Our beloved Brew.

Our beloved Brew.
R.I.P. Big guy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

World Cup Soccer Starts Five Days Late

FINALLY! A World Cup match worth watching. In one of the few matches of this year's tournament that wasn't played by two teams trying not to lose, Spain threw everything it had at Switzerland through a relentless attack that nearly wore out the field on the flanks. The Swiss would bend but not break, demonstrating brilliant defense. As I predicted before the WC got under way, Switzerland is a team that must be taken seriously.
I thoroughly enjoyed this 1-0 victory by the Swiss despite predicting Spain as the eventual winner of the WC. I stand by my prediction. Spain's somewhat selfish play, especially in the first half, squandered numerous scoring opportunities. With so many stars on the roster, each wanting to put their stamp on the game, shots were taken that were often less than the best alternative. I believe the coaches will address this, and Spain will be one of the two teams to advance from Group H. Unless the wheels fall off, Switzerland will be the other team simply because Chile and Honduras lack the balance of attack and defense shown by Spain and Switzerland.
This game was especially satisfying to watch because I turned off the volume and watched the game without the din of the vuvuzelas, which I consider an embarrassment to all concerned, while also avoiding the less than insightful commentary of the announcers. When I saw Mike Tirico and Alexis Lalas were the in-studio analysis team, I was freed up to finish my morning paper before the start of the second half.
The World Cup has now shown the potential we all knew it had to present entertaining and intelligent soccer. Now that everyone has their first game out of the way, and they are jockeying for one of the two available spots in each group that moves on to the single elimination round, every team will need to play to win, or at minimum, save face. FINALLY, the real World Cup is under way!