Here we go. I’m going to watch a full game of soccer for the first time ever in my life. USA v Costa Rica. Winner is in first in the qualifying pool. It’s a fairly big game, so go USA. So in the best spirit of Bill Simmons famous running diaries, here goes:
8:50 CT: I’m not watching soccer yet. However, I am watching Carlos Bocanegra talk about strategy and whatnot. I don’t know that I’m sure what he means with all his talking, however he said something about attacking and pressure, and that sounds good.
8:54 CT: Highlights from Nigeria v France. France lost. That’s a positive for soccer.
9:01 CT: National Anthem time! It turns out USA wins in this. Costa Rica’s national anthem is completely unintelligible. It sounds like it’s in a different language. Obviously we are far superior. It’s also much longer apparently (This was a joke, sort of).
9:05 CT: The USA is using a 4-3-3. I have enough sports knowledge to understand that this is a more aggressive offensive formation than Costa Rica’s 4-4-2. It isn’t an encouraging sign that Costa Rica has allowed no goals in the qualifying. Also, apparently, we have never beat them in Costa Rica. Oh well, maybe I will be good luck.
9:07 CT: Start of the game. I hate that they just give the ball to a team rather than have a competitive face off or a jump ball. Costa Rica seems to be aggressive so far.
2nd Minute: Well, that wasn’t long. 1:30 or so in, and Costa Rica has scored. Pretty crappy so far.
3rd Minute: Costa Rica is a dirty country. There is trash all over the field.
5th Minute: We keep moving the ball backwards. I understand that it is part of the strategy, but it’s frustrating to watch. That’s why basketball has the over and back rule…
8th Minute: There has been a whole lot of fouls thus far. I don’t know if it is an unusual amount, but it seems like Costa Ricans like to kick people.
13th Minute: It’s the 13th minute and another goal for Costa Rica. We aren’t very good apparently. Our defenders seem to be too aggressive on this goal, and rather than staying in between the player and where he wants the ball to go, they seem to be trying to steal the ball. Gambling on defense is bad. Everyone knows that.
16th Minute: It’s the 16th minute and we finally had a sorta decent shot, that had to come on a decent steal in the backfield or whatever you call that in soccer.
18th Minute: Tim Howard had a neato save there. That was exciting. I like goalies, I think goalie is quickly becoming my favorite position.
22nd Minute: The US has finally had a few decent defensive stops. Too bad they couldn’t do that earlier.
25th Minute: Dempsey missed a free kick. At least it was kinda exciting…
30th Minute: A yellow card!! That was exciting! And it got some guy suspended for the next game! And now there is some extracurricular pushing. Maybe soccer players aren’t just hairy women after all!
39th Minute: Ouch. Just found out that the last time the USA scored in Costa Rica was the year 2000. That’s not encouraging.
45th Minute: Stoppage time is the most ridiculous notion I’ve ever heard of. It’s such a made up thing. The referee just guesses at how much time to add, then ends it when he feels like it. I just don’t understand why they can’t just stop the clock while the ball is out of play rather than make up this stoppage time.
Halftime Synopsis of My Feelings About Soccer: I don’t know about soccer so far. Sure, there have been some moments that have been exciting, but it just hasn’t been as amazing as one would think for something called the beautiful game. Maybe it is just because the US is getting stomped on in almost every way on the pitch, but still, I find myself being more interested in Randy Johnson trying to pick up his 300th win and that was rain delayed. I do like this commercial for USA World Cup soccer that they showed though.
46th Minute: Here we go again. 2nd Half now, hopefully we can jump on them early and at least get some decent chances. Or not. Costa Rica already has had a good chance and we still suck.
50th Minute: We get a corner kick finally, and they play it short… And then Dempsey catches the ball but is out of bounds. I’m not entirely sure why he did it, but whatever. And now the US barely avoids having a 3rd goal scored against them. God, but we suck.
52nd Minute: Soccer warm-ups are very odd looking. The bench players make me laugh. And more bad play by the USA, with miscommunication in the box. Luckily there is a handful of US supporters who can start our generic USA chant.
54th Minute: And a yellow card on Bradley, so now he can’t be used on Saturday. It didn’t look like that much contact to me, but what do I know. I like hockey and football, not soccer.
63rd Minute: Freddy Adu, the guy who was supposed to be the face of US soccer comes in. For some reason, I’ve always delighted in him not being as good as people claimed he was. Oh well, maybe he can do something useful, since the rest of the team can’t apparently.
66th Minute: Look at that… The Costa Rican is rolling around like he got stabbed, but somehow when it came time to run again, he was perfectly able to do so. Now the USA returns the favor, flopping to earn the free kick.
69th Minute: 3-0 Costa Rica. I don’t think this was a very good game for me to start watching soccer on. The announcers are making excuses for the lackluster US defense, something about exhaustion. I call it lazy defense.
71st Minute: I appreciate that the color guy says that its time to play rough. I agree, the USA should be rough all the time, and just physically dominate their opponents, since they obviously can’t keep up in finesse.
82nd Minute: Well, only 8 more minutes to go. There is some terrible flopping by the Costa Ricans though. Wonderful. Watching the reply, that Costa Ricans mommy should be embarrassed. That’s what I hate about soccer, he could at least grab the parts of his body that actually got kicked, rather than grabbing his balls, then changing his mind and grabbing his head while he rolls around. Idiot.
88th Minute: More ridiculous flopping by the Costa Ricans, at least this time they didn’t get the foul called.
90th Minute: Costa Rica with a fancy pants free kick. Luckily, Howard was smarter than that, so we avoided a more embarrassing score.
Stoppage Time: Why is there even stoppage time here? The game is by far out of reach. And look, now it got Costa Rica a yellow card, and the US a chance at scoring a goal from a penalty kick! Donovan kicks! And he scores!! Finally! Now if soccer matches would just last another year or two, we might take a lead.
End Game: Thank God that’s over. I’m going to have to withhold judgment about what I really think about soccer for a little while longer, since the US decided to play 90 minutes of pretty lackluster soccer. The faking and flopping was pretty ridiculous at times, which is a pretty big strike against soccer to me. Oh well, we will see what I think after Friday when I go watch the Austin Aztex in person.