FanDuel - WFBC

June 18, 2010

US Comes Back to Tie Slovenia 1-1: After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, the U.S. tied Slovenia 2-2 behind spectacular goals by Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley. A controversial call by the Malian referee took a third goal by Maurice Edu off the board. With one match left against Algeria, the U.S. will advance out of the group stage with a win.

posted by rcade to soccer at 09:59 AM - 80 comments

Not an auspicious start.

posted by ursus_comiter at 10:02 AM on June 18

The Charlie Brown dance the Slovenians did after the goal was sharp.

posted by rcade at 10:20 AM on June 18

Not an auspicious start, but probably an accurate reflection of the US. Even if they have the talent to do some damage now, there's a bit of a 23 guys, 23 cabs feel to the team. Not that they hate each other, but that they don't play as a team. I know that's probably true of any number of national teams, just sticks out to me watching the US.

posted by yerfatma at 10:25 AM on June 18

The US are playing it smart and trying to finish second in the group to avoid Germany in the first knockout round.

posted by JJ at 10:34 AM on June 18

The US are playing it smart

Not really

posted by Debo270 at 10:47 AM on June 18

Can yellow cards be overturned? The yellow card on Dempsey was bullshit, terrible call that will force him to mix the next game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:17 AM on June 18

Great goal by Donovan. It looked like the goalie flinched when the ball went right at his head.

posted by rcade at 11:20 AM on June 18

The keeper was hiding behind the post! Good finish.

posted by JJ at 11:23 AM on June 18

Much like the NBA Finals officials, I wish this ref had just handed out 22 yellow cards at the start of the game and then got out of the way.

posted by yerfatma at 11:33 AM on June 18

Is it just me or have there been more then a few no-calls.

posted by Debo270 at 11:35 AM on June 18

GOOOOAL!

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:39 AM on June 18

Cracking goal that. They could win this yet.

posted by JJ at 11:41 AM on June 18

Wow - the US just got f'd. Two forwards wrapped in bear hugs and a phantom offsides.

posted by kokaku at 11:43 AM on June 18

Atrocious officiating. This guy is terrible.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:43 AM on June 18

Wow. Most of the ref work has been good during the Cup, but the bad officials are terrible.

posted by yerfatma at 11:44 AM on June 18

You just got robbed. The US have gone from hopeless to hopeful to deserving. If they don't win this, they'll have every right to be spitting with rage.

posted by JJ at 11:45 AM on June 18

The Refs are killing us. That should have been a penalty shot.

posted by Debo270 at 11:46 AM on June 18

The ref just deprived the US of 2 points and the neutral of a great finish to a great game.

posted by JJ at 11:53 AM on June 18

Interesting to see Landon Donovan trade jerseys with one of the Slovenian players. I assume he collects them?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:54 AM on June 18

So, Algeria is a must win and the numbers favor the US going through if they can come out of that +2 (pretty much regardless of what happens w England/Algeria or England/Slovenia)?

posted by kokaku at 11:54 AM on June 18

I was watching on the Spanish channel and I don't speak Spanish. Why didn't that goal count?

posted by bperk at 11:56 AM on June 18

They were just interviewing Coach Bradley and the coaches/players don't even know. A little small country favoritism?

posted by kokaku at 11:58 AM on June 18

ESPN commentators didn't know either. What a hose job.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:03 PM on June 18

According to @GrantWahl, SI soccer writer, apparently Edu fouled someone while scoring. Oh, and the Slovenian coach says the ref had no impact on the result.

posted by boredom_08 at 12:26 PM on June 18

Does the Slovenian coach also have a bridge he'd like to sell me?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:40 PM on June 18

Altidore dove to get that free kick. Amazing how the Americans seem to ignore that fact.

But watch the histrionics when an Italian or a Frenchman dives next time- or if Drogba goes to the ground.

posted by JButton at 01:38 PM on June 18

But watch the histrionics when an Italian or a Frenchman dives next time- or if Drogba goes to the ground.

I love how you wrote "next time" because of course they will dive. Altidore needs to a lot more practice until he can get to Drogba's level at diving.

posted by WolfpackMD at 01:57 PM on June 18

Don't equate wrestling and physical contact (going on on both sides the whole game) and flying through the air untouched by anything but a gentle breeze.

posted by kokaku at 02:10 PM on June 18

So, is the World Cup where NBA refs spend the off season?

posted by graymatters at 02:11 PM on June 18

Altidore dove to get that free kick. Amazing how the Americans seem to ignore that fact.

