FanDuel - WFBC

June 17, 2006

Who Says a Tie is a Bad Thing?: The US soccer team looked almost unrecognizable today from their efforts against the Czech Republic in their first World Cup match. Even while playing a large portion of the match with only nine men due to some questionable calls, the entire team stepped it up, especially Kasey Keller in the goal. Add in the help from Ghana today, and the US are still in this thing.

posted by NightingalesGone to soccer at 09:04 PM - 47 comments

A tie isn't a bad thing, it just isn't a good thing. Because now, even if the United States wins against Ghana, we have to count on Italy winning against the Czech Republic. And if Italy loses or ties, we have to beat Ghana by at least three goals.

posted by v3rity at 09:48 PM on June 17

Well...who says that the Czech will beat Italy. Italy should beat the Czech Republic based solely on the fact that the Czech team is missing several key players and the Italians will be smarting after the tie with team USA. If anything, team USA needs to not focus on scoreboard watching. They control their own destiny. All this is moot if Team USA only TIES Ghana...they need a W more than anything else. 4 points will do it...lets hope that that's what it takes.

posted by chemwizBsquared at 10:18 PM on June 17

I've come to a shocking revelation...Americans HATE (wait, that's too strong a word...we are very ignorant and defiant towards) any form of tie game. We do not like the word "tie" at all because it proves nothing. This is why many Americans struggle to comprehend the game of Futbol (soccer) and (prior to the rules change) hockey...ties just aren't very fun. Yet, sometimes some of the greatest games end up without a winner. Just look at that Atlanta-Pittsburgh FOOTBALL game back a couple of years ago...that one was a thriller.

posted by chemwizBsquared at 11:07 PM on June 17

Soccer sucks&this just proves it!!! Thank you Rene Descartes. Always nice to meet a fellow fan of the scientific method.

posted by yerfatma at 11:14 PM on June 17

It was a great game, and the story was definitely NOT the lame-o "American grit" story that they were peddling after McBride's injury and after the second send-off. For long periods in the first half the US was totally dominating the play and imposing their will on Italy in the midfield by stringing together very nice passes and always looking for an attack possibility. No, this wasn't innate skill vs raw grit - this was a game between teams that each had strengths and weaknesses.

posted by mikelbyl at 11:22 PM on June 17

The US played well, but after Beasley's (non) goal they were clearly dominated by Italy. There's no shame in that - they were a man down. But it was frustrating watching them use Italy's own catenaccio defense - long kicks down the field with no real offense. The punts & goal kicks in particulary seemed like nothing more than an attempt to burn 8-10 more seconds off the clock. Fortunately Keller played well when we needed him.

posted by drumdance at 11:51 PM on June 17

I agree the US team showed real strength and skill and not just "grit". They dominated the midfield - not easy to do against Italy - but couldn't crack the Italian back 4. They may not have resembled #5 team in the world but they showed top-12 skill and organization.

posted by rumple at 11:54 PM on June 17

How about those officials, eh?

posted by igottheblues at 12:00 AM on June 18

Too many stoppages for sure, but the red cards: the elbow was definite, the first USian tackle was marginal but fell on the side of a red card (two feet into the ankle with the ball two metres away), the second USian red was from a second yellow. So while it was not good that there was mostly 10 on 9 soccer, the calls were not bad: blame the players concerned.

posted by rumple at 12:08 AM on June 18

Questionable calls? Which ones specifically? All three sendings off were correct, as was the disallowed goal. The referee had a pretty good game I thought. At least he didn't bottle making the big decisions. USA played really well, and could easily have won the game. Blame Pope and Mastroeni for their stupidity, not the referee.

posted by salmacis at 06:06 AM on June 18

Eh. I don't really think that the tackle waranted a red card. Maybe a yellow, but not a red. Then again, it's just my opinion and I'm not a world cup ref. The offsides was the correct call though. But, hey, I guess there's not too much to complain about. If we play like we did against Italy and maybe Ghana falls back a bit in their play, we could still be partying come Thursday night.

