Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

World Cup Round o' Sixteen

Yesterday was the beginning of the round of 16 in the World Cup, where the games matter quite a bit more, so the athleticism and physicality are really ratcheted up, making it some exciting futbol.

I've noticed just in this first round of elimination games at least one element the US definitely was missing... a playmaker. Whether it's Klose or Ballack for Germany, or Crespo for Argentina, good teams have players who elevate the style of play whenever they are involved, who can break down defenders one-on-one, who can put a ball into space for a teammate, and who can put that same ball into the back of the net instead of shooting it fifteen feet over.

The first game had the home team (Germany) going up against a Sweden side that impressed me in qualifying. I thought the Swedes could mount more of an attack than what eventually occurred. Their back line was Jeff Agoos-worthy in the opening fifteen minutes, but then again I am just bowled over by the type of precision passing Germany was displaying in the 18 yard box. It was nothing short of brilliant. To continue gushing, the Germans didn't need a turnover back in the zone to create solid opportunities. They had the spacing working. Now, the back line still needs some work, as once Sweden settled down from the attack they found some space. Once that red card (another ridiculous one, by the way) happened the game was over... and so i fast forwarded past most of the rest of the match.

The second game was also brilliant. Argentina and Mexico had their acting clothes on, as every touch became a near-death experience. Both goals in regulation came off of great set pieces (another problem the US had). Both goalies then had some incredible saves (another problem the US had), especially Mexico's, who was able to aggressively attack the ball quickly, and just displayed impressive decision making. I thought Borghetti showed the type of player we hoped Brian McBride would be, accepting deep balls with the head and flicking it on to attacking players. He was an absolute beast.

I'm excited about today. Time for more!

posted by Gavin @ 12:06 PM  0 comments

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