That was hardly a dive. He may not have fought hard to stay on his feet, but it was still a foul.

posted by rcade at 02:21 PM on June 18

Interesting to see Landon Donovan trade jerseys with one of the Slovenian players. I assume he collects them?

It's traditional.

posted by yerfatma at 02:28 PM on June 18

While the approach for spreading the refereeing duties around to FIFA countries has some appeal on a philosophical level, I am not sure whether having some guy who presumably just oversees matches in the Malian domestic league (and maybe ACON?) or similar referees who are not often seeing action at the higher/highest levels of competition is the best idea.

posted by holden at 02:52 PM on June 18


That was hardly a dive. He may not have fought hard to stay on his feet, but it was still a foul.

Remember that post when Italy plays next, please.

Even the New York Times blogger admitted it was a dive.

Altidore needs to a lot more practice until he can get to Drogba's level at diving.

You don't really know much about football. Drogba is built like a fullback and has to take a lot more abuse than a Messi or a Villa or even a Torres. He is usually getting pummeled. If you actually go to the matches, you will understand what I'm talking about. Most of the time he goes, it's out of sheer frustration.

And I said "next time" because I'm not a naif who thinks some teams are above diving while others are not-- like most Americans do.

posted by JButton at 02:54 PM on June 18

So, is the World Cup where NBA refs spend the off season?

Well at least we know where the trolls are.

posted by cjets at 02:56 PM on June 18

Even the New York Times blogger admitted it was a dive.

Well that settles it then. Although I can't quite figure out how this blogger is an authority on the matter. You've led me to believe that being an American automatically disqualifies someone from having any knowledge or authority on soccer.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:02 PM on June 18

Well at least we know where the trolls are.

cjets: I think most people hereabouts are of the consensus that NBA refereeing is a bit of a joke and is inconsistent at best, regardless of whether folks feel that was the case in the game last night (which seems to be breaking down on the basis of whether one is a Celtics fan or Lakers fan).

posted by holden at 03:05 PM on June 18

JButtton - wind your neck in a bit. There's no need to start bringing out the national slurs or to assume you know what other people know or don't know about football.

Besides, defending Drogba in a diving discussion is... so daft I can't even think of a simile. You're conflating diving and going down too easily. Altidore went down too easily, but he didn't dive.

posted by JJ at 03:06 PM on June 18

When I finally get the funding for my long-anticipated soccer academy, American youths will learn how to play the game the right way, and all diving and dangerous challenges will be eliminated.

posted by holden at 03:12 PM on June 18

When I finally get the funding for my long-anticipated soccer academy, American youths will learn how to play the game the right way, and all diving and dangerous challenges will be eliminated.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:25 PM on June 18

Holden: The troll dropped a turd in the NBA thread as well.

And based on that turd, I don't know how he saw enough NBA games to make a valid comparison.

posted by cjets at 03:28 PM on June 18

JButton, the next time you post a positive comment here will be the first by my count. You show up like 3x a year for a week to explain to us how we know nothing about sports. Don't waste your breath on we heathens.

posted by yerfatma at 03:35 PM on June 18

JButton, can I get your expert opinion on Michael Bradley receiving a cozy bearhug in the box while trying to get free in the 86th on the disallowed goal and how that wasn't a penalty? Since you seem to know everything about this sport and we're all complete morons, I figure I'll come to you with everything I don't understand about the game. Hang on a tic, are you Sepp Blatter in disguise?

posted by boredom_08 at 04:42 PM on June 18

Oh, and if you missed it, England were awful, so the USA is still in a win-and-advance situation. If they beat Algeria, by any margin, they will advance to the knockout phase. So it's really not that bad.

posted by boredom_08 at 04:44 PM on June 18

And if they play like they played in the second half today, they should cut through Algeria like a hot knife through cous cous.

posted by JJ at 04:49 PM on June 18

And "awful" is too kind. I don't think you could adequately describe England's performance without swearing. A lot.

posted by JJ at 04:50 PM on June 18

I hope we get a timid draw on Wednesday now and end up going home, both because we're simply dreadful to watch and because I don't have to listen to English tabloids any more.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:55 PM on June 18

Meanwhile, Ashley Cole is voted the Budweiser Man of the Match, showing that those fans know as little about football as they do about beer.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:57 PM on June 18

Holden, bad as he was this guy did ref the African Cup of Nations final a few months ago. Not going to read all 47 comments here but will say that England were a bit worse than us today and this group is all for the taking on Wednesday.

