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88 posts from June 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spain-USA isn't exactly a hot ticket

One day left until the Americans face their biggest test yet, a date with No. 1 Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinals.

While the game carries giant significance for the Yanks, fans in South Africa seem nonplussed. Worried about a poor turnout, FIFA has handed out some free tickets for the match, although did not specify how many.

Sure, the Confederations Cup is not the World Cup, in which fans from competing countries are sure to make the trip, but if the host nationa can't sell out a meaningful match with the best team in the world, it isn't a great sign for 2010.

Oh yeah, then there's this delicious story: Spain favored over US to reach Confed Cup final.

Ya think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Miami FC's rockin' trip to Cleveland

Their bellies were empty, their bus driver was lost and gametime was just two hours away.

Not exactly how the Miami FC Blues wanted to start the road trip that could define their 2009 season.

But 50 or so hours later, the team pulled out of Cleveland's Middlefield Cheese Stadium with its second win in three days and a new lease on life.

Want more?

Obama to World Cup? Plus ConfedCUp off-day

So I'm officially back in the saddle. Still can't believe what went down in South Africa Sunday. It truly was one of the most improbable series of events ever.

Hats off to Bob Bradley for keeping this team together. After falling to 0-2-0 with a minus-5 differential, the Yanks could have easily packed it in. Instead, they played inspired soccer against Egypt, and deserve to advance.

Action resumes Wednesday, when the Americans tangle with No. 1 Spain at 2:30 p.m. ET. The game will be aired on ESPN.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to be a dynamic attraction, regardless of the continent. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has invited the president to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. While any sitting (or former) Commander in Chief could get a ticket if he really wanted one, the historical significance of the first African-American president attending the world's biggest sporting event in a country that had a system of legal segregation as recently as 15 years ago should not be overlooked.

Michelle's Monday Musings..

Still can't believe it...

World Cup champion Italy goes home. USA survives by the hair of its chinny-chin-chin!

Bob Bradley needs to send a giant Thank You note to Dunga!

Spain up next (2:30 p.m. Wednesday, ESPN). Only the best team in the world.

So, if you're Bradley, who do you start?

How do you like this lineup: Howard in goal. Spector, DeMerit, Onyewu and Bornstein in back. Torres, Clark, Bradley, Donovan in midfield. Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore up top.

Or, do you go with speedy Charie Davies, who scored against Egypt?

United States in semis -- miracles do happen

I'm too tired to give a proper response to this, but in case you've been under a rock today, from AP:

RUSTENBURG, South Africa -- Outplayed by Italy and Brazil, the U.S. soccer team once again was on the verge of first-round elimination from a big international tournament.

To reach the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, the Americans needed to beat Egypt by at least three goals while the world champion Italians lost to Brazil by at least three.

Astronomical odds, right?

Well, advance they did.

Charlie Davies scored in the 21st minute and Michael Bradley - the son of U.S. coach Bob Bradley - connected in the 63rd to get a Father's Day goal for the second straight year. Clint Dempsey then broke a nine-month international scoreless streak in the 71st, giving the United States an improbable 3-0 victory Sunday night.

And in a game played simultaneously, Brazil scored three times in the first half to defeat Italy 3-0.

Blues sweep two-game series at Cleveland

Look what happens when I take vacation.

Three matches. Two days. Six points. Talk about a great road trip. Miami FC takes two from the faltering Cleveland City Stars to move into sixth place of USL-1.

Much more on this Monday after a good night's sleep.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Michelle's Father's Day Musings...

WOW! What a Father's Day. Sat around the TV with my husband and brother (both huge soccer fans) and here is what we saw...

Michael Bradley giving his dad, Coach Bob, a wonderful Father's Day gift -- Goal No. 2 in a stunning 3-0 US victory over Egypt. Going into the match, US had to overcome a 6-goal differential on Italy. Fat chance, right? Well, they did it. Brazil knocked off Italy 3-0 and the US played with way more heart. Davies' first goal was due to his persistence, and Clint Dempsey headed home the clincher.

Nice passing by Landon Donovan. And it could have been 4-0 if ref had seen hand-ball defense of Jozy Altodore's shot.

Hard to believe that in one week the US will have played Italy, Brazil and Spain (coming up Wednesday!) -- three of the top 5 teams in the world. Talk about a World Cup warmup.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blues double pleasure in Cleveland

As I've already mentioned, I'm off. But Miami FC is not.

With their U.S. Open Cup hopes dashed, the Blues focus is now solely on making the USL-1 playoffs.

There's no better time to get back in the hunt than the present.

Miami FC faces Cleveland twice in three days up at the Mistake By The Lake. The Blues beat the City Stars 3-1 in the season opener, and are coming off a 2-0 victory over Austin. All is not lost, Ultras.

Want to watch the match? There's a party at Fritz and Franz.

Americans blasted again

New superpower. Same story. Three days after Italy trounced the United States, Brazil piles on with a 3-0 decision. The Brazilians score twice in the first 20 minutes to essentially eliminate the Americans.

The United States' last chance for respectability will come against Egypt Sunday.

I'm technically off until Monday, but I'll be bloggin' here and there throughout the weekend.

Follow all the action here.

Michelle's Musings...USA hurtin'...

US is losing 3-0 to Brazil in the 65th minute...

This does not bode well for next summer. Team looks overmatched. Has the team progressed or regressed since 2002? Hard to tell right now. What do YOU think? Share your thoughts. Is it better for US players to be on bench in Europe or starting in MLS? And by the way, Brazil looks...like Brazil!