World Cup Day 5

My disastrous World Cup investment record continues apace. Oh for 3 yesterday, 1-8-1 overall. Here are my losers for today:

Group G - Natal - Ghana Pick over USA

Group F - Curitiba - Iran vs. Nigeria - Draw +265

Group G - Salvador - Germany -115 over Portugal.

From the USA perspective, you should be rooting for Germany in today's first game as you're hoping to sneak into the second spot that advances to Round of 16 play. That means, imo, getting ahead of Portugal and Ghana. You want Germany 4-0 over Portugal and Ghana really so you can slide in with draws and a close loss to Germany. Of course a win today would be amazing. I personally don't think this USA team can get that done. Which is probably good news for USA.

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    Much obliged... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:30:35 AM EST
    for the Ghana pick...we can't lose now!

    But first things first...we need a whoopin' to go down in the Group G opener.  Either way works for me...upon further reflection it might be better for Portugal to get the W...better to have them over-confident instead of desperate when we face them perhaps?  I don't know...and it's all moot if we don't win.  

    Just wanna get to Tuesday with a chance to advance....por favor los dioses de futbol! Vamos vamos vamos Gringos!

    Ok, Ronan Farrow is a dumba$$ (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 12:43:13 PM EST
    In reporting on a tweet that said to Ghana "we are not trapped in the group of death with you, you are trapped with us".  -  lamely called it a Game of Thrones reference.

    Any anchor good for any thing but boats would know that is a paraphrase of a famous Rorschach line from The Watchmen.

    Bad (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 12:45:09 PM EST
    Congratulations, BTD. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 03:28:37 PM EST
    You nailed it by calling Germany over Portugal, 4-0.

    I think Ghana beats US (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:24:13 AM EST
    Hopefully the kdog voodoo does for the US what it did for Mexico.  

    I think Iran beats Nigeria

    And Germany

    From MT's lips to someone's ears (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:31:05 PM EST
    US over Ghana, final.

    Forgive me for dealing with another ball (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:08:09 AM EST
    Just saw this on Huffpost. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:15:06 AM EST
    It shocked me. Didn't even know he had cancer. I first met Tony Gwynn when he played basketball for SDSU. The printing company I worked for back then did the sports information printing for the Aztecs (we also did the Clippers media guide, anyone remember the SAN DIEGO CLIPPERS?).

    Likewise... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:23:49 AM EST
    the greatest hitter I ever saw with my own eyes...very sad news.

    Ron Darling tells a great story about just how tough an out Tony Gwynn was...he once bounced a breaking pitch on a two strike count to the great Tony Gwynn, who proceeded to hit the ball on one hop for a rip single, cricket-style.

    RIP Mr. Gwynn, it was a pleasure sir.


    and he started at point guard... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:09:15 AM EST
    ...for San Diego State when he was in college. Guy was a multi-talent to the nth degree.

    Did you ever see Tony steal a base? (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:44:29 AM EST
    I didn't.  But he apparently stole a lot of 'em in his slimmer days.

    Yes (none / 0) (#14)
    by Dadler on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 12:01:41 PM EST

    1- Nil Germany... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:18:23 AM EST
    on an early penalty kick...with bonus yellow card for Portugal's Pereira.

    Make it a rout Krauts!

    Asked and answered... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:38:27 AM EST
    2-Nil...that's using your head Hummels!

    Hore ich drei?


    Blitzkrieg! (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:49:33 AM EST
    3-Nil at the half...they're making knockwurst out of them!

    So far so very good for the USA.

    Anybody with audio have news on the severity of the Almeida injury?


    Looked minor (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:56:22 AM EST
    HE just isn;;t very good.

    Big story was Muller's playacting and PEpe's red card.

    Soccer has a huge problem.


    Yes... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 12:41:49 PM EST
    FIFA needs to rectify this acting problem one of these days.

    I like the idea being bandied about of retroactive yellow or red cards for flopping.