MrB: Who would you have picked? I'd say Crouch because he played well the whole (short) time he was on the pitch.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:06 PM on June 18

Even the New York Times blogger admitted it was a dive.

Who gives a shit what the New York Times blogger has to say about it?

posted by cheemo13 at 05:07 PM on June 18

From Peter King's column

"So don't just sit there. Do something. Write to Blatter. Tell him you want accountability. Here's the address:

Sepp Blatter FIFA Box 85 8030 Zurich, Switzerland"

posted by cjets at 05:10 PM on June 18

Oh England... Just terrible. Horrible showing, horrible game.

The USA and Algeria one sounds better, or at least interesting - but I didn't get a chance to watch it. I've missed all the good games and been stuck watching nothing but shit.

But watch CBC re-broadcast the England game. I hope they surprise me.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:15 PM on June 18

MrB: Who would you have picked? I'd say Crouch because he played well the whole (short) time he was on the pitch.

Possibly Belhadj or Bougherra (not that England challenged him too much).

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:16 PM on June 18

But watch CBC re-broadcast the England game. I hope they surprise me.

2am Eastern ESPN2 has the USA-Slovenia game on.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:17 PM on June 18

I can't see what all the American fans are complaining about. You can clearly see here the reason why the goal was disallowed. Somewhere. Probably.

Ok I give up, someone point it out for me.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:30 PM on June 18

Bottom right corner. Clearly a foul on the Americans there.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:33 PM on June 18

That's the easy part, YYM - there are about nineteen fouls on Americans in the picture, (I'm especially fond of the headlock). We're looking for the foul by the Americans.

FIFA said they were going to be cracking down on this nonsense too - I guess they meant the other way.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:36 PM on June 18

cjets - Though I am not beyond trolling (and I usually try to make it clear when I am), my comment had nothing to do with last night's championship game (which I cared little about as indicated by the turd I dropped in that thread). Merely the state of NBA and World Cup officiating in general, to which I would add most Olympics judging.

posted by graymatters at 06:03 PM on June 18

England were/are total fucking shit. They are lucky that France are worse, but they show the same utter lack of passion and commitment. They look like they want to get back to their big houses and cars and bottle-blonde, bottle-bronzed WAGs because the competition is just too much trouble for them, and I hope that if they go out with a whimper next week, people throw vuvuzelas at them when they turn out for their club sides.

I now half-want that to happen, because it means I don't have to waste any more emotional energy on the side, seeing as they haven't bothered showing any themselves.

The US were robbed of something, though I don't think you can say that the goal should have been given. Once the whistle blows -- when the ball was in the air from the free kick -- then what follows is moot. It's just that the whistle shouldn't have been blown against the Americans.

posted by etagloh at 06:08 PM on June 18

That's the easy part, YYM - there are about nineteen fouls on Americans in the picture, (I'm especially fond of the headlock). We're looking for the foul by the Americans.

I was attempting to be sarcastic, unfortunately I managed to point out the obvious while completely whiffing on the sarcasm.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:16 PM on June 18

Probably my fault. I think I broke my sarcasm meter earlier this week.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:20 PM on June 18

If I am reading the schedules correctly (and this may actually be common or traditional in the World Cup), but I think it's great that the last two matches in each group are played at the same time. Prevents the later team from knowing what their status is based on the earlier game.

posted by graymatters at 06:52 PM on June 18

Hopefully the guy fouling Bradley bought him a few drinks after the match.

posted by scully at 06:55 PM on June 18

Graymatters: Check out this post. It explains why they play the last two matches at the same time.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:04 PM on June 18

this may actually be common or traditional in the World Cup

Previously: Algeria has a big part in why you're right about the scheduling, and why you'll need two screens next week.

posted by etagloh at 08:05 PM on June 18

Fair enough, Gray. But the post in the other thread was trolling (and I should have just responded there).

posted by cjets at 08:05 PM on June 18

yym - thanks

posted by graymatters at 08:28 PM on June 18

I never in a million years would have guessed that the thing that would get everyone in the American sports world abuzz about the World Cup was a blown call. In its own way, that blown call might be the best thing that has ever happened for soccer in the USA. It could become the Russia v USA 1980's Olympic Hockey game of Soccer.

