell of a lot of credit has to be given to Howard, and Altidore, and Dempsey) has made me (I hope) a fan for life.

Good job, sirs. You've turned a nation. And made me jump around my room cheering and damn near crying yesterday morning when I should have been productive. After seeing singular moments like that and how they play on the entire world stage, other sports are going to be difficult for me to get nearly as engaged in.

And for gods' sake, USA, keep playing Gomez when you can. He sets up great opportunities. And I don't want to hear the talk about him being "young." He's 28. Altidore is 20.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:34 PM on June 24, 2010


Hey countrymen? I think it's great that we're all into soccer now. Really, I do. But did you notice that officiating in the last two games? We might be ready to rejoin the rest of the world, but they don't seem so keen on having us back.

So the big question is: what are we going to chant when they hand our asses to fucking Ghana on Saturday?
posted by felix betachat at 7:35 PM on June 24, 2010


liza: Awesome. Also: "Cala boca, Galvao"!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:37 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]



I cannot recommend 'The actual goal' link enough --- if just for the announcer, who clearly loses his mind for about 5 seconds, hollering "GO!!! GO!!! USA!!!" before regaining his composure and dignity moments later.

I mean, I'm an England fan, but I've watched this 20 times over and it utterly warms my heart.


Oooh, this should be great, I haven't seen it with the American announcer yet....

This video contains content from FIFA, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

GRRAAAAAAARARRGHGHfbfblfblffrrpapjafg vdfodf' god dammit
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:38 PM on June 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


So the big question is: what are we going to chant when they hand our asses to fucking Ghana on Saturday?
posted by felix betachat at 10:35 PM


i think "we're sorry for being imperialist jerks but thanks for a good game" is not catchy at all.
posted by liza at 7:41 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha, that Boston portion is actually Patriot Place/Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA which is about 30 miles out. To be fair, that's where the soccer team (the New England Revolution) plays so it's not a completely random location.

That goal was incredible. The US had so many chances but couldn't deliver. It really looked like they were going home. And then....OMFG IT FINALLY WENT IN HOSHIT YES.

Documentary plug: Pelada, where two people go around the world looking for pickup soccer games. It apparently can be seen on-demand.
posted by zix at 7:42 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


After reading that all the top games are rigged for gambling, I just can't get excited. It is all lies.

Which is a shame. It seems that greedy jerks always gotta ruin it for everyone.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:43 PM on June 24, 2010


ALTERNATE LINK for the actual goal, shamefully low-res but functioning nonetheless.

Mods are invited to replace the link if they have time, thanks if you have a moment.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:43 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


thanks. worth it :)
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:49 PM on June 24, 2010


Is there any video of Howard's toss? It seems to have travelled with an absolutely Clementeian distance & accuracy.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 7:49 PM on June 24, 2010


Re: U!S!A! chants --

I think in general these kind of chants are faintly ridiculous, so of course they're super fun to do. Especially for a sport like soccer, where we are clearly not the dominant country.

Supporting evidence: people who are not Americans chanting this for Landon Donovan at Goodison Park. I think they do it for Tim Howard as well, and it wouldn't surprise me if fans of other teams with American stars did it too.
posted by Put the kettle on at 7:50 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wisely scheduled a bite-adjustment that morning so was able to be home for that game. My reaction was pretty much:

Stage 1: (First shot) Foote! Foote! Oooh-urrfff!!
Stage 2: (Followup and Goal) AAAAAHHHH!
Stage 3: (Hit hands on ceiling fan) AAAARRGGGHH!
Stage 4: (Smack self in mouth after retracting hands from fan blades) AAAIIIEEE!!!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:14 PM on June 24


Please tell us this is not eponysterical.
posted by rtha at 7:52 PM on June 24, 2010


Excellent question, NolanRyanHatesMatches. Here it is. Again, sorry for footage quality.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:53 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm happy that the US topped the group, but more than that I'm happy that people in the US are paying more attention to football. More than that though, as a Fulham fan, I'm very proud of Clint Dempsey, the man has the heart of an ox and, for my money, is the key to the US team. Still, it isn't even close to winning the World Cup, indeed things only really get started now. So congratulations, but let's not get hasty. I think the US have a chance of getting to the semis, which would be a fantastic achievement. I just hope that people continue to pay attention to the sport once the US doesn't conquer the world. That's the true test.
posted by ob at 7:55 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Woof. First touch is halfway up the pitch. Thanks, goodnewsfortheinsane.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 7:56 PM on June 24, 2010


I can't get enough of this. The emotional rollercoaster ride watching that game was intense. Optimism to fear to relief right out of the gate, then frustration magnified exponentially with each missed opportunity, turning to anger, then to despair. Then, only after it became time to start accepting the bitterness of failure... sheer euphoria!

The camerawork at 1:02 in the first link is impressive too.

Don't miss Andrés Cantor calling the goal in his signature style.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:59 PM on June 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


The US definitely deserved the win that game, they just played better. But, honestly they where always pretty much slated to get out of this round, the only real surprise (at least to me) about Group C was how poor England played throughout.

The games/teams I've really enjoyed watching where:
the Japan game today, they caught some fire.
The Swiss/Spain game was also fun in a defeated-Goliath sort of way.
NKorea/Brazil was good as an unexpected tight game, and good sportsmanship
NewZ played better than expected, didn't make the cut, but actually finished ahead of Italy
Same for S. Afric. If they hadn't lost by such a margin to Uru they could have nudged Mexico out.

So, deserved props for the US. but having said that I have to agree with some others and say I am rooting for Ghana.
posted by edgeways at 8:03 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Stbalbach - yeah I get it. I hate the chant. It strikes me jingoistic and militaristic, and creeps me out. I heard it at pro-war rallies during the first gulf war and the association has stuck.
posted by askmehow at 8:03 PM on June 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


re: U!S!A! - what are they supposed to chant ...? UNITEDSTATESOFAMERICA! UNITEDSTATESOFAMERICA! UNITEDSTATESOFAMERICA!?
posted by carter at 8:04 PM on June 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Don't miss Andrés Cantor calling the goal in his signature style.

Okay, that was fucking awesome.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:04 PM on June 24, 2010


the U!S!A! Chant squicks me out.

Me as well. Few things make me roll my eyes as quick as this chant.

And yeah, that video represents "the world" to many Americans but pretty much no one else.
posted by dobbs at 8:05 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I heard it at pro-war rallies during the first gulf war and the association has stuck.

I hear you, askmehow. But look at it this way: now they have a non-violent, shamelessly patriotic but still non-violent, reason to shout it. It has no bearings on your preconceptions.

It's about soccer. Please don't let your preconceptions get in the way of soccer. I won't.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:07 PM on June 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


I just like how, if you hit the little soccer ball button, it plays the vuvuzela noise over the video you're watching.
posted by Lucinda at 8:10 PM on June 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


The guy at 3:30 is my favorite, but this video warmed the cockles of my cold little cynical heart.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:13 PM on June 24, 2010


So these were all mefii meetups in the first link, I take it?
posted by bluesky43 at 8:14 PM on June 24, 2010


Edgeways - what about the 7-nil thrashing Portugal laid on N. Korea? It was embarassing for them, but entertaining to winess such a goal storm. Also, the last one that C Ron put in was pretty insane. Yes, it was lucky, but how many players could've finished that?
posted by askmehow at 8:16 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there going to be an FPP every time the U.S.A. win a game?... oh, I didn't see this: That was the final game, right? Or do we get an FPP for each US win?

This isn't even that surprising or spectacular a result. It's the World Cup. The event's structure leads to must-win games. Must-win games create excitement. The fans of teams that win must-win games tend to become hysterical. All of that's great, but it's the nature of the event. There are upsets and surprises and controversies and good performances (and advertising and politics and people getting arrested for wearing orange), and that's football.

I feel like posting an FPP every single time any of the teams I support does anything (actually, any time anything exciting or interesting or unusual happens in sport - is anyone watching Wimbledon?). It's the nature of sport. There are plenty of good stories this World Cup: North Korea, Slovakia, Japan, France, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, Argentina, Germany... oh, that's every single team.

A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.

Most of the content of this post is on every news site in the world, and it's not interesting. They didn't overcome adversity, or send a message of hope to the third world, or set fire to the stadium, or do anything more than win a game 1 nil in added time.

I haven't been a member of MetaFilter long, so maybe this is out of line, and maybe I'm just bitter that my team in the World Cup couldn't advance from the group stage, and maybe I hate the word 'jabulani', and maybe I think one clip of some people in a bar doesn't really qualify as 'the world' reacting, but this bothers me.
posted by doublehappy at 8:16 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


[...] but this bothers me.
posted by doublehappy at 8:16 PM on June 24


What's the opposite of eponysterical?
posted by pts at 8:20 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


The official White House post-match tweet is pretty awesome.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:21 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]



Don't miss Andrés Cantor calling the goal in his signature style.


THANK YOU Balonious Assault. I like the British commentators ESPN is using but I wish we had someone who yelled GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

I promise a favorite to whoever syncs up that link with the video and posts it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:22 PM on June 24, 2010


Only in the world cup can you be eliminated from the tournament at the end of regulation, and advance as the winner of the group at the end of injury time.
posted by eriko at 8:22 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


the U!S!A! Chant squicks me out.