    But it's workin' for the US right now!  4-Nil...the table is set, Team USA needs to put the meat on the table later today to keep the hope alive till 6/22 at least.


    next game suspension (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 12:43:29 PM EST
    I'm impressed w/your German. And Spanish. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:53:14 AM EST
    And this headline:  "Mets tonsure the Padres."

    Don't be... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 12:34:00 PM EST
    the German is all online translator, and half of the Spanish.  

    Just getting in the international spirit of things. ;)


    Slightly OT: (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:39:45 AM EST
    Tony Gwynn, San Diego icon, has died:


    I had forgotten he hit .500 during the '98 WS.

    But it's a good off-topic. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 04:35:24 PM EST
    Tony Gwynn was also hitting .394 in August 1994 when the players walked out on strike, and his only sub-.300 season came in his rookie year, when he hit .288. Bar none, the guy was probably the best pure hitter I ever saw play the game, before or since -- even better than Pete Rose, in my estimation. Only the legendary Ty Cobb owns more league batting titles than Gwynn, who won eight of them during his 20 years with the Padres.

    And while Tony Gwynn was certainly one of baseball's all-time remarkable talents, he was also one of its most unpretentious. I had the honor and opportunity to meet him in my freshman year at UW, when he was an all-WAC player with San Diego State and we were playing the Aztecs in a four-game series down there. Even back then at that young age, it was apparent that he was a class act, a rising star and a really popular kid magnet. After our games, up to a couple dozen little leaguers would flock around him, and he'd graciously sign autographs and pose for photos with them and their parents.

    I was really hoping that he had finally turned the corner on his long battle with cancer, when San Diego State recently announced that it was extending his contract as its baseball coach -- even though he had to go on medical leave last March in mid-season, with the Aztecs enjoying their best year in over a decade. I figured that if his contract was being extended, it had to be a good sign, right?

    Alas, it was not to be. A giant has fallen, and your hometown has lost perhaps its most loyal public ambassador. He will be very sorely missed.

    May Tony Gwynn rest in peace.


    Another victim of tobacco... (none / 0) (#28)
    by desertswine on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:34:11 PM EST
    In the past, he had had surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes and tumors from his salivary glands. He had said he believed his cancer was caused by years of chewing tobacco

    Anybody viewing Iran v Nigeria? (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 03:31:04 PM EST
    Gamecast is a snoozer...got nil-nil draw written all over it.  Bosnia-Herzegovina is taking second in this group.

    Pardon us BTD... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 03:53:12 PM EST
    if we don't root for you to go 3-3 on the day....nice score on the draw wager though, well played!

    Now it's time folks...got a date with some of the fellas, USA v Ghana, and copious amounts of marijuana.  Enjoy the game, see yas manana.

    USA! USA! USA!

    BTD called a tie in a match? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 04:30:27 PM EST

    USA wins, Beats Ghana 2-1. (none / 0) (#25)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 07:03:53 PM EST
    Well, I was not expecting that. I am happy to be surprised. What is next for the boys in Red White and Blue?

    I confess, many of the nuances of the World Cup group system are lost on me. Why is winning this match not necessarily a good thing for the U.S.'s chances in the World Cup?

    Winng this match... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:48:54 AM EST
    was a must if the US hopes to advance out of the group stage to the knockout round.  But still no guarantee to advance, 2 extremely tough games left in the group stage vs. Portugal and the mighty Germans.

    In a nutshell, there are 8 groups of 4 teams Casey, each team plays 3 games against the other teams in their group, top two advance to the knockout round.  You get 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.  Ties are broken by goal differential.  Hope that helps, I'm sure you can find a better explanation online.


    Thank you, BTD (none / 0) (#27)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:04:17 PM EST
    for your prediction in the USA v Ghana game.  You worked your strange/upside-down magic!

    Go USA!