/only slight hyperbole

posted by Joey Michaels at 09:28 PM on June 18

I think that blown call denied the U.S. the first win for a World Cup team ever that trailed 2-0 at the half.

posted by rcade at 09:38 PM on June 18

And "awful" is too kind. I don't think you could adequately describe England's performance without swearing. A lot.

Depending on how badly the match against Italy goes, New Zealand could end up doing better than England in a football world cup.

This would be hysterically funny. For me, anyway.

(And would be a delightful fuck-you to every "New Zealand don't deserve to be there, get rid of Oceana to make room for another fourth-tier European nation" type comment that's been made.)

posted by rodgerd at 10:33 PM on June 18

(Also, can the Poms please get off poor old Rob Green's case; yes, he fucked up a sitter. If any of the rest of his team's vastly better-paid players were capable of getting a ball into a net, well, it wouldn't matter.)

posted by rodgerd at 10:37 PM on June 18

It could become the Russia v USA 1980's Olympic Hockey game of Soccer.

Thinking that it is more like the 1972 Olympic Basketball matchup.

posted by tselson at 10:38 PM on June 18

That was hardly a dive. He may not have fought hard to stay on his feet, but it was still a foul.

Remember that post when Italy plays next, please.

posted by grum@work at 11:05 PM on June 18

Lol. Looks like a sniper took him out.

posted by bdaddy at 11:35 PM on June 18

I think that blown call denied the U.S. the first win for a World Cup team ever that trailed 2-0 at the half.

A couple of teams have been 2-0 down beyond half time and come back to win, however.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:55 PM on June 18

I'm no soccer fan, so I don't know this answer...how prevalent are dives like the one grum posted? If I was on the field for something like that, I'd go back and kick the guy for being such a blatant douche...reminds me of this or this...

posted by MeatSaber at 02:25 AM on June 19

Two answers to that - both "too much" and not as much as it's made out.

Personally I'd like TV shows like Match of the Day to have a section at the end that picks out dives every week and ridicules them and the English FA to start revisiting blatant dives with video evidence and applying yellow cards retroactively.

But at the same time there are >40 games a weekend in England alone. Combine that with other leagues across all European countries alone playing full schedules, (never mind the other continents), and you have thousands of players on the field every week. So if you want to find footage of someone diving, you can. Also, if you want to find footage of someone standing on the ball and falling over, or footage of someone missing an empty net, you can.

Meanwhile, not to go all CSI on people, but I thought the De Rossi incident was not a dive and I think you can see it in the flop .gif and in the video.

And again in the bigger image.

Looks like the Paraguayan stood on his ankle. It wasn't a foul, but that doesn't automatically make it a dive.

I think this is the part where I say something pithy and put on my sunglasses, but it's early.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:30 AM on June 19

That image ignores the next step he takes with his left leg forward.

It's a blatant, unquestionable dive. It's a disgrace. His own teammates should be angry with him. His friends should laugh at him. And his family should be ashamed.

posted by 86 at 09:02 AM on June 19

He's actually reaching back and has thrown his head back before his left foot touches the floor again and it only touches the floor again as part of him collapsing.

I'm not claiming he doesn't roll about like a nonce, thereafter.

However, I remember going through this Zapruder-style analysis at the last world cup over whether Khalid Boulahrouz had lamped Ronaldo in the nuts and that was about as fun as being poked in the eye with a lemon covered knitting needle, so I'll return my sunglasses to Caruso's truck and leave this at this point.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:27 AM on June 19

For what it's worth, I'm going to come in with you on that Mr. B - well spotted. He made a massive meal of it, but for all he knew, the guy did it on purpose and the ref would never have seen it if he hadn't gone down like he'd been shot.

posted by JJ at 10:05 AM on June 19

Looks like the Paraguayan stood on his ankle. It wasn't a foul, but that doesn't automatically make it a dive.

Except, when you watch it at full speed, the Italian doesn't even STUMBLE when the Paraguayan is supposedly making contact.

There is no hitch in his step, his balance isn't thrown off, and nothing happens until he begins to throw his hands in the air and his head back.

The Italian knows that the other player is going behind him, so he tries to draw the foul.

posted by grum@work at 08:16 AM on June 20

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