Yeah, that chant carries a lot of baggage, so as much as I'm pulling for the US, it sort of puts me off, too. But, you know, "England! England!" is also chanted; and at least it isn't as silly as "Leeds! Leeds! Leeds! Leeds! We are Leeds!"
posted by octobersurprise at 8:22 PM on June 24, 2010


actually, any time anything exciting or interesting or unusual happens in sport - is anyone watching Wimbledon?

See: Epic Thread Concerning Epic Isner/Mahut Match
posted by sallybrown at 8:23 PM on June 24, 2010


What's the opposite of eponysterical?

Ironilarious
posted by carsonb at 8:24 PM on June 24, 2010 [18 favorites]


Okay, that was fucking awesome.

Yeah, that was amazing.
posted by norm at 8:24 PM on June 24, 2010


and maybe I'm just bitter that my team in the World Cup couldn't advance from the group stage

MAYBE.

USA! USA! USA!
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


They didn't overcome adversity

Yes they did. They were seconds away from being eliminated because the Refs stole two goals that would have given them wins. Most of the people in the US are new to this, so there is some more exuberance than you would expect, but who cares it's just people having fun.

This is a US centric site, it just is, deal with it and post those other cool stories you mentioned if you want. We have had multiple threads on the World Cup and they are not all US centric.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:26 PM on June 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


I promise a favorite to whoever syncs up that link with the video and posts it.

Can a brother get a dance remix?
posted by norm at 8:29 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


... but more than that I'm happy that people in the US are paying more attention to football ...

Here's the thing imho-- we're really not, or at least we're not to the degree that it seems. No doubt that soccer's popularity has been on a slow climb since the early 90s here in the US, and a strong US showing in this WC will just accelerate that popularity.

It's just not that often that we get to see ourselves as underdogs, especially in the sport that the rest of the world takes so much stock in. Of course, if you take a quick glance at the FIFA rankings, we've merely justified ourselves, and making it to the first knockout stage shouldn't be a huge surprise.

It's like Americans have already conceded that, yep, soccer is just not our thing, it's boring, low-scoring, haphazard, etc., and what do we care if we suck at it. But, tell us that we actually have a chance to beat the best teams in the world at their own game? Ooooh oooo boy you'd better believe that the average American gets off on that proposition, whether he/she cares about soccer or not. We're just huge sports fans over here; while you might be a huge Magpies or Blues fan, Americans have those same die-hard, generations-long allegiances spread over baseball, (US) football, and basketball (and hockey, lord knows). If we hear that A) we're scrappy soccer underdogs, and B) actually have a chance to make some kind of run, then C) USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

It's dumb and totally wonderful, and I'm incredibly happy that we're advancing. I can promise you that those bars won't be filled for the next MLS title match, but I don't think it diminishes how excited people in the States are for our Yanks.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 8:31 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can see where you're coming from, and I don't deny there are other threads out there (which I participated in, but which, to me, seemed to be more... better), but I always thought it was a member centric site.

My point is more that every single game of football involves at least one instance of someone or some team overcoming adversity. It's news, but it's not notable in context.
posted by doublehappy at 8:31 PM on June 24, 2010


I'll also cop to wincing a bit when I hear the U-S-A chant. What if we all agreed to do it high school pep-rally style and one half of the bar was all like WE ARE! and then the other half was all like AWE-SOME! or maybe EA-GLES! or even TI-GERS! because seriously, if England get to be three lions (lions in England, wtf?) then we should get to be whatever the hell we want to be, too.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:33 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can a brother get a dance remix?

This is the best I can do.

also, doublehappy, we do our shitting in the gray around here. I'll thank you to do the same.
posted by felix betachat at 8:34 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


My point is more that every single game of football involves at least one instance of someone or some team overcoming adversity. It's news, but it's not notable in context.

The point of this post was the hilarious youtube link, not the "news" at its heart. The same is--oddly enough-- not true of the tennis thread, which for my money is a top-twenty all time MeFi thread regardless of the sparseness of the link in question.
posted by norm at 8:38 PM on June 24, 2010


I always thought it was a member centric site.

It is, most of the members are Americans. :)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:41 PM on June 24, 2010


I can promise you that those bars won't be filled for the next MLS title match, but I don't think it diminishes how excited people in the States are for our Yanks.

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here, but I reckon that at least a few Americans who didn't know much about soccer before will be tempted to seek out more of the sport once the World Cup ends. The MLS season will be in full swing by then.

If they're hoping to see Clint Dempsey or Jozy Altidore or Tim Howard, yeah, they're out of luck. But I can see previously uninterested people tuning in to watch Landon Donovan play for the Galaxy, sure.

Which brings up another interesting point: for high-profile players such as Donovan, will they advance the cause of American soccer by staying here, playing at home, and setting an example for the kidlets? Or should they move on to a league with a higher standard of play?

It pleases me to see so many Americans in the Premier League, and I dearly hope Donovan will rejoin Everton eventually. But on the other hand, it's quite sweet he's still here. I've seen him play for MLS maybe half a dozen times throughout his career, and I enjoyed every match.
posted by Put the kettle on at 8:47 PM on June 24, 2010


With Seattle being Seattle, we are both coffee and soccer mad. Consequently, we also have 'sports' coffee shops that are broadcasting all of the World Cup games live. I'm so glad I dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 to go to one of these coffee shops to watch the game, and join in with 100 fellow heavily caffeinated and jittery fans losing their shit when that ball went into the net.

Then I dragged myself off to work.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:48 PM on June 24, 2010


Me as well. Few things make me roll my eyes as quick as this chant.

You know, a lot about america embarrasses me. I mean, almost daily. But if chanting USA at a soccer game, when every fan of every country has their face painted in their flags colors, bothers you, perhaps that's your problem. Get over yourself, eh?

I haven't been a member of MetaFilter long, so maybe this is out of line, and maybe I'm just bitter that my team in the World Cup couldn't advance from the group stage, and maybe I hate the word 'jabulani', and maybe I think one clip of some people in a bar doesn't really qualify as 'the world' reacting, but this bothers me.
posted by doublehapp


This bothers you? A post you could have easily skipped?

You must lead a torturous life.

Oh yeah... USA! USA! USA! :) Was an awesome game to watch.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:52 PM on June 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Let us examine the term that came to prominence in the '90s - "Soccer Mom."

Soccer Moms had kids who grew up playing soccer, as Baseball was too prole, and Football too uncouth, and Basketball, we all know the kind of people who play basketball. Hockey? You've seen their teeth!

The unintended result is an entire generation who will sit side by side with Bolivians and Botswanans at a bar in Cambridge at 10:00am, and participate fully in a global sport, and take pride in their nation as a participant in something larger than itself.

Oh, yeah, and also really good soccer players, up until College, when the cream of the crop go get real jobs, cashing in on their athletic connections. The guys on Team USA? Not the best of the best, just the most dedicated. So, yes, they're underdogs, and yes they deserve it.

(And I still can't watch the games. If the fan reaction shots are the most dynamic thing about a game, there's a problem.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:54 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


It was a great game, and I reacted just about the same way (without USA! USA! chant), but I gotta join the chorus of questioning how this shows "The World" reacting. At very least, I'd expect a different reaction in Algeria and Slovenia.
posted by krakedhalo at 8:55 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


True story: the shop i work at was listening to the game on espn radio, and the packed bar next door was watching it on HD. I realized at one point that i was getting the game about 45 seconds ahead of the bar, I guess they had a signal buffer or something on the HD feed. So I when Donovan scored, I ran next door and about ten seconds before he made the goal I said to a stranger "oh, the perfect set up, donovan scores, USA wins the bracket, exellent" and walked out, not looking over my shoulder at the TV as he scored, the dude just clapped slowly and watched me leave.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:58 PM on June 24, 2010 [22 favorites]


Of course you should sing for your country at a football international match. Charming to see how excited the US has become after we graciously allowed you to take the easy draw. Basically, being as it's been a while since we won it we thought it best to march past decent sides like Germany, Spain and Argentina this time on our way to lifting the cup, just to eliminate any lingering doubts that England are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.
Nurse! The screens!
posted by Abiezer at 8:59 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Put the kettle on, I think you're being optimistic :) A good showing surely doesn't hurt, though. Then again, we had fantastic showings in '94 and '02, and soccer still hasn't really exploded, or even come close to challenging the Big Three Sports. I think blind nationalism is driving people's interests now, and the atmosphere will severely dim once the '10 WC ends.

But again, I think that soccer is bound to slowly get more and more popular, if just by virtue of the changing US demographic landscape. I think we're a long ways away, but certainly US soccer isn't losing popularity.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 9:01 PM on June 24, 2010


If we can have this FPP about advancing from the group stage, can we also have a FPP with videos of despondent, sobbing and otherwise miserable Americans when the team crashes out?

In fact I'd have loved to see a few videos full of the sad-looking Italians when their team finished below New Zealand (no disrespect intended there, New Zealanders, but your team was widely expected to finish last) in their group. That would be nice too.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:05 PM on June 24, 2010


I realized at one point that i was getting the game about 45 seconds ahead of the bar, I guess they had a signal buffer or something on the HD feed.

Heh, I'm stuck watching sporting events at work on illegal streams sometimes with a bar a couple rooms away. It really sucks when you hear a humongous loud roar and get the surprise of a goal ruined. :P
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:11 PM on June 24, 2010


That was a great video.