posted by NightingalesGone at 06:51 AM on June 18

And if Italy loses or ties, we have to beat Ghana by at least three goals. If Italy loses, their goal differential will be no higher than 1. We'd have to beat Ghana by 5 to pass them in that tiebreaker (or 6 if Italy ties). I think that tiebreaker is utterly hopeless for the U.S.

posted by rcade at 07:47 AM on June 18

I've come to a shocking revelation...Americans HATE (wait, that's too strong a word...we are very ignorant and defiant towards) any form of tie game. I'm coming around to the idea that tie games can be among the best in soccer. The tension stays at that one-goal-is-everything peak for a torturously long time.

posted by rcade at 07:54 AM on June 18

Well, I liked it... I had a helluva time watching this game -- satellite signal kept breaking up, so after some frantic trimming of tree limbs during a thunderstorm (not the brightest move, heh), and still not getting a useful signal from ABC, I ended up watching the second half on Univision. My Spanish soccer vocabulary is improving but it ain't there yet, unfortunately. US looked good to me, great saves by Kelly but doodly for shots on goal...oh well, it was fun to watch.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:10 AM on June 18

I'm coming around to the idea that tie games can be among the best in soccer. Amen. It's some how much more organic, for lack of a better word. Like life, a lot of the time you don't win or lose. Sometimes, it's just a deadlock. I was really disappointed when NCAA football moved to the circus-trick shootouts to settle draws. I always thought having a tie or two in your record made the league and playoff races a lot more interesting. Similarly with hockey.

posted by psmealey at 08:17 AM on June 18

Soccer sucks&this just proves it!!! Why is it on this site that at least one mouth breather has to piss in every single thread about soccer?

posted by psmealey at 08:39 AM on June 18

If it's any consolation, psmealey, that kind of trolling helps the admins pick off the slow-thinking newbies who fall out of the herd.

posted by rcade at 08:54 AM on June 18

If it's any consolation, psmealey, that kind of trolling helps the admins pick off the slow-thinking newbies who fall out of the herd. Now I have this image in my head of rcade flying over us with a helicopter, shouting about the "weak newbie" while his assistant gets ready with the tranquilizer rifle to take him out.

posted by grum@work at 09:15 AM on June 18

I ended up watching the second half on Univision. L_B_B, you are much better off watching the games on Univision. The ABC/ESPN coverage is painful to listen too and the graphics that take up better than 1/4 of the tv screen are very anoying.

posted by Folkways at 09:59 AM on June 18

You're only better off watching on Univision if you don't have an HDTV. If you have any chance to check out the games in HD, do so- the extra few inches of field are great additional context, perhaps making a bigger difference for footie than for any other sport.

posted by tieguy at 10:36 AM on June 18

All I know is, I am just starting to get into the world cup. I have never watched much futbol before, and games like this will definately keep me watching. The US sure as hell stepped it up against Italy, compared to when we played the Czechs. Hopefully, with a win and some help we'll make the second round.

posted by jojomfd1 at 11:04 AM on June 18

I guess this proves all those statements about the unreliability of witnesses, because I thought this was terrible game to watch, and agree with the journalist in the Sunday Times today who called it ugly

posted by Fence at 11:19 AM on June 18

Soccer sucks&this just proves it!!! The World thinks otherwise, so you're an insignificant minority here! I just realize that even though I love Baseball with deep passion, the last game I watched was the Curt/Johan match-up. I've been mostly focused on soccer....It's been impossible to not follow this great soccer games on TV.... (By the way, RedSox won and Yanks lost yesterday) Ok back to soccer.... Thank goodness for Univision's coverage! Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal

posted by zippinglou at 11:30 AM on June 18

L_B_B, you are much better off watching the games on Univision. The ABC/ESPN coverage is painful to listen too and the graphics that take up better than 1/4 of the tv screen are very anoying. Yeah, but I do need some vocab, honestly. Anyone got a good futbol lexicon en espanol?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:52 AM on June 18

Well, lbb likes it. What more confirmation do we need? (Not dripping in sarcasm...this time.)

