Sunday, June 01, 2008

in which Team USA embarrasses us in public

We had planned our return from beautiful Espana to the Anglo-Saxon world specifically to coincide with the US v. England friendly on May 28, but that was before the tickets actually went on sale. Thanks to the appalling exchange rate, the cheapest seats were going for a cool $60 apiece. That's far more than we paid to see Barcelona (and not even in the cheapest seats), and we really do not like either of these teams nearly enough to shell out that kind of cash. Why, what with current inflation and the weak US dollar against the pound, that's like five or six pints down the pub!

So it was off to the pub we went indeed, a fine establishment located literally steps from our London B&B, which was a bonus--in case things turned ugly, we didn't have far to run. Had we only known--the only running we'd need to do would be fleeing from the humiliation of seeing the Euro-dropouts run roughshod over Team USA, all to the accompaniment of sneering announcers making smug comments like "England showed America up for what they really are--a very very poor side!" They chortled over footage of Becks' recent 70-yard shot right into goal in the LA Galaxy vs Kansas City Wizards game a few days earlier ("Does America even have goalkeepers?") and following John Terry's (admittedly fine) header thirty minutes in announced that "it's taken England a little over half an hour to assert their superiority!"

Speaking of John Terry...did he look a bit teary-eyed after making that goal? John, you've got to watch out or you're going to get a reputation as a crybaby. He didn't do himself any favors afterwards by announcing that "I'm a man for the big games and I've shown that"--Jaysus, John, so the Champion's League final was just an insignificant blip and this was the match you've been preparing for all season? Perhaps the next time he opens his mouth someone ought to stuff a Jaffa cake in it. Might help with any future sobbing fits, too.

Anyway, as anyone who watched the match already knows, things went from bad to worse as Gerrard scored a second goal and the US were shut out all night. Worse, both goals were fine ones, so we can't take any satisfaction there either. English football announcers are just as annoyingly hyperbolic as American ones as they all but anointed the England team champions of the world based on the result. (You can't have it both ways, lads: either they defeated a poor side and therefore the result was meaningless or the US team is actually a bit better than you claim they are.) The patrons and staff of the bar were kind enough not to point and laugh at us like Nelson Muntz but perhaps only because, as is always the case with us when we travel, no one suspects we are American. We aren't really Team USA fans (as many of our readers know), but man, talk about letting down the side! It's embarrassing sitting in a pub in another country listening to announcers and patrons snicker and mock your national football team! Like being stuck in a room enduring an endless live reading of those tiresome "Yanks can't do football" articles from the Guardian! We drowned our sorrows in another round and slunk back to our room. Thanks for nothing, Team USA!


r1ooooo said...

The England still haven't play as good as people expectations. I was hoping for Mourinho to manage the team, not Capello. I don't think Capello fit with English football.

By the way do you mind to exchange links?

Thanks and have a good day.

Linda said...

Team USA are in something of an injury crisis, aren't they? Maybe it's simply bad timing that they have to play so many friendlies in a row now.

England are not a good side. They haven't been for years, so I don't know what those commentators are crowing about. (But then I'm a snob who turns her nose up at any team who can't pass the ball to each other.)

Lynda said...

I haven't been following the USA team enough to know about injuries but it makes sense--some players I'd have expected to see were missing (Donovan--I'm not a fan, but surprising not to see him-- Feilhaber, a few others I think).

Linda, I completely agree with you about England. I have friends who adore them... The commentators actually sounded a lot like the ones in the US, who generally overpraise the US team in the same way regardless of how mediocre their performance is (and sometimes declare them a world-class side on the basis of defeating poor teams).

Lynda said...

Hi r100000, meant to reply to your post but I haven't been online much lately. I like your coverage building up to Euro 2008! I've added you to our link list.

I agree Mourinho would have been a good choice for the England position, although at this point I'm not convinced their problems are the fault of any manager, considering how many they've gone through with such poor results.