I haven't seen that many white people that excited since the Republican National Convention.
posted by flarbuse at 9:13 PM on June 24, 2010


I'm not going to lie, when that ball went in I was scared to cheer for it. And I was just in my living room with one of my friends with our wives in another room sewing. I was worried Dempsy would be called for off sides or touching the goalie or something. Funny thing is, the guy with me did the same thing.
posted by theichibun at 9:15 PM on June 24, 2010


At a low ebb in international esteem, with the World of Sport set against the Hegemonic Oppressors, and a scrappy, never-say-die sort of team filled with amateurs and never-weres - oh, you can just =see= Disney slavering at the movie rights. In these situations, the US may fail, but they'll fail in a spectacular, slow-clap, they-wuz-robbed fashion. Otherwise, they'll pull of an improbable win at the last second.

The USA does this with distressing regularity. It would be better if it was some sort of "dream team" you could love to hate, but no... regular schmoes with a dream and a desire. Sports Illustrated is already hiring the sports writer with the best hyperbole.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:19 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aussie Aussie Aussie!
no wait...


Seriously, well done 'merica!
posted by Duke999R at 9:20 PM on June 24, 2010


It would be better if it was some sort of "dream team" you could love to hate, but no... regular schmoes with a dream and a desire.

See this video, which aired on ESPN before the game.
posted by Put the kettle on at 9:26 PM on June 24, 2010


Good god can the killjoys please kindly fuck off now?

I see where people are coming from in their squickiness towards the USA! chant, but I've got to respectfully completely disagree.

I think of the increasing prevalence of the use of the term "USians" around here, which I hate with vicious passion, because it takes away my (our, for a majority of us) national identifying term, and replaces it with something clearly meant to refer to the government, which many of us, especially in the previous administration, fought and disagreed with while still remaining Americans. the "US" part of "USA" refers to the governmental structure, much like you get with other countries in the world. The REPUBLIC of Ireland. The UNITED KINGDOM of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC of Korea (okay, maybe that last one isn't the greatest leader-by-example, but still.) It makes sense to refer to the country as the United States, just as it makes sense to refer to Britain as the United Kingdom. But it wouldn't make sense to refer to the British people as UKians. I understand and respect that the entirety of the new world is named after Amerigo Vespucci but ours is the only nation which uses that name for our national identity.

/Tangent over

the point is that one should be able to feel proud of their nation even when they hate what their government does, and that pride in that sense can move beyond the jingoistic. I hate it when people chant nationalistic shit in order to get behind mindlessly killing "the other." I hate it when the flag is combined with religious or political symbols (as I've seen happen a lot in Oklahoma) but I'm not going to turn my back on "USA!" when the red states and blue states and ex-Pats are getting together to cheer on our nation in an international soccer tournament. Come on.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:30 PM on June 24, 2010 [35 favorites]


So the big question is: what are we going to chant when they hand our asses to fucking Ghana on Saturday?

Weren't we supposed to get our ass handed to us by England? Our asses were pretty much presented early on a platter vs. Slovenia, too if I'm not mistaken.

The U.S. team is actually doing the kinds of things American sports fans love. Fighting hard against a better ranked opponent. Coming from behind. Not giving up. Bitching about lousy calls. Winning in the last minute in a dramatic fashion. Some countries like their teams to have style or grace. Oddly enough, though, I think since we don't know our guys as well we can shed a lot of the club-level drama and just dig into the drama on the field.

That was the final game, right? Or do we get an FPP for each US win?

Oh, shut up. I watched the last twenty minutes of the Algeria vs. U.S. game at work in a break room with two Brazilians, one Brit, one Canadian, a Russian and a couple of my countrymen. Everyone wanting the U.S. to win and everyone cheering just as loud when they did because they knew it was A Big Deal. Your comment is a stupidly jingoistic as the American media commentators who claim the don't know why you get a point for a tie, and no less noxious to this discussion than a "USA! USA!" chant.
posted by Cyrano at 9:31 PM on June 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


Heh, I'm stuck watching sporting events at work on illegal streams sometimes with a bar a couple rooms away. It really sucks when you hear a humongous loud roar and get the surprise of a goal ruined. :P

I was at the gate at the airport during the end of the Slovenia game. Try hearing the bars town the track screaming only to find out a minute later that the amazing goal was scrubbed for no reason.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:33 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I for one wish we would let the world keep their fucking "football" to themselves. I don't want us to win, it will just mean even more involvement with the rest of the world. At this point I just want to shut the whole thing down and go back to cold war politics. Back when things made sense. Fuck soccer, and fuck iphones, and fuck Donald Pleasence.
posted by nola at 9:41 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


They didn't overcome adversity

Are you serious?

Did you not see the awesome comeback against Slovenia? And it should have been a monumental comeback for the ages. We were completely robbed of our third goal. We should have had four points and nearly guaranteed passage to the knock-out round before the Algeria game even started.

Didn't you see that we were also robbed of a goal in the Algeria game? We were only in the position to win in stoppage time because of the bad officiating (that we had to overcome, Again!).

Did you know that before this game we hadn't won in the final game of group play since 1930?

Man, there was all sort of adversity being overcome. We overcame adversity left and right. Geez.
posted by oddman at 9:42 PM on June 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


USA: Telling haters to suck it since 1776.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 9:49 PM on June 24, 2010 [28 favorites]


At very least, I'd expect a different reaction in Algeria and Slovenia.

Unfortunately they haven't released the video of the Algerian player slapping the reporter after the match.
posted by inigo2 at 9:50 PM on June 24, 2010


Weren't we supposed to get our ass handed to us by England? Our asses were pretty much presented early on a platter vs. Slovenia, too if I'm not mistaken.

I think you misunderstood. I think he was saying "when the refs hand our asses on a platter to Ghana". I think.
posted by inigo2 at 9:52 PM on June 24, 2010


However, the U!S!A! Chant squicks me out.

The now familiar "USA, USA," chant was put on the map during the 1980 ice hockey team's run to gold, the thundering cheer shaking the Olympic Center rink which has since been renamed the Herb Brooks Arena after the U.S. team coach. -- Reuters
posted by dhartung at 9:53 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think.

Yes. That exactly.
posted by felix betachat at 10:01 PM on June 24, 2010


And Donovan's goal (of which a hell of a lot of credit has to be given to Howard, and Altidore, and Dempsey)

Howard had a good outlet throw, but look at Donovan's first touch. He takes it from center field to the penalty box in two touches, then passes to Altidore on the third.

That first touch is what set up the goal. He put 4 defenders out of position with that one touch.

I just hope that people continue to pay attention to the sport once the US doesn't conquer the world. That's the true test.

I've been thinking about this item a little bit. When you consider some of the big matches of the last 20 years, the 1990 qualifying win over T&T to get us into the World Cup for the first time in 40 years or the 1994 win over Colombia (despite the Escobar own goal) that eventually snuck the US into the knockout stage (back when they took the 4 best 3rd place teams) were probably both "bigger" than this win. We almost *had* to get into the knockout stage when we hosted (we'd have been the first host team that didn't - oops, sorry, S.A.).

But neither of those games were anywhere as good as this one. The US did not dominate, but they clearly outplayed Algeria and had multiple chances to score. And then the exciting finish, of which we've historically come out on top, oh, almost never?

In my 20-30 years of following the US soccer team, we've never had a win this exciting on a major stage with so much on the line. There have been some excellent performances in the last decade, but nothing compares here. I don't think you can overestimate the effect of a last-second "miracle" win in soccer on fans' psyche.

We were 3 minutes away from going home and scored a goal to win our group and make the knockout round of the World Cup. How many times has the US team been in a similar situation (back to the wall) and NOT come through? How many of us thought for sure it was going to happen again? I sure as hell did. And then it didn't. And everyone went apeshit. :D

Of course, if you take a quick glance at the FIFA rankings, we've merely justified ourselves

We are overrated in the FIFA rankings because our region is weak. If we had to play with Ireland, France, Russia, Serbia, etc. on a regular basis, we'd be down with Ghana (who should be a fairly even matchup). The moneyline right now in Vegas is -140/+110 for US/Ghana.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:03 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doublehappy, the thing is I'd have been ecstatic if your team (or who I assume your team is because you're from Wellington.) had gone forward. And it's not just an language connection, maybe an underdog thing, but that would have definitely been worthy of a FPP, and it was sooo close (a chance until the whistle). But I think your, and a few other's, sour grapes are sadder in wishing for a USA defeat, as any of the sports jingoism coming from Nortenos, worse because it isn't about supporting anyone but only wishing someone else's failure. (Of course, I really want Switzerland to win by more than Spain tomorrow so I can watch the mighty fall (again), but in this case it is 'mighty' in the event at hand, and it would also be a great underdog story.)

I think every four years the interest in Soccer in the States goes up, even after the crash and burn of four years ago, but I doubt that Soccer is going to overtake even hockey anytime soon. Lots of people are just never going to get it. Like the comment about the most exciting thing being the crowd reactions. *sigh* It's an attention span thing maybe; soccer is really ninety minutes that are like the last two of most American sports, every minute the game winner could be scored. Some people have a real hard time dealing with that - and they don't even get timeouts and commercial breaks either. Still the crowds, and tv audiences are getting bigger.

