Years have gone by and I've finally learned to accept myself for who I am: a beggar for good soccer. I go about the world, hand outstretched, and in the stadiums I plead: "A pretty move, for the love of God."
And when good soccer happens, I give thanks for the miracle and I don't give a damn which team or country performs it.
-Eduardo Galeano, Soccer in Sun and Shadow
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Anything But Friendly
The ongoing rivalry between the Mexican national team and the US team cranked up another few notches this evening in favor of Uncle Sam’s army of underachievers, with a 0-2 win that will no doubt make it that much easier to strike that “interim” tag from coach Bob Bradley’s title.The first half was a dreary affair, with Mexico gaining a slight advantage in terms of possession and shot opportunities.But that all changed in the second half when the US came out reinvigorated and defender Jimmy Conrad headed one in off a Landon Donovan corner kick.Mexico looked far from giving in, though, and second half substitutions Omar Bravo, Jose Fonseca, and Adolfo Bautista all contributed to or had viable shooting chances.Then in the 90th minute the US cemented their win with a Landon Donovan goal off of a Ricardo Clark pass in midfield (which originated from a deflection off referee Mauricio Navarro’s feet!).A brutal finish to what ended up being a rather entertaining match.
And earlier today in Manchester, England, Steve McClaren’s inflated Three Lions braggarts failed to do anything interesting against the lads from Spain.Midfielder Andres Iniesta (who was subbed in early in the second half) scored a brilliant long-range shot in the 63rd minute, earning the FC Barcelona player his first goal for the national team in eight appearances and the game winner to boot.The quick-footed and even quicker thinking player has become one of my favorite members of Barca this season and I’m glad to see the youngster’s good form for the Catalans translate to the national team.I’d bet serious money that the majority of the crowd packed into Old Trafford had no idea who the crafty Iniesta was before the match.But by the end of it, many in the crowd were no doubt muttering the Pale One’s name in between their curses, shouts, and boos directed at McClaren and his reptilian smile.Spain victorious 0-1.