FIFA World Cup 2010 ends for the US!

Crushed Hopes !!

The charm lasted only for a couple of weeks and World Cup hopes for the US got doomed much before the quarter finals. Just when soccer as a sport started gaining momentum in the US, thanks to the American sport media for putting up the hype around the Cup and building hopes, the wussy feeble team of US players couldn’t survive the ferociousness of Ghana and fell apart like a house of cards.

Not that anyone in the world ever hoped of the US to get the Cup to the Country, but at least running a little deeper into the tournament and reaching the quarter finals would have made the sport a little popular amongst the young generation and paved way for us in Brazil four years down the line. None of that could have achieved despite of names like Donovan and Dempsey in the team, and now it’s time to look back and see what and how things could have been any different.

Many people are blaming the USA coach Bob Bradley for the disaster and now he is likely to be replaced by Dominic Kinnear or Steve Nicol, but just putting the blame on him alone can’t bring the tactical efficiencies we badly need nor can it compensate for the stronger team with better goal keepers and defenders.

Once we change our attitude towards the game, everything will fall in place and we can eventually look forward to the World Cup

The not so American Football for you!

The whole world is gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 20101 starting June 11. The whole world but America, that is.

Football or Soccer: Its Sports after all !

In the light of this World Cup hoopla all over International press, the first question that comes to an uninitiated mind is why we Americans don’t consider soccer as a ‘real sport’. Is our hatred for the game directly associated with our love for American football or is Soccer really as boring as most Americans believe. Is Soccer anywhere close to what Mike Barnacle of the Boston Globe once described, “A mindless sport where hordes of incomprehensible athletes run aimlessly in a circle until everyone is dehydrated and, finally, some guy uses his skull to score a touchdown.” Or is it just a media imposed attitude to a game proclaimed by the believers of Muscular Christianity as ‘gentleman’s way of amateur sportsmanship’.

Football might be considered more manly, but soccer is no walk in the park either. It’s the ultimate game of skill, fitness, agility and over and above much more fun to play. There are followers of soccer all over the world not only because you get to have more surprises in the game, but it’s also easier to follow soccer rules than the complication of offence and defense in football that only the diehard fans comprehend.

Both in the end are great sports and deserve the same amount of respect. And if we want to accept soccer the same way as the world does, we first need to first change our perception towards the game.

Germany Takes a Hit, Pun Intended, with the Loss of Ballack

Previous German Captain

Germany’s Michael Ballack took a hit to his ankle Mid-May by Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng

It only happens every four years. Fans go crazy worldwide for the excitement it brings. There are celebrations, tears, chants, and cheers. If you haven’t figured out what I am talking about, you probably should listen up. The 2010 World Cup is amongst us. The best of the best have joined their home teams and are ready to compete at a level of play that is close to indescribable. Soccer players (and their fans) are pretty unique. Yes we have our crazed football and basketball fans, but this competition proves to be one of a kind. And although it took a slow start in the U.S., soccer is finally catching its much deserved hype and respect. Finally! We seem to be the last country to jump on the bandwagon, but we’re finally on it.

With that being said, hope you aren’t a Germany fan (or you have been saying a lot of prayers to the soccer God lately). In their Saturday FA Cup final, Germany took a loss that is sure to test their players’ skills in the upcoming summer games. Germany’s three-time player of the year, Michael Ballack, took a hit to his ankle by Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng that has cut his season short and possibly robs him of his final chance at a win in the World Cup. The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel yet. He will have the summer to think about whether he would like to return to the national team for the 2012 European Championship. Right now his main concentration is on getting healthy for the next club season.

The German captain suffered ligament damage in his right ankle at Wembley Stadium in the first half of the game and is now being spotted with a cast to start the healing process before he‘s able to train, which will not be for at least eight weeks. Good news is (yes, there is good news) he is expected to have a full recovery. Yet that still doesn’t make German fans very happy. Many are calling this an intentional foul, noting that the two “scuffled” shortly before the unfortunate tackle. Boateng has since heard heavy criticism from German officials, but is releasing statements that it was simply an accident. He apologized twice on the field during Portsmouth’s 0-1 loss and now, publicly, after.

Ballack joined his teammates at their training camp in Sicily and is anxious to provide support and leadership in their future games. He might only being able to give his support, but many fans are hoping that is enough to win the 2010 World Cup. With less than a month before the tournament, Germany coach Joachim Loew needs to choose a new captain and a player to fill Ballack’s midfield defense role. Germany opens this summer’s World Cup play against Australia.