I like the USA team this year a lot. Yeah, they might be assholes off the field, and maybe it's just that they had a good course in Crash Davis's cliches. But they've remembered them while a lot of footballers (French, Italian, some English) have not.
posted by Some1 at 10:06 PM on June 24, 2010


But I think your, and a few other's, sour grapes are sadder in wishing for a USA defeat...

I think the real objection to this post is the "world reacts" link. Any way you slice it, that was jingoistic and dumb, whether this team winning this game deserves an FPP here or no.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:15 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fun Fact: The USA chant was first heard at the 1980 Olympic games when we beat the USSR in hockey.
posted by Mick at 10:16 PM on June 24, 2010


I just hope that people continue to pay attention to the sport once the US doesn't conquer the world. That's the true test.


Might I direct your attention to the US women's soccer team? In 1999, Mia Hamm managed to become a household name and women's soccer was wildly popular -- during the World Cup. When it was over, everything went back to normal.

Americans are interested in soccer during the World Cup. They will be no more interested in soccer after the World Cup is over than they are in swimming or gymnastics after the Olympics end. The World Cup is something that will capture people's attention for a few weeks, and then it will be over. Enjoy it while it lasts.
posted by flarbuse at 10:16 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


While walking through the interview zone, Saifi spotted writer Asma Halimi, who works for Algerian newspaper Competition, and struck her with his open hand in front of dozens of witnesses. Halimi responded by striking the player in the mouth.

Atta girl.
posted by TooFewShoes at 10:18 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


We have had a high school and collegiate soccer system in the US for over 15 years. Sure we don't have a big professional circuit, but we have a recruiting apparatus that can tap a population of 300 million.

I don't care if we go to the cup or if we take it. We should have been here ten years ago. Every football victory we win now is hollow and meaningless in the face of that.
posted by clarknova at 10:31 PM on June 24, 2010


So, no lie, we found out yesterday that the baby I'm due to deliver in November is a boy. I texted my brother to let him know, and he texted back "Name him Donovan!"

I laughed. . . but we're considering it.
posted by KathrynT at 10:35 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'll tell you, as loudly and long as I cheered for that goal, my heart really goes out to Matjaz Kek and the Slovenian side. When they finished their match, they were going through and holding their breath. Then they had to hear, over the radios they're not supposed to have, that their next stop was the airport. Not even one last kick of the ball. A country of two million people, whose team felled mighty Russia against the odds, who played fantastically throughout the stage, a team that celebrates together and mourns together: one moment they were going farther than anyone thought possible, 11 seconds later their dream is in ashes.

I grieve for them, even as I cheer for my team. But that's sport; every ounce of joy you feel is exactly counterbalanced by the weight of someone's anguish. You just hope to come out even in the end. As for the Slovenians: 2 million people and 2 finals appearances in 3 tournaments. They'll be back, and I look forward to seeing them again.
posted by Errant at 10:45 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, it is kind of biased to be talking so much about a US victory early in the tournament when North Korea already won the whole damn thing.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:48 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a good NYT Goal Blog post containing a bunch of celebrations/reactions appropriately titled, "Across the U.S., an Explosion of Joy."

And here's another video from another post on the same blog with a rather bland video of a Slovenian cafe watching party

And, finally, here's a really good soccer blog called Match Fit USA with tons of hyperbolic and entertaining writing. There are four or five posts just on this game. Check out this picture post, especially pics 8 and 9 of the hilarious dogpile featuring Altidore's Jordanesque leap.

And for any of you who get really crazy, here are the two biggest supporters' groups for the US National team: Sam's Army, and The American Outlaws. I'm a new member of the latter. I had to link to the wikipedia entry on Sam's Army because the site has been "Hacked By bogel."
posted by Raqin at 10:59 PM on June 24, 2010


So, I've been following the World Cup from the bar at a small campground in Liwonde, Malawi. The Malawian team did not even come close to qualifying, so like many African nations who did not qualify, the folk here seem to be rooting for, oh, every African team. This includes Algeria.

Despite the desire of the patrons to see one more African side make it through, I definitely noticed cheering when the US scored that goal. I even heard - oh yes, yes I did - the USA! USA! chant a few times from this group of 20-odd Malawian men, most of whom have never been to the US.

I am often the sole American watching the matches at this bar, but I am there watching almost every match, shaking my fist at the red card against Bafana Bafana's keeper, feeling disappointed at Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon's losses, and delighting in watching top teams struggle (and sometimes fail!) to go through. One of the conversations that I've had s. Several times with several different people is how this World Cup actually seems kind of... world-y. As in, the whole world is getting better at the beautiful game, and providing really strong competition to the historically dominant teams.

Not just the US, but South Korea, Japan, Ghana, Slovakia, New Zealand, Switzerland... And while none of these teams will probably be crowned winner and champeen this year, it makes the matches that much more enjoyable to watch, knowing that despite all their greatness and top-rankedness, Brazil beat North Korea by only one goal! And Cote d'Ivoire drew Portugal! And the winner and runner-up from the last Cup didn't even make it out of group play! Exciting stuff, and plenty of teams to cheer on.

In the interests of avoiding tl;dr, I will only briefly share my opinion on MLS and its popularity. Sport tends to require a narrative, and since soccer is relatively new as a 'major' sport in the US, that narrative has yet to be constructed. The league has no history, the teams no history. If you live in a city that gets an expansion team in MLB, for example, sure the team has no history, but it's part of an old and venerable American sports league. It took the NFL a while to catch on too (40 years!), and that was in the 1950s, when Americans had, what, 3 channels to choose from? Perhaps Americans are a little sports-saturated between basketball, baseball and college and pro (American) football, but considering that MLS has been around since 1993, I'd say to give it a little more time.
posted by palindromic at 11:03 PM on June 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


Also, it's a little off topic, but here's a good ESPN article on youth soccer development in the US.
posted by Raqin at 11:07 PM on June 24, 2010


We should have been here ten years ago.

We were here ten years ago. Well, 8, but there wasn't a World Cup 10 years ago. Still, we had our best ever finish then, not counting 1930. There was also a World Cup 16 years ago; you may recall the location. That's what prompted the system you describe, the fruits of which are the very players whose victory you find hollow. 15 years ago, Clint Dempsey was 12, Landon Donovan was 13, Tim Howard was 16, Jozy Altidore was 5. With one non-starting exception, this is the first team borne from the momentum of the 1994 World Cup and the introduction of MLS. You don't have to find anything meaningful in that, of course, but I have often found that yelling at children to grow faster doesn't really work that well.
posted by Errant at 11:07 PM on June 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


EL EYE VEE EEE AR PEE DOUBLE-OH ELL LIVERPOOL EFF SEE

That is the extent of my soccer-related knowledge, which is gleaned from the 'To Be Somebody' arc from Cracker. That is all.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:09 PM on June 24, 2010


Ok, last one... maybe. Here are two more really good US soccer oriented sites:
The Shin Guardian
Yanks Abroad
posted by Raqin at 11:11 PM on June 24, 2010


The good news is the US gets Ghana instead of Germany, against whom we'd never have a chance. Ghana, however, has looked pretty bad. Only two goals scored, both on penalties.

The bad news is that, despite having two goals taken away by bad refs, the US front-end has looked like shit. Altidore hasn't impressed, and Findley, Buddle, and Gomez have all looked like deer stuck in the headlights.

And what happened to Onyewu? Did he bust his knee again?
posted by bardic at 11:13 PM on June 24, 2010


The best part is where they all pile on to Donovan and then get up again and... Donovan's gone!
posted by pracowity at 11:15 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was visiting a client and had left when I realized I'd forgotten something. When I got in, he was all excited about the goal.

I got in my car and headed north, on my way to a big dog park, and when I passed through a certain area of town I heard hooting and hollering everywhere around, including car honks. I was very puzzled until I realized that there is a Euro-themed tavern in the area which is hosting game screenings.

I mean, it's subjective, sure; and it was, what, not quite 9 am here. But the game actually created a public ruckus in Seattle. It was small; it was a curiosity; but it really happened.
posted by mwhybark at 11:45 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did you not see the awesome comeback against Slovenia? Yes, and did we not endure American announcers cheer them on from the start to the finish, completely denying Slovenia just a crumb's worth of credit as a tiny nation of underdogs? And did we not hear them through American media whinge and complain for days about a legitimately denied goal against said small nation?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:58 PM on June 24, 2010


If this means there will be more American soccer and less American football in the world, I'm for it. Win that cup, America.
posted by pracowity at 12:01 AM on June 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


That was a good video, thanks for posting. Like a few others, I'd mildly quibble with 'the world reacts' and 'history is made' (it didn't look like the world, and really, the USA should have been favoured to finish second in that group, at least). OTOH, if it was my team qualifying like that, I'm not too sure I'd be completely level-headed either. And hell, I was jumping around like the crowds in those videos when Reid scored for NZ to equalise against Slovakia.

I do kinda wish that (some) Americans would stop going on and on about the referees' decisions. Looking at it from the other side, Dempsey could have easily been sent off for an early foul in the England game, and you only scored against England thanks to a fluke goal-keeping error. (Not that Americans are alone in complaining about refs, I just seem to be talking to more Americans than anyone else).

Congrats to the USA, anyway, could be a chance for you guys to go deep in the tournament.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:15 AM on June 25, 2010


Soccer Moms had kids who grew up playing soccer, as Baseball was too prole, and Football too uncouth, and Basketball, we all know the kind of people who play basketball. Hockey? You've seen their teeth!

