I basically have 2 days left and seemingly a lot to do. I guess you never feel fully ready for a trip of over three weeks until you are on the plane. In addition to many errands to run, my mind has been spinning with World Cup thoughts. I’ll share a few now.
- I loved our line-up yesterday. Michael Bradley is so good–using Kyle Beckerman beside Jermaine Jones allows him to focus on attacking without worrying about having to get back on defense, which he seems to do anyway. I see this as sort of a swap of Beckerman at the expense of Graham Zusi, while pushing Bradley forward. I just can’t help but to think how great it would be if it was not Alejandra Bedoya but Landon Donovan.
- I hate that the only beer available in World Cup stadiums is Budweiser. I’m a beer snob–it has been almost four years since I have had a “bad” beer, Bud, Coors, Miller. . . Do I break the streak in order to have a drink at the matches or go dry?
- This is the first World Cup I can ever remember where the goalkeepers have not come out against the ball. Every other Cup it seems the ball is engineered to swerve and dip at a unnatural rate. This year, not a peep. Oh, and I have held the ball. Before the Japan vs Zambia match Friday night, a wayward shot during warmups found it’s way into my hands. The Brazuca is good looking but it is not smooth, rather it has tiny dimples all over it. It seems it will have great grip for the GK.
- The American Outlaws and US Soccer are hosting night before and pre-game parties in Brazil. To attend, you must RSVP. Both events in Manaus, for the Portugal match, are wait-listed.
- I am nearly certain we will beat Ghana.
- On Friday I received my copy of the new book Passionate Soccer Love which was written by a great friend of mine, Tanya Keith. I met Tanya and her husband Doug in Suwon South Korea the day of the Portugal match–she was like five months pregnant at the time–that’s dedication! So far I have only ready about 40 pages, but it is a fun telling of her first falling for the beautiful game as she became a referee only to be closer to her new boyfriend (Doug) and then chronicling her fall into Ultra fandom. Stories are lively and fun. If you’ve never traveled abroad to follow the US, you will gain a new appreciation for what we fans go through. If you are a traveling supporter like Tanya and myself, you will recognize her experiences–and you may even read about yourself! Oh, Tanya often brings the baby-ass flag to matches–see it drying out in my backyard below.
- I am glad I am not a big fan of Japan, nothing against them really but I have attended their last two matches and every corner kick they have had they have played short. I hate short corners. They also take all but the closest of free kicks quickly–they are playing very fast, which is cool. But their corners would make me nuts.
- I guess I should start taking malaria pills.