Monday, March 30, 2009

We Didn't Lose to El Salvador!

Wow, what a turnaround that 20 minutes make in a soccer game.

The US men's soccer team didn't look like they could pull it off. Down 2-0 to El Salvador in the 72nd minute at San Salvador, El Salvador. It looked like it was all over, it was going to be the worse loss for the Americans against a regional rival. Hell, El Salvador is ranked 106th in the entire world and yet they almost beat us. Then America realized they should probably stop sucking.

Jozy Altidore decided to spark something, scoring in the 77th minute. Frankie Hejduk tied it up for America, scoring in the 88th minute. A tie was good enough, but Brian Ching tried for a little more.

Ching nearly scored two go-ahead scores in the 7 minutes of injury time. First with a shot on goal, then on a sweet bicycle kick on an unattended goal. Unfortunately, El Salvador's Mardoqueo Henriquez headed the ball away just in time.

So now the Americans are 1-0-1 in World Cup qualify North and Central American and Caribbean region. They lead the 6 teams with 4 points, and the tie not only saves national embarrassment, but gets them a little closer to their sixth straight World Cup. The Americans will play again this Wednesday at Nashville, Tenn. against Trinidad and Tobago (0-0-2). Hopefully being back on American soil will fire up the team and get the team a little closer to the World Cup.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Decision Has Been Made

Thanks to everybody that voted in my poll this week. Unfortunately, I decided to ignore you votes, I'm choosing my own team!

Although the Chicago Fire were my second choice, I decided that I would be part of something new. I will be a fan of the third incarnation of the Seattle Sounders FC.

The choice really came down to being a part of the team from the beginning. I can be there for them during the growing pains, form long lasting memories that I'll tell my indifferent grandchildren about. I can be there when they win their first ever MLS cup. I am pumped for this, I will be ordering a jersey shortly.

Oh and they won their first match against Red Bull New York 3-0. I chose wisely.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Long Awaited Project Begins

This was sure to happen sooner or later. I have told myself that I would do this for the last year, but know it will be official. I am going to pick a soccer club and become a fan of it, blogging regularly about their success/heartbreak.

So who should I pick for this project? I have decided, why limit myself to just one team! The wonder of soccer is that are so many competitive leagues in the world, and rarely do they play each other. So back to the question, which team(s) should I follow?

After some careful thought, and analyzing the pros and cons of each teams. I have come to one of my decisions. From this time on, I will become a fan of Liverpool F.C.

After having watched their play in the last week, I have become a fan. They defeated both Real Madrid and rival Manchester United 4-0 in the last week. Then they dominated Aston Villa 5-0 yesterday, which puts them one point behind Man U for the lead in the English Premier League. Having watched 2 1/2 of these games, I have begun what should be a long and beautiful relationship.

I have yet to make a choice for an American team though. With Major League Soccer beginning to expand, I feel this is the right time to jump on a band-wagon for the long term. But whose will I jump on? I have five potential choices, and I ask you - my fellow readers to help me out. Which team should I follow? I'll reveal my pick later this week.

My new team

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Announcers and their self-righteousness

Just a quick hit today, but something occurred during the Seton Hall - Syracuse basketball game that reminded me of a common problem during my game viewing. Announcers and their overbearing preachiness and self-righteousness.

Among said during tonight's broadcast by an obviously disgusted broadcaster were "Just play the game, you're the embarrasing yourselves," and "No need to do that, he should be thrown out."

Why do the announcers take such a personal attachment to the games they are covered? Going back to Joe Buck's infamous "That's just sick" commentary as Randy Moss fake mooned Packer fans, announcers have told us how to feel about events occurring.

Maybe it is just me, but nothing gets more annoying than when an announcer gets on his soap box and critiques the current state of sports, or the actions of the the athletes. Let us viewers watch and decide how bad the actions are. You can disagree with the action announcers, but please stop being so indignant about the atrocity of such actions. The less preaching, the better.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recap of SIUC, My Break

Hey, its Tuesday! I am recapping a game that happnend last Friday. My bad, been keeping busy over break. Anyhoo, here is view from the pep band, the first - and only appearance of this article.