Heh. Actually soccer was popular in the US at the amateur/participant level before the soccer mom meme. I went to a big soccer summer camp back when Pelé was a going concern, shorts were short, tube socks were pulled up high, and a real treat was sneaking off to the cafeteria between classes to play Lunar Lander. (That's a lie; I fucking hated Lunar Lander.) Even back then people were saying how soccer was actually the most popular sport played in the US in terms of numbers of young people playing it, and that surely the professional teams would take off in popularity soon. Things were going to happen.

What soccer really has going for it is that you can have 22 kids running around outside at a time, playing a game with simple rules and very low skill and equipment requirements.
posted by fleacircus at 12:22 AM on June 25, 2010


gorgor_balabala: And did we not hear them through American media whinge and complain for days about a legitimately denied goal against said small nation?

Not sure exactly what you're trying to say here, but if you're trying to imply that the 3rd US goal in the game against Slovenia was rightfully taken from the US team, you're the first person I've heard say that. I've watched the games and analysis on German, Italian, English and Austrian TV, and I've read the post-game analysis every day in derstandard.at, and it seems that you may be practically alone in your opinion.

A few quotes:
From The Guardian: A stirring second-half comeback kept alive USA's hopes of progressing into the last 16 – but they left Ellis Park bemused, confused and more than a touch angry after what looked like a perfectly good late winner was ruled out.

From der Spiegel: Etliche haarsträubende Fehlentscheidungen in diesem Turnier hätten sich leicht korrigieren lassen - etwa der Treffer der US-Amerikaner gegen Slowenien, der ungerechtfertigt aberkannt wurde.
Translation: Multiple outlandish officiating errors in this tournament could have been easily corrected - for instance, the US goal against Slovenia, which was unjustly denied.

From another der Spiegel article: Pech hatten die USA in der Schlussphase, als der Schiedsrichter einen regulären Treffer von Maurice Edu wegen vermeintlichen Foulspiels aberkannte.
Translation: The USA had some bad luck at the end of the game when the referee denied Maurice Edu's legitimate goal due to an alleged foul.

From El País: Edu remató a puerta y logró el gol que culminaba la remontada. El colegiado malí Koman Coulibaly se asustó ante tamaño ajetreo y puso fin a la fiesta con un pitido indescifrable. No se aprecia falta del delantero, ni fuera de juego, ni nada punible.
Translation: Edu kicked the goal that would have culminated the US comeback, but referee Koman Coulibaly, seemingly startled by the bustle in front of Slovenia's goal, whistled the play dead on an indecipherable foul. Neither an offsides, out of play nor any other foul (from the US side) was apparent.

So yeah, not sure what commentary or analysis you've been watching, but it's not just the US media who's complaining about that call. The world media is chiming in, and you seem to be standing all alone with your opinion that the call was correct.
posted by syzygy at 1:17 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've paused the video of "the world reacts" half way through, wondering if "the world" means anything other than "places in the US"...let's see...
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:54 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, what did Lyon do to deserve the honour of being thought of as part of the world?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:00 AM on June 25, 2010


Yawns. This thread can be summed up with one sentence: "Americans happy that the US soccer team made it into the last sixteen of the World Cup, and do all the normal things that soccer fans do everywhere - cheer, blast the obviously biased ref, and proclaim that a new era has arrived in their national soccer scene."

Nobody likes the referees and only really take note when he's got a bad day or makes a contentious call or two, and even then only particularly when those contentious calls have an overt effect on the game which leads to a result perceived as a negative one. All these Americans going, "Wah wah those referees are clearly biased," are not saying anything that anyone else watching soccer and supporting a particular team hasn't said before. I note that very few posters here are saying anything about contentious calls which went the US' way, e.g. "Dempsey could have easily been sent off for an early foul in the England game", which is true, but I don't hear any Americans complaining about that. Big surprise.

In the end, the bad refereeing decisions tend to even themselves out, and even if they don't, you can't do anything because Sepp Blatter is absolutely blase about "bad" referring decisions - to him, any publicity for soccer is good publicity, which is why he refuses to allow any form of technology more advanced than a stopwatch anywhere near the pitch. When soccer fans like you and me blab about goals which should have been disallowed, or pushes the ref didn't see, etc. etc., Sepp Blatter smiles a little wider.

So. Good luck to the US, and every other team that's progressed (well, except England) - I quite like the US team for their never-say-die spirit, that they showed the overhyped English team that they aren't quite as grand as they make themselves out to be, and because it has a few genuinely good players which are good to see in action (Donovan in particular), but as is normal, the attitudes of some American fans are really annoying. But such is the lot of a neutral fan who just wants to see some good football.
posted by WalterMitty at 2:22 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


On a related note, I love this particular headline from the German paper Berlin BZ: "“Now we are going to sort out the little English girlies!" I think they will, too, but if England can beat Germany then fair play to them, really.
posted by WalterMitty at 2:24 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


WalterMitty: Nobody likes the referees and only really take note when he's got a bad day or makes a contentious call or two, and even then only particularly when those contentious calls have an overt effect on the game which leads to a result perceived as a negative one.

You're right, nobody, so I'm not really sure why Americans, specifically, are called to task when they complain about bad calls. If nobody likes bad calls that negatively affect their teams, it doesn't really make much sense to single out any one group of people for complaining about such bad calls. Anti-Americanism, maybe?

If you'll read my earlier comment, you'll see that the international press roundly described ref Coulibaly's call as a bad one, but you know, it's just us Americans who are whining, right?

Also, a quote to show that Americans take note of bad calls that affect other teams (from goal.com, a US-based Soccer site):
Di Natale had a shot from 20 yards blocked, before he collected Pepe’s cross to tee up Quagliarella to slot home from 10 yards, but the referee’s assistant’s flag was up. Replays suggested the call was incorrect.

So yeah, not really sure your criticism of the US fans/media, at least in regards to their reactions to bad calls goes, is based on any kind of just standard.
posted by syzygy at 2:58 AM on June 25, 2010


Di Natale had a shot from 20 yards blocked, before he collected Pepe’s cross to tee up Quagliarella to slot home from 10 yards, but the referee’s assistant’s flag was up. Replays suggested the call was incorrect.

Of course, in that instance I'd have to disagree that the replay showed anything of the sort.
posted by inigo2 at 3:24 AM on June 25, 2010


inigo2: Of course, in that instance I'd have to disagree that the replay showed anything of the sort.

Take a look at this replay. Pause the video at the 3rd second. Look closely at the defender standing just behind Di Natale. Look closely at his right foot. His right foot, to me, seems to be stretched out in front of Di Natale, which would mean that the offsides call was a mistake.

As the German-speaking announcers say, over and over, "Oh ist das heikel." / "Oh, that is questionable."

Looks to me like at least a questionable call, if not an outright incorrect one.
posted by syzygy at 3:35 AM on June 25, 2010


Here's a link to an even better replay of the questionable offsides call against Di Natale.
posted by syzygy at 3:43 AM on June 25, 2010


Yea, there's no way that this American can comfortably chant USA! USA! USA!. That kind of stuff is too associated in my mind with Reaganism and mindless support of any of our stupid military fiascoes. I wish that the soccer team had some sort of nickname so we could chant that and not sound like right-wing assholes.
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just as an FYI to the few who've gotten it wrong, it is not "offsides". It is certainly not "off sides". It is "offside", no pluralization.
posted by idest at 4:24 AM on June 25, 2010


I really really wish Americans would stop bleating about how the referees have screwed them and how they have been cheated out of two goals.

The "goal" against Slovenia was a shocking decision by a referee who was shocking throughout. Dempsey could well have been sent off in the first minute, remember. The "goal" against Algeria was so tight, it goes into the "sometimes they go for you, sometimes they go against you category". Italy had a similar goal ruled out against Slovakia which sent them home. England had a similar one against Slovenia which would have won them the group. New Zealand's goal against Italy was offside. It happens all the time. Just about every team will be able to point to crucial decisions that went against them.

The USA deserved to go through because they were one of the two best teams in the group. They didn't progress *despite* the refereeing.
posted by salmacis at 4:26 AM on June 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


In spite of all its issues, I am proud of my country. We have freedoms here that a lot of people only dream of. And when we can come together over something as harmless and apolitical as soccer, I'll never be ashamed to chant 'USA.'
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 4:42 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


The USA deserved to go through because they were one of the two best teams in the group. They didn't progress *despite* the refereeing.

Doesn't it warm your heart to see Americans grumbling and moaning about the soccer refereeing.

Just like every other country, one global community under soccer.

I'm American, so I grew up watching, football, basketball and baseball. I really think they need more refs on the field, there is no way one ref can keep track of everything. Yes, I know there are linesmen to help with some things.

Instant replay and serious penalties for faking injuries would help a lot.

All talk aside on the refereeing of the USA games, fark.com had the best headline.

USA 1 FIFA 0
posted by KaizenSoze at 4:47 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


A relevant article from today's Guardian.
posted by ob at 5:11 AM on June 25, 2010


Take a look at this replay . Pause the video at the 3rd second. Look closely at the defender standing just behind Di Natale. Look closely at his right foot. His right foot, to me, seems to be stretched out in front of Di Natale, which would mean that the offsides call was a mistake.

