Copa America Has Been A Huge Disappointment

When a team can reach the finals of a tournament without winning a game, there’s a problem. And that’s exactly what Paraguay did last night with its shootout victory over Venezuela. There were a grand total of zero goals in the game but there was a huge brawl afterward that turned the game from bad to embarrassing. Really? It’s the semifinals of a major tournament, no one score and the game turns into a battle after the PKs.

This was Paraguay’s second tie against Venezuela in this Copa America with the first coming in the group stage but at least that one ended 3-3. They also tied Brazil twice, 2-2 in the group stage and 0-0 in the quarterfinals where they advanced on penalties.

All in all, there have been 13 games that haven’t ended in a draw or penalty kicks. That’s out of 24 games so far. Nearly have the games have ended up as a draw, including two quarterfinal matches and one of the semifinals (and they went to PKs). Paraguay could actually win this tournament by scoring five total goals and not winning a game!

The top two teams, Brazil and Argentina, failed to advance past the quarterfinals and won just two games combined. During the whole tournament, there have been just 46 goals (less than two a game). And if you take away July 13 when there were 12 goals in two matches, that leaves 34 goals in 22 games. Continue reading “Copa America Has Been A Huge Disappointment”

Soccer, Soccer, Soccer

Ladies and Gentlemen, the invasion may have begun. This summer, soccer has received more media attention and ESPN coverage than ever in the United States. Between the US’s World Cup Qualifying, the Confederations Cup, and the Gold Cup, the USMNT has been on tva lot. Now add in all of those friendlies between various American clubs and the superpowers over in Europe. Real Madrid, AC Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea, and Inter Milan all drew HUGE crowds in stadiums across the country and ESPN televised every game. And at least once a week, if not more, ESPN showed an MLS game. Soccer was more prominent in the United States than ever before during this Summer.

Now, the step is even bigged. ESPN is showing the Premier League and La Liga matches every weekend. That is a MASSIVE step. A lot of the reasons why American don’t follow soccer is that it’s tough to watch the games and to follow the sport. Well now, every weekend morning you can wake up to the best teams in the world playing live, meaningful games on a common station. For soccer fans living in the US, this is extraordinarily exciting. For me, I get to watch my favorite team, Real Madrid, every Sunday morning. Of course, I watched them before on other networks, but watching on ESPN adds so much more. Continue reading “Soccer, Soccer, Soccer”

US Soccer Continues To Impress

Most people have stopped following the US Men’s National Team after it’s tough loss to Brazil in the finals of the Confederations Cup. The US has actually been participating in the Gold Cup, a tournament for teams in the Americas, over the last several weeks. The matches have all taken place on US soil and the United States has used almost no players who played in the Confederations Cup, but nevertheless, the United States will face Mexico in the Finals tomorrow at Giants Stadium.

For those that have watched the games, the United States certainly hasn’t run over its opponents. The US won the games they needed to win, but didn’t demolish anyone and weren’t at the form seen in South Africa. That would make sense though since the roster has just four carryovers – Freddy Adu, Charlie Davies, Heath Pearce, and Luis Robles. Seven players were looking for their first cap while sixteen of the twenty-three man roster have less than five caps. The team looked nothing like the Confederations Cup roster yet they find themselves winning games and advancing. Continue reading “US Soccer Continues To Impress”