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Yeah….We Tied!    Share

13 June 2010

Saturday was one of those rare instances when sports fans in the US, or at least some of them, turned their eyes toward soccer.  While US fans were hopeful, most knew that their team was a significant underdog against the more soccer crazy England.  In bars across the country, folks donned the red, white, and blue and hoped that their team would be able to pull off a miracle upset.  Well, we came pretty close.  We tied England 1-1.
The game started as most folks expected—England got off to a 1-0 lead and controlled possession of the ball for the majority of the game.  The US then received a gift that will be replayed in probably every World Cup in which England and the US meet.  American Clint Dempsey hit a low shot from 25 yards out that most goalkeepers in college soccer fields across America could stop.  England’s goalkeeper Robert Green inexplicably fumbled the ball as he bent down to cradle it in his hands, letting the ball roll slowly past him and into the goal.  The Americans hung on for the tie in large part due to the excellent play of their goalkeeper who stopped many of the shots from their more powerful opponent.So should we be happy with a tie?  Absolutely!  A tie gave the American team 1 point in the weird point system that determines which teams advance in the World Cup, so at this point we are still in the tournament.  The next game for the US team is against Slovenia on June 18th.  Can we get as excited about facing Slovenia as we did to face England?  Hey, any excuse to drink beers at 10am on a Friday morning will work for most of us!

One-Liner: "Can you believe that some people complained about a tie?  That's like getting a free lunch and complaining that it's roast beef instead of turkey."

Send comments to: Leroy@notasportsguy.com

The Basics

World Cup
Every four years, 32 teams compete in a play-off system for international soccer known as the World Cup.  For this year’s World Cup, over 200 teams (countries) vied for a slot in the event.  Unlike Americans, the rest of the world is rabid about soccer.  Players have been murdered for scoring goals on their own team by accident.  Really.  The Cup starts with every nation grouped into eight groups of four teams.  These teams play a round robin to determine the top two teams in each group.  Those top two teams move onto a single match elimination play-off.  Brazil has been the dominant team, winning 5 of the 18 tournaments held.

Terminology:

Pitch – What most Europeans refer to as the field.

Red Card – A penalty imposed on a player for committing a foul (kicking, tripping, etc).  It results in the player’s ejection for the remainder of the game.  His team must then play a man down.  A Red Card imposed without first receiving a yellow card is reserved for the commission of a violent a foul.

Yellow Card – A penalty imposed on a player for committing a foul (kicking, tripping, etc).  It serves as a warning to the player.  A second yellow card results in an automatic Red Card.

Penalty Kick – a free kick from close to the goal where a player gets to shoot at the goal with only the goalie in the net.  It is awarded after a foul is committed inside the penalty box

Shank – missing a shot at the goal when a player has an open shot.  (See also shank wall – a fictitious wall that is said to be needed behind a goal when a certain player seems to frequently miss).

Strike – a shot at the goal