I've watched this about 50 times and it's marginal, but I'm still comfortable with the offside call. It's about Di Natale's head, and the camera angles make it difficult to tell if his head is in an offside position. Fifteen minutes of playing around with MS Paint* with some vertical lines from the bottom of his head and some educated guessing as to where his feet are and I'm still not sure, though my gut feeling every time I watch it is offside.

*I have an exam tomorrow, so I clearly feel I should be spending half an hour analyzing a video of a game I've already seen.

Staying off the rails, the fact that people still disagree after seeing countless replays is a pretty good argument against having a video referee - another good argument is watching a game of Rugby League. Cricket uses the third umpire to good effect, but there are still shocking decisions, and both Cricket and Rugby League utilize the concept of the 'benefit of the doubt'. Plus, it's just dumb!
posted by doublehappy at 5:16 AM on June 25, 2010


salmacis: I really really wish Americans would stop bleating about how the referees have screwed them and how they have been cheated out of two goals.

I know, right? It'd be great if those Americans would shut up about the bad calls, and, while we're at it, it'd also be great if the international press would refrain from mentioning them. I mean, what's up with American fans and the international press complaining about bad calls?

Whiners, the lot.
/hamburger

I don't think there's anything wrong or particularly American about pointing out or complaining about a bad or questionable call. They happen, they suck, you complain a bit, and if you're good enough, you win, anyway (which is exactly what the US team did, natch).

Bad calls are a feature and not a bug in soccer. Not necessarily a feature that I like, but they're a part of the game. Nobody likes a bad call that goes against his team. Most people tend to overlook bad calls that help their team.

Maybe we should talk to the Italians, too, seems plenty of them are complaining about the calls in the Slovakia game. See the article and reader comments here for numerous examples.

We should probably also demand that the English stop complaining about Maradonna's 1986 "Hand of God." That happened 24 years ago, and I still hear England fans complain about it. I mean, get over it already, right?

From where I'm sitting, it seems that there's simply a load of non USians out there who like to criticize the US for behavior that's pretty normal everywhere else. I say those people are poor sports who're making themselves look foolish, but you know, whatever floats one's boat.
posted by syzygy at 5:25 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really don't think the rest of the world really wants the USA to start paying attention to soccer. We'll manage to suck all the fun out of it once we start taking it seriously.
posted by empath at 5:29 AM on June 25, 2010


> And did we not hear them through American media whinge and complain for days about a legitimately denied goal against said small nation?

You, sir, are a fool.

That said, I intensely disliked this video, from the ludicrous "world" title to the endless chanting of "USA! USA!" It almost ruined my pure joy in Donovan's miraculous last-minute goal. I'm fine with having as many World Cup posts as the mods will allow, but I wish this one hadn't led with such a jingoistic link.

(Yes, it's fine to root for your national team and holler your country's name at the appropriate moments, but creating a video of nothing but such hollering with swelling bombastic music behind it is a Triumph des Willens of a different color.)
posted by languagehat at 5:40 AM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


The "actual goal" is now gone, because this video contains content from FIFA, who has blocked it on copyright grounds, and I haven't been able to find a replacement link that is just a capture of the moment and not overlaid with music or something else. Which is pretty shitty and self-defeating, because a tiny clip like that doesn't hurt anybody and actually generates further excitement for the game.
posted by Kosh at 6:01 AM on June 25, 2010


I'm in agreement with those above who've suggested that is a poorly framed post; I thought a small segment of English fans had the corner on jingoistic nonsense; I guess I was wrong.

I'm not American but my congratulations do go out to the USA for progressing to the next round -- definitely well-deserved, though I could do with far less of this whining about the refereeing, especially from those who seem to have a tenuous grasp of the rules of the sport.

Finally, what amused me most about this post was that my friends and I have been sending around the Donovan post-game clips on youtube in an entirely different light... I mean, pull yourself together man -- you just qualified for the next round of a sporting tournament, not discovered that the diagnosis that you have 6 weeks to live was incorrect.
posted by modernnomad at 6:05 AM on June 25, 2010


I reserve the right to be as excited as I please about a sporting tournament.
posted by josher71 at 6:19 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


The "actual goal" is now gone

Well, ESPN has the full highlights, which probably only works in the US. BBC, etc. have their own.
posted by smackfu at 6:20 AM on June 25, 2010


The USA chant has a much tighter tie to sports than it does to anything right wing. Stop being self hating liberals. And comparing the video to Nazi propaganda? Really?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:20 AM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's me in the way way back on the right at 1:15 in the white shirt jumping up and down.
posted by yeti at 6:33 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're right, nobody, so I'm not really sure why Americans, specifically, are called to task when they complain about bad calls. If nobody likes bad calls that negatively affect their teams, it doesn't really make much sense to single out any one group of people for complaining about such bad calls. Anti-Americanism, maybe?

Read my comment, please. I wrote, "All these Americans going, "Wah wah those referees are clearly biased," are not saying anything that anyone else watching soccer and supporting a particular team hasn't said before."

Every soccer fan makes these comments. Americans don't have a monopoly on soccer fans making silly comments without objectively assessing the situation. Relax, not every comment is against the US here. Take it easy. I'm just saying that Americans are like every other soccer fan. It just so happens that the focus in this thread is on the US team, and by extension the refereeing decisions which've affected this team's campaign.

In fact, you wrote: I don't think there's anything wrong or particularly American about pointing out or complaining about a bad or questionable call.

We're in complete agreement here, actually. It's pretty universal. Except that some here think referees are biased against the US team in particular - they're not. They're equally biased against everyone. Or, more often, some referees are simply quite poor. It happens. They have off-days, too, just like the players, and unlike most sports in the US, these refs don't have the benefit of video replays or goal-line technology or whatnot. Example - the referee which red-carded Kaka in the Brazil - Ivory Coast match. That was the referee being bad. It happens.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:35 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


well done team America. this is one of the reaons football is ace. For 91 minutes you were out of the world cup, nails were bitten to the quick, nerves jangled. And then up pops Donovon and you are through. this is why football rules!

good luck against Ghana, and if you win that - Uraguey/South Korea. Any of those teams wil be difficult to beat, will be interesting to se bradleys tactics. Although if you get the semis you will be facing stiffer opposition (probably from the likes of Spain, Portugal, Brazil...) and then we will see what Bob Bradley and the boys are really made of!

good luck in the rest of the competition.
posted by marienbad at 6:35 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bad calls are a feature and not a bug in soccer.

Best summary of FIFA's attitude to the current situation with refereeing I've seen.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:36 AM on June 25, 2010


You, sir, are a fool.
Yes, I am. But I did not foolishly compare American sports fans with Nazis. That would be going a bit far down the fool's path. I merely pointed out that the USA need to tone it down every once in a while and show some interest in the other teams.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:39 AM on June 25, 2010


I really really wish Americans would stop bleating about how the referees have screwed them and how they have been cheated out of two goals.

I really wish FIFA would fix the fucking referee situation and properly use technology.

First: Why are the players -- and the fans -- not informed of the actual call? You get told if you're booked or sent off, but not why. You are told that someone gets a free kick, but not why.

So, that first "goal." It wasn't a goal, the whistle blew before the ball entered the net. Classic washout. But why? Esp. when there were two players committing holding -- as in the American Football penalty -- in the penalty box, and a third Slovenian who had a chokehold on another US player.

So, I see two penalty kick offenses, one red card, and to be frank, one arrestable offense. Why did the whistle blow?

NOBODY KNOWS

That's just fucking stupid. The ref could easily call up the foul, which could be announced. Wouldn't slow down the game at all. Would tell the players what they did, so they don't do that. We might, in fact, have done something wrong -- not as wrong as a chokehold in the box, but at least we'd know.

Second: Systems exist to make sure that the ball has in fact entered the goal. Use them. They work. One of them is simple, it's called a Goal Judge.

Third: Revoke after-match penalties for Red and Yellow cards that shouldn't have been given. Right now, the only way you can plea for a washout there is on mistaken identity. As a bonus, we we could *impose* those penalties when the reason the card was given turned out to be a dive by the "harmed" player. Then again, if we did that globally, a great deal of Serie A games would start with 8 players on a side. To which I say,"Good!"

Fourth: I know there isn't as much contact in soccer as there is in American Football. But there's 7140m2 of space on the new regulation international soccer pitch, and only 5353m2 of space on an American Football field. Yet, American Football has seven officials *on the field* -- all with the power to enforce penalties, plus one in the booth. FIFA uses Five, but the Fifth Official is, for all intents, a backup and the Fourth handles substitutions. The two assistants can only make suggestions, not calls -- if the ref doesn't ask, they can't mention a penalty, and even the things they can state -- offside, goal, corner -- are advisory, if the ref says otherwise, they lose.

This is stupid. You need the Lead and 2nd Referee on the field, the Lead does all the paperwork and bookings (but the 2nd call tell the lead to book a player, this makes sure that there's only *one* book.) You need the assistants on the lines to be able to make calls, not suggest them. You need goal judges to tell you if the ball is in the net -- and that's it -- so that the refs can watch the rest of the field. And you need reviews of red/yellow cards after matches because of the knock-on effects in most leagues. Sucks to get sent off on a bad red, sucks harder to miss more matches because of a bad call that should have never been made.

