Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Future's Bright, the Future's Oranje and one Yanks idiocy

So the bright talent of Spain have proved to be victorious over the hard working and youthful Germans. At the end of the day though, the mighty Paul the Octopus had forsaken his countrymen, so a Germany win was unlikely for all.

Now Germany face Uruguay in the third place play-off, a match no one wants to be associated with and will most likely see the B teams rolled out for each side. On to bigger things however and the Netherlands will play Spain in a World Cup final which will see a brand new champion and the 8th different country to lift the World Cup trophy.

For me I still fancy the Mighty Dutch, who've had a brilliant World Cup so far, beating Brazil and Uruguay on their way to to the finals, both of which were no pushovers. Spain haven't had it easy either and their superb performance against Germany was quite possible their best of the tournament. Who would have thought that the team who lost to Switzerland in their opening fixture would go on to the final?

Stepping aside from these two lucky nations, we look at the USA and in particular the jingoistic Gregg Doyel of CBS, a man who has the audacity to write: U.S. allows other countries to win the World Cup.

Now to be fair, I know Football, or Soccer as it were, isn't the most popular sport in the USA, either the MLB or NBA takes that crown, but to say Team USA was made up of " C-plus students" in terms of athleticism is disrespectful and delusional. The statement makes even less sense when the author, Gregg Doyel actually believes the finer US athletes go on to play American Football is also ridiculous.

Some American Footballers like Tom Brady for instance, are good physical athletes, but look at most defensive players in the NFL and they aren't athletes at all, just hulk's of mass. Which makes sense because the average American Football play must last no longer than five minutes.

Doyel pinpoints one player in particular, he says: "Landon Donovan's great, but is he really the best the U.S. has to offer?" Yes! This is the same Landon Donovan who sprints 25 yards out of nowhere to grab USA a vital goal to send them into the final 16 of the World Cup, a monumental achievement when we consider the USA's World Cup record isn't brilliant. This is also the same Landon Donovan, who went to Everton and tore up the Premier League with style, helping his team beat Chelsea 2-1 and Manchester United 3-1, the top two teams in the EPL. Aged 28, I'd like to see many of the so-called 'superior athletes' of the NFL, NBA and MLB run around for ninety minutes and be half as effective as Donovan on the pitch.

Doyel's excuse as to why the USA team didn't do any better boils down to the fact that there are other sports the U.S. is interested in, so? In England do we not have Cricket, Rugby Union/ Rugby League as well as Football, all competing for the attention of young talent.

The USA's finest aren't even that good when it comes to their sports, the current FIBA (Basketball) World Champions are Spain, their first championship, which Russia and Yugoslavia have both won 3 times, the same amount the USA have won it.

Going back to the USA Soccer Team, Donovan is just one very good player, there are others, Tim Howard the most glaring example, then there's Clint Dempsey who is wonderful for Fulham and brilliant in the Premier League. Then there's Jozy Altidore - a young lad with buckets of pace that could rival any Quarterback or Wide Receiver in the NFL.

The slight shortcomings of the USA team can be more directly linked to the weaknesses of the MLS rather than just saying America's best play other sports, because that's bollocks.

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