Saturday, June 17, 2006

World Cup, Week in Review

We've survived the first week. There were beautiful goals (pick an Argentina finish), spectacular saves (T&T's geriatric keeper had a few), and mindboggling mistakes (hey Iran's goalie: next time kick it to your own team). We bring you the week's recap, and can't wait for more...

Most surprising team
Ok, we're biased. But how can you not pick the Soca Warriors in this spot? First they tie their group's 1-seed, and then fight to the finish against England. T&T have shown the most heart in the tourney thus far, and can even make the 2nd round still. If they beat Paraguay and England beat Sweden, the Socas are through to the elimination round. (Runners-up: Ecuador and Angola)

Most disappointing team
Has to be the Americans. They had something to prove after their great '02 Copa Mondial, but came out flat. The European fans were salivating to label the Americans as overrated, and the world's #2 team obliged. The Americans must make many corrections for today's match vs. Italy, or the Azzuri will deliver the knockout blow. (Runners-up: Poland and France)

Best Goal:
This one's a tie. The first is individual: Tomas Rosicky's absolute laser that left Kasey Keller -- and the Americans -- deflated and on their backs. We may go the rest of the Cup without seeing another 35-yarder that pierces the side netting.
The other is team-oriented: In yesterday's steamrolling by Argentina, Hernan Crespo trapped an entry pass and proceeded to execute the perfect heel-flick to a streaking Esteban Cambiasso, who finished strongly. We will now take the opportunity to remind you that we picked the 'Tinians to win it all. (Runners-up: See em all here.)

Best player not named Ronaldinho so far:
Arjen Robben, Netherlands.
He is probably playing even better than the Barca superstar. After completely dominating the Dutch's 1-0 opening win, he set up Ruud's goal that proved to be the game-winner in yesterday's 2-1 triumph over Cote D'Ivoire. No one has been able to corral him thus far, and if he continues like this, the Oranje are to be reckoned with later on.

Most disappointing player not named DeMarcus Beasley:
It's a shame, but the Americans could really have 3 or 4 players here. Instead we will go down south and pick one of the world's most talented: Mr. Ronaldo. The star of the '02 Cup looked fat, tired, out of shape, and disinterested (as Sporlinoted by Brazil's PRESIDENT). And the Brazilian media let him know it. Look for him to pick it up next game, or he will be watching the 22-year-old budding star Robinho from the bench.

Best team not named Brazil:
Argentina. They put on an aboslute clinic yesterday against a Serbian squad that looked like they longed for Eastern Europe. Most teams in this tournament will go all 3 games without scoring 6 goals, and the 'Tinians did it in one game. They looked absolutely dominant.


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