THAT'S why we hate FIFA's refs. Professional US officials aren't perfect, but they try to be perfect, and they'll happily accept improvements, when needed, because the ultimate goal of an American Referee is to never be noticed, and if they make the right calls, and do what they can to make sure they're the right calls, they won't be.

That umpire that blew the call that stole a perfect game? He hates that he did it, but we knew what the call was (safe!) and why it was made (in his judgement, the batter reached 1st before the ball did.) Video shows him to be wrong, but there was never a question as to what the call was, and he made the call, "knowing" that is was correct and was willing to make it despite the fact that it was going to ruin both a perfect game and a no-hitter.

And he apologized afterwards when it was obvious that it was the wrong call -- but you cannot argue judgement calls, it stood.

That's why we respect referees. They do their best, at all time, and afterwards, they accept criticism, apologize when they aren't perfect, and try to become better.

I'll take Jim Joyce, the Baseball Umpire, who blew that call that cost Armando Gallaraga a pitcher's ultimate prize, over Koman Coulibaly, the ref of the US-Slovenia match, any day of the week. Why?

Jim Joyce: "I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay."

Koman Coulibaly: (silence)

I'm sure Mr. Joyce has integrity -- the integrity to make the call he was certain was correct, and the integrity to admit that he was wrong once he saw the proof. I cannot state that about Mr. Coulibaly, because I still don't know WHY HE BLEW THE WHISTLE!

See the difference?
posted by eriko at 6:45 AM on June 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


I merely pointed out that the USA need to tone it down every once in a while and show some interest in the other teams.

But why? As long as the US team is still in with a chance of winning the tournament, the average US fan is likely to be interested in other teams only insofar as they are potential rivals to the title. Which is perfectly reasonable.

Me, I like being a neutral - I just enjoy the football and watching rival fans squabble about everything they can. Or maybe sometimes agreeing on something. All's fair.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:48 AM on June 25, 2010


I'm not the world's biggest soccer fan, but it's been fun so far. One nice thing about being in New York City, is that no matter who wins, somwhere in this town some neighborhood will go berserk.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 AM on June 25, 2010 [7 favorites]



My point is more that every single game of football involves at least one instance of someone or some team overcoming adversity. It's news, but it's not notable in context.


I'm a big soccer fan and, being a stay at home dad, I've managed to watch more than half of the games so far this World Cup. The USA is not my horse in this race.

That said, Donovan's injury time goal was the single most emotional moment for me of this tournament so far. That goal was worthy of an FPP.
posted by 256 at 7:19 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not the world's biggest soccer fan, but it's been fun so far. One nice thing about being in New York City, is that no matter who wins, somwhere in this town some neighborhood will go berserk.

It's like that in London. From my house I can walk through the Ghanain and Ivory Coast areas to the Brazilian/Portugese area in about 15 minutes. Not to mention the random pockets of most other nationalities, scattered around the place.
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:29 AM on June 25, 2010


Man, they riot quickly in Nebraska. In "the world reacts" clip someone picks up a bar chair immediately.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:31 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


syzygy: Not sure exactly what you're trying to say here, but if you're trying to imply that the 3rd US goal in the game against Slovenia was rightfully taken from the US team, you're the first person I've heard say that. I've watched the games and analysis on German, Italian, English and Austrian TV, and I've read the post-game analysis every day in derstandard.at, and it seems that you may be practically alone in your opinion.

This halfway convinced me
posted by 256 at 7:39 AM on June 25, 2010


We should probably also demand that the English stop complaining about Maradonna's 1986 "Hand of God." That happened 24 years ago, and I still hear England fans complain about it. I mean, get over it already, right?

From where I'm sitting, it seems that there's simply a load of non USians out there who like to criticize the US for behavior that's pretty normal everywhere else.


It's worth noting that the behavior of English fans has not been seen as "normal everywhere else".
posted by Kirk Grim at 7:52 AM on June 25, 2010


The "actual goal" is now gone

Presumably FIFA won't have this video taken down because of copyright violation.

Here's another reaction video, with the Cantor call.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:53 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


KaizenSoze - Instant replay is a terrible idea for soccer. There's no way it could be implemented without totally ruining the flow of the game. Imagine stopping a match for 2 minutes every 5 minutes to review a call. Replays couldn't be reviewed real-time, because the game can change so fast. If anything, I think FIFA could hand out or take back cards that were given during a match.

IMHO bad calls are part of the game, and complaining about them is part of the joy of watching it.
posted by askmehow at 8:08 AM on June 25, 2010


Can't we all just go back to watching Portugal's Pepe fall down every time someone looks at him funny?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:12 AM on June 25, 2010


Imagine stopping a match for 2 minutes every 5 minutes to review a call.

Goals, offside flags, and yellow cards are already stoppages, and those are the places where people want replay.

And horrible flopping already kills the flow, because the longer you stay down the more authentic it seems.
posted by smackfu at 8:16 AM on June 25, 2010


You could definitely review offside decisions without breaking up the game too much. If there's a possibility that a player is offside, just let the game continue: most times, nothing will come of the attack - the ball will go out of play. So you don't need to worry whether there was an offside or not. If a goal is scored (or a corner conceded) you have an electronic referee who reviews the video and calls an offside or not.

Fouls and penalties are maybe more difficult - you might have to watch a replay several times before deciding which way it should go. But perhaps worthwhile doing if a goal is scored, or there's a potential penalty.

(Rugby has video refs when tries are scored (and at no other part of the game), it does take some time, but it's worth to get the right decision IMO).
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:26 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, and did we not endure American announcers cheer them on from the start to the finish, completely denying Slovenia just a crumb's worth of credit as a tiny nation of underdogs?

No. We watched it at work on Univision.

I'm not the world's biggest soccer fan, but it's been fun so far. One nice thing about being in New York City, is that no matter who wins, somwhere in this town some neighborhood will go berserk.

I thought the video was OK, but the NYC street corner was probably my favorite part. If I had to choose anywhere to watch that game (aside from with friends), that might be my top choice. (As I predicted) it was a pretty shitty game (and could have easily been won on a PK from Dempsey for the elbow to the face). All you needed to see was the last 20 minutes from a street corner. Preferably with 50 other people.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:30 AM on June 25, 2010


Can't we all just go back to watching Portugal's Pepe fall down every time someone looks at him funny?

You should see Didier Drogba when he's playing for Chelsea. All an opponent needs to do is think about him and suddenly he's writhing on the ground like he's been shot. A fine person and a philanthropist, but put him in a blue shirt and it's like he's diving for pearls or something.

IMHO bad calls are part of the game, and complaining about them is part of the joy of watching it.

And of course people complaining about people complaining about bad calls is part of the joy of discussing it afterwards. And so it goes.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:01 AM on June 25, 2010


> One nice thing about being in New York City, is that no matter who wins, somwhere in this town some neighborhood will go berserk.

That's one of the things I miss about NYC. Being in Astoria when Brazil wins is amazing. (Of course, it would be even more amazing there if Greece won, but we're talking about reality here.)
posted by languagehat at 9:18 AM on June 25, 2010


IMHO bad calls are part of the game

Except, in the USA case, we don't know if it was a bad call, because we *don't know what the call was*.

The US, in fact, may have fouled before the kick, in which case, washing out that goal and awarding a free kick to Slovenia was the exact correct thing for the ref to do.

But we don't know. All we saw was a bunch of holding in the box by Slovenia and an apparent goal by the US washed out.

We can argue and complain about Joyce's bad call, because we know what it was, why it was wrong, etc. FIFA leaves us to guess, and I'm willing to bet a fair number of "bad" calls aren't -- if we knew what they were, we'd see what the ref saw and accept it.

The Hand Of God, of course, was just bullshit -- but it was just as much bullshit as that 1st hit in Detroit. Refs aren't perfect. They will make mistakes, they will be looking the wrong way, etc. They're human. But they can at least try.

That's why I hate FIFA's refs. Most other leagues try to get the calls right. They won't be 100%, but they try. FIFA doesn't seem to care -- they make the ref God Upon The Pitch, and if it turns out that you got Optico, God of Missing Glasses, then you're just fucked.
posted by eriko at 9:22 AM on June 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


Port Elizabeth. That's the part that amazes me. It's small! But it's bigger than the next city (3 hour drive northeast) where I lived for 3 years. I spent a lovely weekend there once...sick in my hotel room from food poisoning. Not that food poisoning wasn't a common problem down there. (don't touch the cold cuts)
posted by Goofyy at 9:29 AM on June 25, 2010


As someone said elsewhere, you know the US has arrived as a soccer nation once the bulk of their chatter is about some egregious foul.
posted by edgeways at 9:48 AM on June 25, 2010


I hate the USA! USA! chants too. I was at a loss for a chant with less baggage when I saw the guy waving the YES WE CAN! sign. Can we make that the national chant that instead?
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:08 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


How about something along the lines of:
"SOCCER! SOCCER! WE'RE GOOD AT SOCCER!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:29 AM on June 25, 2010


We could chant SAU! SAU! if it would make people feel less opressed.
posted by smackfu at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2010


I like the WE ARE! / EAGLES! idea a lot.
posted by grubi at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2010


America, fuck yeah?
posted by rosswald at 10:47 AM on June 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


The World Cup: More Popular Than the Tea Party.
posted by homunculus at 11:59 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not the world's biggest soccer fan, but it's been fun so far. One nice thing about being in New York City, is that no matter who wins, somwhere in this town some neighborhood will go berserk.

