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Monday, June 12, 2006

Giant orange cables laid sprawled across the front lawn-ish thing this morning. Not coincidentally, this destroy-ified my Internet connection this morning. It was kaput from wakeup to departure for game... much to my frustration. Lo siento.

6/12/2006 - USA 0-3 Czech Republic - USA 0-1-0

Glancing in the windows and seeing no one, I feared that I would have to explain to the bar staff that I wanted to see "the game" and they would ask me "what game?" These fears turned out to be unfounded -- indeed, the place was packed out by kickoff and rowdy during the brief periods during which the US showed any hint of a pulse -- but quickly replaced by another set of fears easily summarized with the words "France" and "98." The USA went down in the fifth minute as half-man, half-giraffe Jan Koller headed in a perfect cross as mach three; late in the first half Rosicky doubled the lead with one of those Adidas-special goals from what seemed like his own half of the field. After that a third goal was academic.

What to say? The United States finds itself in the same position that European powers like England do, in which qualification is taken for granted and the Cup is all that matters. The catch is that it seems that the US isn't a serious threat to do much. (Whether this marks a difference between the Americans and the Brits depends on your cynicism regarding the Brits.) The United States dominated possession essentially throughout the match but without a 6'8" cyborg of a man or a main capable of a Frings-esque cruise missile from forty, possession is window decoration.

But, still... if Reyna's shot off the post is two inches inside, it's 1-1 and the game is different. If Eddie Johnson manages to place his shot a foot closer, there's a game. Maybe against Italy? Halfway through the Ghana game the answer appears to be "no," but persistence is "that American thing" according to some World Cup coach or another.

But, yeah: balls.