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:55 AM on June 18

I thought this was terrible game to watch From the disinterested observer's standpoint, I'll concede that it was not a thing of beauty. From my standpoint (and others of those on this community blog) however, as someone who has followed the progression of the US international football squad since 1984 ( I played youth and high school soccer with and against John Harkes in NJ), I found it to be gripping. Time was when the US team was easily intimidated by very strong teams from Englad, (then) Yugoslavia, Brazil, Germany and even Mexico for a long time. To see a US team stand up to the physcial pounding exerted upon them by a larger and more talented Italian side, and moreover, give back better than they got was a revelation. Clearly, the US has at least another decade to go before they are truly considered an elite side, but yesterday demonstrated to a lot of us that they are at least physically positioned to get there. Ugly it may have been, but I'll take it. Maybe we can't yet play the beautiful game over here, but after yesterday, we are one step closer.

posted by psmealey at 11:56 AM on June 18

Well said, psmealy, IMHO.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:22 PM on June 18

Excellent assessment, psmealey.

posted by igottheblues at 12:48 PM on June 18

Spot on Smealey. I thought it was a very interesting game to watch and I was impressed at the way nine Americans outplayed ten Italians for large periods of the second half. It'll be interesting on Thursday now, as the US will be without Pope and Mastroeni and the Ghanians will be without both players who scored against the Czechs.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:57 PM on June 18

Soccer makes golf on tv look exciting. At least the US Open didn't end in a tie. Soccer is a great sport to play, I used to play in a fairly competitive league, but on tv a 1-1 tie is boooooriing. The red card issue doesn't bother me much, that happens in any sport with an official, look at the last NBA game. Glad to se that on the home and garden channel they have a special on paint drying...should be exciting!

posted by dviking at 06:45 PM on June 18

psmealey: "I was really disappointed when NCAA football moved to the circus-trick shootouts to settle draws. " You have got to be joking. The NCAA's football OT, is way more thrilling than the NFL's OT. Typically, whoever gets the ball first in the NFL's OT, ends up winning the game. Who can forget that classic 2003 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl? Yeah, Miami did get screwed with that Phantom pass interference call, but it was tremendously exciting. Mr Bismarck: "I was impressed at the way nine Americans outplayed ten Italians for large periods of the second half." Was I watching the same game? How exactly did the 9 U.S. players outplay Italy's 10? Italy dominated most, if not all, of the second half. But anyways, I was very impressed how the U.S. played being one man down. They looked nothing like that way they did in their first game. Even though there were some stupid mistakes, cough**Pope**cough, it was a good game. dviking: "Soccer makes golf on tv look exciting." Soccer is in no way that bad.

posted by STUNNER at 07:00 PM on June 18

but on tv a 1-1 tie is boooooriing. NOT! I was jumping out of my seat almost every couple of minutes each time any of the teams approached the other goal! The only time I did so while watching golf, was when Phil Mickelson's went for double bogey on the final hole..... Now that's Boooring!

posted by zippinglou at 07:16 PM on June 18

Cisse everyone! I agree with Salmacis. The calls were good, but perhaps a few good talking tos would have helped ease things a bit. The ref really let the lads play after the Pope red though. Still a LOT of work to be done by the US team (without 2 starters), but they also need help from Italy. And the reward? They get to play Brazil! Good luck on all counts.

posted by scully at 08:03 PM on June 18

Who is the fellow with the Scottish or Irish accent who's doing the games on ABC -- every time I hear him get excited, I think of the cartoon guys in the Guinness ads -- brilliant! Good match yesterday. Not a thing of beauty, but competitive and it kept me watching. I look at World Cup the way I view college basketball -- I don't pay much attention most of the time, but get the tournament going and I'm there -- all the excitement without the slog of the season...