In Philadelphia when Italy won the 2006 World Cup, we'd hear cars honking and people cheering and waving flags out of the window.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:26 PM on June 25, 2010


They're equally biased against everyone.

That's the best sentence I've read in some time.

I tend to be a fair-minded fan, and I had nothing riding on the U.S.A. vs Slovenia match, but I had no problem with that goal being disallowed. Again, it was probably marginal, as Slovenia were doing a bit of holding as well, but the referee didn't equivocate, he made the call immediately he saw an infringement, and the call stood because, in football, referees are infallible. This is a good thing.
posted by doublehappy at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2010


This halfway convinced me

The guy manages to pick out one case where it looks like there might have been a foul on a US player because from that one angle you can't see the head lock Pecnik has put on Bocanegra. But to even with his version of things, you have to take his word that "Pecnik has his hands on Bocanegra, but he's not really holding him fast," and "Edu is right in the space which Pecnik should be guarding, but can't." It's pretty weak sauce.

What the ref saw (or thought he saw) is another thing, but in the end it's just a bad call. I think the 99.9% of the people who've seen it are correct, in this particular case.

But life goes on, and a good team can recover from a bad call, whereas an unworthy team will be destroyed by it. As a Kansas Citian, I have to believe that.
posted by fleacircus at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2010


furiousxgeorge: this one's for you. It never gets old.
posted by Balonious Assault at 6:15 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was at a loss for a chant with less baggage when I saw the guy waving the YES WE CAN! sign. Can we make that the national chant that instead?

Well, I mean, if liberals can't stand USA USA! what do you think conservatives would have to say about YES WE CAN?

@Balonius Assault: Thanks for the link, I'll have that on repeat until the FIFA lawyers arive.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:29 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Crap. Bloody crap.

The right wing has taken over MY f-ing flag. They have made the word Liberty mean 'if you got the cash, you can', and now I'm supposed to give up the fucking initials that everyone uses for my home?

The bloody hell I will. Get the hell over it already.
posted by Some1 at 11:26 PM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


That "USA! USA!" ship has sailed, sorry. You can chant it if you want of course but it *does* sound creepy, kind of stupid, and fascistic to anybody outside the US. I wish anyone trying to reclaim it for liberals the best of luck but I think you're wasting your time.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:16 AM on June 26, 2010


Everyone outside the US hates any displays of US patriotism, so what's the point of trying to appease them?
posted by smackfu at 8:43 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, it doesn't bother me...I mean, what are they supposed to chant? I can't think of too many teams whose fans don't chant the name of the country, or a nickname anyway.
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:52 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


For African soccer, days of juju men have mostly passed: The traditional healers were once on team payrolls, providing herbal medicine and divination. While there are still believers, their role has become less official.
posted by homunculus at 11:07 AM on June 26, 2010


From here on out I'm shouting "U.S.S.A." just to freak out the paranoid and/or delusional.
posted by mcdoublewide at 11:11 AM on June 26, 2010


The thread has gone on long enough that I can Godwin it right? In preface I wish to say that I AM NOT making a direct comparison between chanting USA and Nazis.

Ok... now. In some ways the USA chant reminds me of the swastika. We all know the swastika had along life, in many different cultures, including some Native American ones, before the Nazis ruined it. So, nowadays if you invoke the swastika, even if it is in regards to some legitimate pre-non-nazi usage, you can come under serious scrutiny and will spend some time defending the legitimate use.

The use of the U-S-A chant has taken on a pretty right-of-center nationalistic undertone because it has been used very publicly and loudly by these groups in a variety of uncomfortable (at least to me) circumstances, from immigration, to RNC/Tea Bag ceremonies, from right wing protests to radical NRA members (not all NRA members are radical). So, yeah, intellectually I can accept the perfectly legitimate chanting of USA at international football games, I also can accept legitimate non-nazi use of the swastika. But, being honest, I flinch at both of them emotionally and have a initial negative response to them despite the intentions.

Is it fair? Absolutely not, but it is what it is

Not everyone is like me, I accept and relish that, but all the "get over it"'s in the world does absolutely nothing to make me "get over it". I could just as easily say "It's my aversion, get over it, it has little to do with you"
posted by edgeways at 1:07 PM on June 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


G-H-A!
G-H-A!
G-H-A!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:01 PM on June 26, 2010


gah!
posted by carsonb at 2:02 PM on June 26, 2010


Well I feel beat now, but I've got to say, Ghana completely earned that one and we didn't bring our game at all. Good job, Ghana. Now go kick Uruguay's asses.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:48 PM on June 26, 2010


for U (SA) the world cup is over. Well played Ghana. A decent game, almost as they say, a game of 2 halves, with Ghana better in the first and USA better in the second. And the tension in the 2 extra time periods was nail-biting. It could have been over as soon as Gyan scored if FIFA had kept the golden "next goal wins" goal rule. Alos, awful shoulder barge by bocanegra on gyan as he ran through, deserved a card for that challenge.
posted by marienbad at 3:33 PM on June 26, 2010


Yeah, was a good game, the US didn't win, but they didn't rollover either.

I think I can best sum up my reaction thus: I wouldn't celebrate the US losing, but I'll celebrate Ghana winning. (which in fact is how I view most football sports matches).
posted by edgeways at 3:55 PM on June 26, 2010


A good game, shame the USA made its (seemingly) usual slow start, but a good comeback and impressive bravery to make a tactical substitution after 30 minutes. Ghana have surprised and impressed me, will be interesting to see how they go against Uruguay. Glad to see the refereeing in this match was of better quality, I didn't see the ref make any mistakes.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:51 PM on June 26, 2010


I didn't see the ref make any mistakes.

That's because the Americans haven't yet worked out that you need to bribe the refs, and Ghana just doesn't have the money.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:00 PM on June 26, 2010


Should Americans Root for England's World Cup Soccer Team Now?
posted by homunculus at 7:51 PM on June 26, 2010


I blame Clinton in his track suit - enough to put any compatriots right off their game. Couple of cracking goals from the excellent Ghanaians might have been a factor too.
posted by Abiezer at 8:27 PM on June 26, 2010


That "USA! USA!" ship has sailed, sorry. You can chant it if you want of course but it *does* sound creepy, kind of stupid, and fascistic to anybody outside the US.

Not when watching a game of football.
posted by Authorized User at 12:54 AM on June 27, 2010


This apparent reluctance to chant "USA" is freaking hilarious. Rightwingers also drive on roads so better stay off those lest you get accidentally identified as a teabagger.
posted by PenDevil at 3:02 AM on June 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Systems exist to make sure that the ball has in fact entered the goal. Use them. They work. One of them is simple, it's called a Goal Judge.

Millions of English fans surely agree with you about now.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:47 AM on June 27, 2010


Yeah, I've been a stubborn resister but that's possibly put me over the line too (pun intended) as far as video replay is concerned.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:00 AM on June 27, 2010


How much does that German zoo want for their prophetic octopus? :(
posted by Abiezer at 8:50 AM on June 27, 2010


well that was absolutely awful. worst english world cup campaign since... well, 1982 possibly. 1978 maybe? Lampard - useless. Gerrard on left - why? Heskey on for defoe - wtf? defence (in this game) - what defence?

only 3 players scored. cole hardly used and used out of position.

And he plays 4-4-2 against 4-2-3-1. totally tactically inept. sack capello and bring in Chilian manager Marcelo Biesla (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcelo_Bielsa) who plays with one playmaker and 3 forwards in a 3-3-1-3 formation. they took the game to spain and lost due to a bizarre goalkeeping error followed by a lackadaisical defending error followed by a bizarre red card.

capello being interviewed now. who cares what he says. we are out.

Interesting to see mick "2-teams" jagger at the match. hey mick, you can only support one team, otherwise it would be like supporting both man utd and liverpool.
posted by marienbad at 8:58 AM on June 27, 2010


also, just to add, uzil was brilliant. and lightning quick too. well played lad.
posted by marienbad at 9:05 AM on June 27, 2010


At least Gerrard didn't resign his captaincy in tears unlike *cough* Beckham 2006 *cough*.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:59 AM on June 27, 2010


I think Group C was probably one of, if not THE, weakest groups this WC. And that was hinted at during the first game. Not downgrading the US, but if a supposed football power like England could do much welll.
posted by edgeways at 12:02 PM on June 27, 2010


...^couldn't do much against them....
posted by edgeways at 12:12 PM on June 27, 2010


they took the game to spain and lost due to a bizarre goalkeeping error

I don't think that was an error. I think every Chilean player is the reincarnation of a berserk Viking warrior with a thirst for through balls instead of blood. They don't defend, they respond to losing a player by attacking even more vigorously, and you could see them chasing down every backward pass Spain made for the first 5 of those last 20 minutes when it was clear that Spain just wanted to take the result and go home, because they can't figure out why anyone would stop trying to score.

It's like all of them were branded at birth with one message: the goal is that way. Why are you charging 30 yards out of your area to hack the ball forward, keeper? "The goal is that way." But you need to be in your area to make saves. "But...the goal is that way."

Their national motto is "Por la razon o la fuerza" ("By reason or force"), which is basically what people in psychedelic paint scream before gnawing on their axes. Needless to say, I love them to pieces.
posted by Errant at 5:00 PM on June 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


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