Very bummed about the World Cup exit, but the team simply didnít look good. They may have Ďoutplayedí Italy and Ghana in those games, but itís hard to argue that they donít deserve to be heading home after this round. Itís pretty clear the US still has a few more years of catching up to do. I had a ton of stuff going through my head during the past couple weeks that I think could make for good blog posts later down the line. For now, I just have to leave you with some photos since we are busy packing to catch a plane back to Seattle in a few hours.
By the way, Nuremberg is a great little city. Of the handful of cities I have now visited in Germany, Neremberg is at the top of the list of places I would recommend visiting. We would have liked to stay another day, but it just wasnít possible. Cologne was a very cool city as well, but I think the soccer revelers helped that city look livelier than it usually is. Nuremberg seemed like a great place to visit regardless of what was going on around you. Donít bother with Munich if you ever have to make a choice between these cities.
For the US v Czech game, we had a very difficult time getting to the stadium on time. It wasnít our fault. We were just trying to use the public transportation to get to the stadium from the city center (4 miles). We gave ourselves over two hours to make this trip and we barely got to our seats before the national anthems were played. When I recounted this story to Chiz, she got worried and made me promise we would give ourselves plenty of time in Nuremberg to get to the stadium. It worked out really well because the Fan Fest was being held about a 25 minute walk from the stadium, so we chilled there for a few hours and took in the scene which Chizzy described as ďmini AmericaĒ. If any of you ever find yourself in a situation where you are trying to defend American ambivalence toward soccer you might remember these photos. Iíve never seen such an enthusiastic patriotic display in my entire life.
A lot more photos...Continue reading "At least the fans came through"...
Going to be in Nuremberg by tonight.
Players taking the field for the national anthems at the US v Czech game.
Iíve read more than a couple stories now that the US is actually watching the World Cup. That is really great. Tobin was saying before the games even started that this was going to be the year the US fans came into their own. Not necessarily because the US is great or anything. Itís just because the sport has got the respect of enough people now. I was amazed at the US presence at the Czech game and the Ghana game is just going to be insane.
This is where Chizzy and I watched the Brazil v Australia game on Sunday here in Zurich. I think this place is usually a dinner theater but they put in an enormous screen and packed it to the rafters. They even kept the lights down. Brazil fans dominated this place and you didnít quite realize how tense it really was until the first goal when they finally started enjoying themselves.
It has also become official that Chizzy will take interest in any sport if she gets to fill out a bracket and compete against co-workers and/or friends. She is in dead last amongst the 15 or so people at her office who are competing, but she is loving it and her horses are still in it. I won't tell you who she has winning it all though.
Don't wait to get to Germany to buy your USA gear. I think the only country in the tournament not represented in this display is the US.
Keep up to speed with Tobin Blog to get better game commentary.
Even though I realized a tie last night would probably technically leave a glimmer of hope for advancing, I didnít realize until later that the scenario for moving to the knock-out rounds isnít too insane.
You would think with just a tie and a loss after the first two games the scenario would involve a minor miracle. It doesn't. If the US beats Ghana and Italy beats the Czechs, the US is in! Not completely unimaginable those two results could happen. Those games, by the way, will be played simultaneously on Thursday (it will be morning for you in Seattle).
So, my dejection of last night has been replaced by sheer and utter joy with the fact that the game we are going to will have significant meaning. In fact, all four teams in the group have scenarios in which they can either advance or go home. I feel a bit sad if you don't care about this.
The revolution is happening. This shot was also taken in Gelsenkirchen. That is the image of US coach, Bruce Arena, if anybody was wondering.
The day after the US v Czech game, Reid and I saw ourselves on BBC World in a still photo they showed. We hoped we could find it online and when I looked at my email right after the previous post I see that Reid came through. He found it at ussoccer.com here.
I'm the one with the red shirt holding up the scarf a bit below the flag. Reid is in the blue garb next to me.
I may have more to say later.
Two quick ones
1.) The two tackles that ended in US players being sent off the field, in both cases, the playersí feet touched the ball before any contact was made. For those of you who are soccer fans, you know what Iím saying. For those of you who arenít, I think you can figure out the difference.
2.) Why the F******CK was Keller kicking the ball to the other keeper or the defense of Italy during the last 10 minutes of the game?
I didnít have the energy to post immediately about the great weekend trip to Cologne/Gelsenkirchen/Munich so I will just do one post about my World Cup adventures after the US v Ghana game next week.
As a teaser, here is a photo of some US fans at a small square in Gelsenkirchen a couple hours before the match. I love the Gadsden flag mixed in there (ďDonít Tread on MeĒ). The dude near the bottom right just flipping the bird to nobody in particular is pretty good too.
Iím just about out the door for my first World Cup weekend. Have fun with your lame NBA finals, chumps.
We took advantage of yet another Monday holiday here to take a weekend trip and add a new entry to our list of places visited. Chizzy had been to the Netherlands a couple times before but this was my first time to the country. We had an especially good trip because we had a personal tour guide thanks to a friend of Chizzyís that she has known since her study abroad trip to Finland and Russia back in the day. Some of you may remember Richard from a few years back when he and a friend visited Seattle. He was the one who got into the Karaoke mood at Ozzieís. We knew we were in for the full star treatment when he and his boyfriend, Ronnie, actually picked us up from the airport in Amsterdam. The first stop was Amsterdam city center to check into our hotel and see a bit of the sights that first evening.
A view from the fifth floor of Richardís hotel. Chizzy and I were staying around the corner at a different place (with no view).
A bicycle parking garage near the main train station. Everybody owns a bike in the Netherlands. Seriously. It is amazing.
Friday night around 10pm in Amsterdam.
Fun fact: In the Netherlands, even cats and dogs are required to use wooden shoes.
Continue reading "Holland"...
Burgers from a vending machine anyone?
Sorry about the heavy comment spam recently. I have a filter that catches a ton of it, but there will always be some that gets through with the simple blacklist mechanism I use. I just add the new offenders to the list and delete the comments. Not much else I am willing to do about it.