posted by ajaffe at 09:20 PM on June 18

Not a thing of beauty, but a barnstormer. The last 20 minutes fell off in intensity, probably because everyone was knackered from going in studs up all the time. The US changed their line up and tactics, but unfortunately you run the risk of red cards if you keep going in like that. As said above, all cards were deserved - and Pope was lucky to stay on after the first yellow - wasn't he the last defender at the time? The US team showed they can muscle up, in complete contrast to the Czech game. The draw and the Ghana result puts the pool wide open. Game on!

posted by owlhouse at 10:09 PM on June 18

Agreed psmealey..considering past years' performances (especially '90 and '98) a 1-1 tie with a squad the caliber of Italy seems beautifully ugly to me. Now I hope the U.S. can make Ghana a goner--even if it means a 3-0 loss to Brazil in the 2nd round. (Maybe such a match would be closer..say 1-0 like '94. Too bad that potential match can't be played in Palo Alto. NO JINX! NO JINX!

posted by curtangle at 11:12 PM on June 18

I am on the ajaffe bandwagon, but with one difference I do pay attention. We need more true allaround sports fans who just care about sports in general especially soccer. Isnt that what this thread is all about ? so all you haters need to go somewhere else.

posted by skins fan at 02:51 AM on June 19

Re: "Ties suck". I will never understand how someone can honestly watch something, or experience something for the first time (or first few times), and then turn to all the people who have been watching and experiencing it for their entire lives - and proceed to tell them what is bad about it, or what needs changing. Honestly - do you think that you've discovered some deep revalation that has escaped the attention of actual soccer fans and experts for hundreds of years? You? Bob Q. Puntpants from Pecyaune County? You think people are going to slap themselves in the head and proclaim "My God, you're right! Ties suck so bad - I never thought of it before!". Give it a chance. It's different. Different isn't bad. Try it on for a while, it works. It just works.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:02 AM on June 19

ajaffe - He's Tommy Smyth.

posted by blarp at 08:20 AM on June 19

what i think is funny is how defensive and sarcastic most soccer fans get about their sport when threatened with a different opinion. just because soccer is so popular worldwide, doesn't mean you can stare down your noses at the rest of us who aren't as interested. lighten up....

posted by ksb122 at 08:31 AM on June 19

Mcbride and the COACH needs to be sent back home. THEY BOTH SUCK!!!!!! Put in Eddie Johnson . He is the only scorer on the team...... Mcbride plays weak and was never a threat. The coach puts to much stock in the players that play in Europe. He needs to play Dempsey and Johnson at the same time.

posted by Dallas at 09:11 AM on June 19

what i think is funny is how defensive and sarcastic most soccer fans get about their sport when threatened with a different opinion. Yeah, but what I think is funny is the idea that any of these opinions have any redeeming value. They don't. They're based on casual observation by people who obviously don't grasp the game and haven't given it much thought outside of a simple one or two-game reaction. From TV. You know, I've been in a couple planes before, should I start telling them how to run an airport? (I really can't think of a better evaluation right now)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:18 AM on June 19

Way to go Weedy!!!

posted by skins fan at 10:30 AM on June 19

what i think is funny is how defensive and sarcastic most soccer fans get about their sport when threatened with a different opinion. I don't think they're threatened, they're just tired of dumbasses shitting all over soccer threads with "Your sport sucks" comments. If you offer a well-thought, coherent viewpoint, I think you'll find them receptive.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:15 PM on June 19

after some frantic trimming of tree limbs during a thunderstorm - now that is dedication. oh yeah. Go Ties!

posted by garfield at 01:19 PM on June 19

Just because we may not be a fan of a particular sport we do not need to down it. That is the beauty of sports, there is something out there for everyone to enjoy. It would suck If we only had one sport to watch. Its kind of like women. If you don't like a tall one pick a short one. If you don't like skinney ones get a fat one.......all that matters is that you enjoy it. Like the commercial says " Life without sport is BORING"......As for me, I love having a variety of different sports to watch.

posted by Dallas at 03:02 PM on June 20

Good point Dallas, I don't come on here slating Basketball, Baseball or American Football ;-)

posted by walrus at 03:53 PM on June 20

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