Full disclosure: this post is going to be entirely about the World Cup. Sorry, but I'm obsessed right now. I will be publishing posts on some recent Supreme Court cases, my housesitting experiences with my dogg Sophie (who is a cat), and a crackpot theoretical discussion on evolution and my broken finger. But for now, it's Cup.
First things first: I would be remiss if I didn't give big ups to The Man, Ronaldo, for getting his 2 goals to tie the all-time World Cup goal scoring record of Der Bomber, Gerd Muller, at 14. Klose (9) may eventually pass him but until then congrats to the big man. I've been joking around, calling him Fatty, and a little more seriously suggesting that Robinho should be in there instead of him, but I have been a Ronaldo fan for several years so I'm glad he got his 2. And I'm glad he got them in the first round, so they can have a clear conscience when they start Robinho against France or Spain in the Quarterfinals.
I'm writing this update as I watch Germany dominate Sweden in the first match of the elimination rounds. Things just aren't going Sweden's way today (2 unwarranted yellows equaling an unwarranted red to Lucic; Larrson shanks a PK), but it's not all bad luck. Germany look very good. They've officially moved into a tie with Spain for #3 in my power rankings. If Argentina beat Mexico this afternoon, the quarterfinal match between them should be the match of the Cup so far. Hopefully it will end better for los Gauchos than the 1990 Final did.
Since my last update, there have been quite a few games but they were either match # 2 of *yawn* Group G and *yawn* Group H, or they were the third matches, which often suck because teams are either eliminated already or have advanced already and are trying to rest or protect players. So, I won't recap them all but a few are worthy of mention:
Germany vs Ecuador - how much do stamps cost in Ecuador? It can't be that much because Ecuador had no problem mailing this one in. We'll see how good they are against a tough English squad tomorrow (Owen's injury is the best thing that ever happened to England). Have we seen the last of the wrestling mask? That would be the most disappointing early death of a funny sports thing, since the "Who's Your Daddy" chant from Yankees fans to Pedro didn't make it beyond 2 months.
Portugal vs Mexico - a lovely tribute to Greg Louganis.
Argentina vs Netherlands - you know you're watching too much World Cup when every analyst agrees that a game is boring and disappointed, and you're absolutely riveted by the 90 minutes of midfield passing. I'm losing it.
USA vs Ghana - First of all, I told you so, John L. 2nd of all, that penalty kick was total bullshit. 3rd of all, it doesn't matter because the US wouldn't have advanced anyways and honestly they didn't deserve to advance. They just didn't play well in their 3 matches. There was some scrappy play against Italy and a gorgeous goal by Dempsey in this match, but the rest of their effort was crap. 4 shots on goal in 3 matches is pathetic.
Switzerland vs S. Korea - Switzerland hasn't conceded a goal yet. They should be able to beat Ukraine and they definitely have a shot at beating Italy and making it to the Semifinals. No way they beat Germany or Argentina, though.
VTK Current Power Rankings:
3. Spain (tie)
3. Germany (tie)
6. England (tie)
6. Portugal (tie)
10. Ivory Coast
13. Mexico (tie)
13. Ghana (tie)
16. Czech Republic
17. South Korea
24. Trinidad & Tobago
25. Tunisia (tie)
25. Serbia/Montenegro (tie)
25. Poland (tie)
30. Costa Rica
32. Saudi Arabia
Si se puede, Gauchos!!