So where do I begin about the SIU and Bradley game? Should I mention how Bradley went on a 25-7 run to end the first half? Or about how Kevin Dillard, the Salukis leading scorer, had a whopping zero points in the game? It was a case of almost every bad thing that could happen happening to the Salukis.

First some of the positive aspects. Tony Boyle carried the Salukis all he could in the second half, scoring a total of fifteen points in the losing effort. The senior did what he could after the Salukis fell behind by sixteen. Ryan Hare was also impressive, putting up 11 points and not fouling out in the game. With his shutdown defensive potential, a sign that he could score as well bodes well for Hare and all Saluki fans.

The bad? Well first of all, has anyone seen Kevin Dillard? He seems to have missed the team bus, and didn't show up at all to the game. Kidding of course, but it was discouraging to see a big 0 on the box score after the game. We all know Kevin Dillard is better than what he showed on Friday, and his improving passing abilities bode well for the future of this team.

It seems that playing with eight men finally hit the Salukis. The team seemed sluggish compared to the quicker Bradley squad. The defense came apart, and the Braves had no problem driving around their defenders. Which led either to easy baskets or fouls on Southern, which the whistle-happy refs were more than happy to do. The early foul trouble seemed to doom any future comeback. At least no Salukis fouled out.

So where do we all go from here? The Salukis lose Tony Boyle, Chrisian Cornelius, and Brian Mullins and leave with a young team full of potential. Hopefully a year of experience will help the Salukis, along with having a full squad. Tony Freeman will also be eligible to play next year, and the former Iowa Hawkeye starter looks to be a strong candidate for team senior leadership next year. Hopefully his 13.8 ppg carries over from Iowa.

As for me, I turn in my pep band passes. I still love band, but I cannot find the time to do it next year. So next year, I will either introduce my "Live from the Dawg Pound" or dare I say it "Live from Press Row"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The World Baseball Classic, plus preview of new feature

Hello again readers - One week, four papers, two tests - and finals week is almost finished! I cannot wait to resume a non hectic life. Heck, I might even get back my social life.

Anyhoo, The World Baseball Classic started up again and you can practically feel the excitement. Oh wait, I forgot - no one in America cares about the Classic. No matter how much commissioner Bud Selig pushes his pet project, it will not catch on anytime soon.

The top American talents decline their bids, as former player Gary Sheffield stated in 2006, "The Yankees are paying me, not America."

So again, the players warm up for two weeks, then they are expected to compete at a high level and for national honor. They play is not crisp, and other countries have been practicing months before the Americans.

So what can America do to draw interest in the WBC? Here are a list of potential savers of interest.

1. Field the best players possible - The 2009 team may not be as bad as the 2006 team, but the potential could have been so much better. Of all the pitchers that could have represented America, and we have Ted Lilly, J.J. Putz and LaTroy Hawkins? There are good players yes, but there could have been so many better representatives.

2. Actually get far in the tournament - America's showing in the opening WBC could be called a dissapointment, to say the least. With losses against Mexico and a near loss against Canada, America showed themselves unprepared to represent their country. Maybe they'll be prepared this time around.

3. Don't televise games at 4 a.m. - You may not be aware, but the WBC actually started this morning. Japan defeated China this morning 4-0 in a game that was on ESPN 2 - at four in the morning. As much as people may love baseball, it is doubtful that anyone stayed up to watch this game.

Anyhoo, another quick note for my readers. I will be traveling to the Missouri Valley Conference in St. Louis tomorrow with the Saluki pep band. I will unleash my first "View from the Pep Band" tomorrow to provide an unique perspective of the game. This feature will continue until the Salukis lose their game. Look for that article in the late afternoon.