    A fugly win is a win... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 08:44:43 AM EST
    and 3 points, thank god...but that sh&t show ain't gonna cut it against Portugal, and especially Germany.  Could not maintain possession, inaccurate passing, giving the ball away like it had cooties.  Bradley played poorly, hopefully just an off night/first game jitters.  Altidore going down might explain some of it...that's a huge loss.  Old man Beasley was shaky.

    The defense played great though under near constant pressure.  Beckerman was a beast.  Cameron as well.  Jermaine Jones was all over the pitch.  Howard was rock-solid Howard.  Bedoya put in mad work too. Dempsey was money when he got the chance just 29 seconds in off that sweet flip from Jones.  Zusi looked good off the bench, great set piece off the corner that young Brooksie headed home.

    Ghana was the better team last night, but that's why they play the game.  We're alive to advance, that's all that matters.  

    I'm not sure (none / 0) (#31)
    by CST on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 10:30:37 AM EST
    I'd use the word "outplayed".  They were playing like they had a 1-0 lead most of the game - which they did.  The Ghana team was playing desperate and scrappy, so yea, they had more shots and they were pressuring, but they weren't good shots and they had to bring the pressure.

    The US team wasn't great, but I don't think they were as bad as a lot of people are making it out to be.  That being said, they did get tired, and they did give me some totally unnecessary heart tremors.

    Tim Howard is a beast as always and a joy to watch.  I have a feeling he may keep the US in games they have no business staying in, and while I don't expect to beat Germany outright he could be the main difference between a close game and a Portugal-style blowout if it comes down to playing for goal differential.

    I'm just happy my 2 teams have won their first games, and if both Germany and the US make it out of the group stage I'll be pretty excited, although I imagine I'll have to stick with just Germany through the later rounds.


    Lookie what the footie dragged in! (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 10:56:28 AM EST
    So nice to see a comment from a TL legend...hope all is well CST!

    If the strategy was to park the bus for 70 plus minutes with a 1-Nil lead, it very nearly backfired if not for that sweet Zusi corner and Brooks finish...that's a Bob Bradley move, not something I'd expect from a Klinsmann team.  

    And I'm sorry but our field general Michael Bradley looked horrible.  Day late and a nickel short all night when he had the ball.  He must do better.

    All that being said, I'm b*tching after a W...that alone says it all about how far US men's soccer has come! ;)  


    I don't mean to suggest (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:11:25 AM EST
    that the US team played well - just that Ghana didn't really either so "outplayed" seems like a stretch.  Ghana had about 15-20 min in the second half where they seemed in control of the game and were getting solid chances, one of which they managed to put in the net.  But the US caught Ghana sleeping twice, and for the rest of the game, they might not have controlled the ball but they weren't really giving much to Ghana either on defense (or Ghana was incapable of taking it).  The U.S. had fewer chances up front, but they were solid chances, which is why they were able to capitalize on two of them.

    This is a team who has beaten them in the last 2 cups, so I'm sure they had a role to play in the struggles of the U.S. as well.  No one really expected the U.S. to win this game, and not only did they win, but they did so without any controversial calls or actions or even "luck" really.  Sweet corners are something every team practices because they often do come up big.  With Pepe out and the bogeyman Ghana behind them, they should be able to settle down a little and play better soccer in the next one.


    Ghana couldn't finish.... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:46:50 AM EST
    much credit due to Howard, our centerbacks and Beckerman for that...but box to box they owned the ball. A better team like Portugal or Germany will finish if we don't step it up in the midfield and maintain more possession.

    Good point that Ghana's playing style and aggressive pressure in the midfield had a lot to due with our struggles there...they aren't a good match up for us.


    Hey, CST, great to see you hanging around (none / 0) (#35)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:54:40 AM EST
    in these parts. How goes it? Still in grad school?

    Hey (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by CST on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 12:08:31 PM EST
    Life is good, interesting as always.  Been spending less time in front of a computer, but that's not such a bad thing.  Slowly chugging my way through grad school, about to start a new job, and taking a few weeks off to enjoy the summer before that happens.  Hope everyone here is doing well!

    Yes (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:58:19 AM EST