With the Gold Cup just around the corner, FC Buffalo's season now underway, the Women's World Cup on the horizon later this month - and the Mets struggling to even be watchable - soccer will be getting some pretty consistent coverage over the next couple months. The Yachtsman - previously the sole promoter of the Beautiful Game here on DGWU Sports - has been without internet access for about a week now, so after a big weekend of Buffalo and National Team games, I'll take this opportunity to recap the action. And, with the US Men's National Team opening Gold Cup play Tuesday vs. Canada, while I'm at Citi Field enjoying a live friendly between Greece and Ecuador, make sure to check back later this week for recaps of those games as well.
For my first footy roundup, this game was slated to be the main attraction - actually the only game I'd be able to watch, what with a pretty busy schedule and the 400 odd miles between my apartment and All-High Stadium in Buffalo. Now I just feel depressed spending this much time thinking about it. DEAR LORD I HATE YOU FERNANDO TORRES. I HOPE YOU CATCH THE PLAGUE.
There, I feel marginally better.
Despite the fact that the USMNT took a victory away the last time these two teams played, we all knew this Spanish squad would be tough to beat again, particularly as they're still riding high from their World Cup win last summer. I also know that the US team had a recent string of, well, shitty results. Sure, they drew against Argentina, but they also drew against Chile and lost to Paraguay. Not bad teams - in fact, Chile has cracked the top 10 in the world rankings in the past year - but still disappointing given the high that US fans were on coming off of last year's group win in South Africa. In essence, I wasn't expecting too much on Saturday, but was at least hoping for something watchable.
Unfortunately, the match brought the team's recent record into sharper focus, as Spain exposed the US side's many flaws - on both ends - and embarrassed the team and its record-setting crowd of supporters in Foxboro with a lopsided 4-0 beatdown. Hell, I'm used to seeing my team go to Gillette Stadium with optimism for an upset and lay a turd, but even this was shocking. Four - nil is bad, and it could have easily been much, much worse.
In case you missed it, well, you're lucky. I'll give you the Spanish language version of the highlights so we don't have to listen to John Harkes try to convince us that they did it better in his day.
This US Team is a string of disappointments, frankly, and unless they can muster up the pride to make a run at winning the Gold Cup, it may be time to show Bob Bradley the door and bring in some international coaching talent to shake this squad up. At a certain point, with the national development of the game, and the instances where we've seen the US play some decent, competitive football against the best in the world, games like Saturday's just aren't acceptable.
That said, they can bounce back with a great result tomorrow night against Canada and prove me wrong. Just do it, Yanks.
Needless to say, I didn't watch either of these games, but the interwebs did keep me in the loop. Salvaging my Saturday night after the USMNT debacle were our dear FC Buffalo Blitzers, who got a solid win against the Pocono Snow. I'll refrain from any cocaine-related jokes (after all, I never did like it when people said I went to "Snow-Bart and William Sniff Colleges"), and just say that it seemed like the team really hit their stride with Saturday evening's match. A clean sheet is always a team effort, and it was encoruaging to hear that the team got one for their first home win. Incidentally, spirits surrounging this game were also brightened today when I saw a Pocono player's twitter love for FC Buffalo's team and fans.
As if Erie's asinine on-field antics weren't bad enough, in response to a FB post on FC Buffalo's page last night, a few players from the Erie team went trolling, accomplishing little apart from (1) making themselves look like asses, and (2) ensuring that members of The Situation Room will be making the trip down I-90 for the revenge match later this summer. In particular, Danny Muidd and Biran Fitzgerald, I'm looking at you two DBs:
Speaking of Google, it tells me that Dan Mudd is actually an awful human being who steered Fannie Mae into $2.2 billion in losses over a three monin 2008. Wait, not the same "Dan Mudd?" Says who? I can't verify that online, so I'm going to assume google is telling me the truth. THANKS A LOT DANNY, YOU LOVER OF SANTORUM (the substance, nor the Senator...). Enjoy your fucking government bailout and your win. The real Americans from Buffalo will make sure to pack their whoopin' sticks when they travel down to your pathetic excuse of a Great Lakes town. As for me, I'll make sure to spread the word about you and your classlessness, ensuring that the five people who read this blog taunt you with every breath they take.
Having already gone through enough analysis with little to no respect for the fact that I didn't watch the games I'm talking about, I'll keep my comments about the USWNT's game versus rivals Mexico on Sunday brief. While the Men's team was a sure underdog on Saturday, the Women's team was the exact opposite. Heading into stoppage time in the second frame, still knotted at zeros, the result was looking just as much of an embarassment as the Spain result the day before. The ladies, playing their final game on home soil before heading abroad for the World Cup later this month in Germany - where they hope to regain the Cup after two cycles of 3rd place finishes and German champions - looked less than stellar, well, until this happened.
So there you have it, friends. A full weekend of football, with a healthy mix of success and failure to keep us fans interested, but not hopeful; to keep us watching, but never forgetful of the motto - Dear God, Why Us?
Check back later this week for reports and pictures from Citi Field's hosting of Ecuador and Greece, as well as thoughts on the USMNT as they open Gold Cup play against Canada.
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And the Dear God, Why Us? Crew @DGWUSports