Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Pre-game scene in Salvador!

It's a gorgeous sunny day in Salvador...2 hours before USA v BEL kickoff...wonderful, serene scene outside this stadium, where there is a lakeside park filled with friendly, tame American and Belgian fans. Not as noisy as Colombia-Uruguay crowd, but they're having fun! This will give you an idea...


Guess who this guy is rooting for??



These guys BELIEVE!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ale Bedoya Post-Game

Here's what Weston's Alejandro Bedoya had to say after US 1-0 loss to Germany...

On his second-half collision with Jermaine Jones:

 AB: “It was just a weird collision. I had the ball and knew what I wanted to do next, but I didn’t really see him actually and we just collided. I guess it looks pretty bad on TV. I’m doing alright. I guess my head hit his nose so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s broke.”

 On having the crowd salute the players after the game:

 AB: “The fans were great support down here in Brazil. Some of these games we feel like we played back in the States. The American Outlaws and then seeing the red, white and blue in the stands was awesome. You got to applaud them for coming all the way to Brazil, supporting us. [The game against Germany was] a loss, but I think last game felt like more of a loss than this one but obviously we accomplished the goal that we wanted to do – that was get out of the group and now we’re looking forward.

 On the USA becoming the second favorite team of other country’s fans:

 AB: “That’s awesome, the more support, the better it helps us get motivated for the games. That’s great to hear. We’re here, we all helped each other and we all know we have 23 players that can get the job done.”

 On the weather conditions for the match in Recife:

 AB: “I don’t think the conditions had that great of an impact. Both teams had to deal with it. If anything the rain helps you move the ball a little bit quicker and that what we want to do well in terms of moving the ball at a high tempo. Those are things we have to work on. Germany is a great team with great players, but we advanced; that’s the most important thing.”

 On Belgium likely being the USA’s next opponent:

 AB: “I can’t really give you anything on that because we haven’t had the chance to sit down and take a look at them. I’m sure we’ll sit down in the next couple days, look at their video and attack them. We need to be better moving the ball and possessing it, playing at a higher tempo. Belgium is a great team as well with great young players so, we have to be careful there as well.”


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Game Day in Manaus!

Hi from Manaus, a very cool, funky town on the Amazon...This town is in the World Cup spirit with lots of yellow and green street decorations, streamers and balloons. USA vs. Portgual is just over five hours away! I have lots of photos from historic downtown/Port of Manaus and street scenes I will post as soon as wifi is good enough. In the meantime, here are a few shots from USA training yesterday and a few street scenes...





Family from Pittsburgh...




Friday, June 20, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Altidore out for Sunday

Quick notes from USA training Thur morning:

1. Jozy Altidore is officially out for Sunday's game vs. Portugal. Strained left hamstring. Team hopeful he will return later in the tournament. He is at camp undergoing treatment.

2. Matt Besler is fine, expected to play. Clint Dempsey hasn't decided if he will wear mask over broken nose or not. Team travels with masks if he wants one.

3. US players are preparing for Cristiano Ronaldo to play, despite his injured knee and rumors he won't play.

4. It is chilly and drizzly in Sao Paulo today, perfect weather for England, which plays Uruguay later this afternoon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Postscript from Natal...

It was a long night after that thrilling US win over Ghana. The US media had a midnight bus to catch to the Natal airport, where we caught at 2:45 a.m. flight back to Sao Paulo. The airport was JAM-PACKED with US fans. People sleeping on the floor, eating at the snack bars, buzzing about the game. Felt a lot like the train stations in France "98 and Germany '06. Great atmosphere, and fun to see so many US fans make the trek to this farflung beachtown. Feels like our team and fans are all grown up! 

Landed in Sao Paulo very early..


Then took hour and a half bus ride to hotel, rest, and off to US training at 2:30 p.m. (I plan to post video)

Some thoughts on the win, the day after...

- Jozy Altidore limped really badly after the game and it appears doubtful he'll be able to play anytime soon. Feel awful for him, as he was really fired up to do well here. "I was crushed,'' he said of the injury. "I knew right away I wouldn't be able to continue.''

- Matt Besler also had hamstring issue, but his seems less severe and it's possible he'll be back for Sunday's Portugal match.

- Alejandro Bedoya, our Weston local, started and worked hard every minute he was on the field. He seemed to pull something on his hip area, but is expected back for Sunday.

- Clint Dempsey's nose (likely broken) was still bothering him after the game. He said he had trouble breathing. Klinsmann brushed it off, saying he broke his nose 3-4 times in his career and it should not affect Dempsey's ability to play. As long as you have legs, Jurgen figures you can play.

- Jurgen Klinsmann is looking smart for putting John Brooks in there to replace Besler. The 6-4 kid was the unlikely hero with his 86th-minute header.

- The U.S. won with its American fighting spirit. Ghana dominated possession and took 21 shots to 8 for the U.S., but Ghana's shots were errant and the U.S. capitalized on the few chances it got. The win will give the Americans a boost of confidence and energy, but expect Portugal to be tougher than Ghana, especially coming off a 4-0 loss to Germany. "They're going to be angry, and we all know how Cristiano Ronaldo behaves when he's angry,'' Klinsmann said.

What are your thoughts on the US win? Curious to hear what you think back home....