FWIW. Michigan doesn't seem inclined to get re-involved.
Congrats to the CONCACAF region. Raise your hand if you had 3 teams with a chance to win their group going into the last pairing of group play. If not for a goal in the last 10 seconds (ARRGHHH) the 1st, 2nd, and 4th place team from our region would currently have 19 out of a possible 21 points.
Mexico has gone from a disjointed team the U.S. gifted into the tournament with a meaningless goal late in its own last qualifying match (that meant zero for the U.S. other than pride) to a team that gave Brazil a great battle on its own turf (probably one of the best goaltending performances I've ever seen) and convincingly beat a very good Croatia.
Costa Rica has been the Cinderella of the tournament, taking out 2 champion level countries, and already advancing through- and barring a massive goal surge by Italy or Uruguay will win their group. Probably one of the most attractive levels of play in this tournament thus far.
U.S. had a mighty struggle with Ghana but found a way, and certainly deserved a win vs Portugal and sat seconds away for locking up a spot into the next round.
Even our buds down in Honduras - after running through a buzz saw in France, struggling after losing a man, put in a solid 2nd match.
So for the Rodney Dangerfield of regions, 2 out of 16 slots are guaranteed with a 3rd potentially Thursday. Not too shabby and it would be nice to see this continue in years ahead to raise the profile of the region.
I know we have a POSbang thread, but I'd like to start one with a more strategic dialogue.
So what do we know about the USMNT this World Cup? We are prone to making some mistakes, but also seem to be prone to some amazing play.
I think we have more playing in our favor come Thursday than we do playing against us. Portugal will not let Ghana surprise them, as did Germany. If Ghana wins, it is not due to oversight.
I think that Germany will be content to play keep away, as a draw eliminates the other game from becoming a factor at all. Germany knows that even if they lose to us 1-0, they get through as well, due to GD. I hope for a very passive game from both sides.
Our worst case scenario is that we lose and Ghana wins, but we'd still have a solid shot at making the knockout round, even then. If I were a betting man, I'd say that Thursday is not our farewell performance.
- Howard looked a lot shakier this game. I'm a former keeper myself, and he didn't seem to have that killer instinct on when to come off or hold his line. His athleticism saved him a couple of times.
- I really liked Yedlin's cameo, a lot. He looks like a bright spot for our team in Russia.
- Dempsey played very well for what he is being asked.
- Bradley played like himself, which thank God. He had a couple of mediocre balls, but mae some really nice reads as well. Our whole team played some amazing through balls.
- I wonder/worry about the extra day of recovery that Germany gets, and for that matter, Ghana as well. That could be a big factor to play out to our disadvantage.
As a hypothetical, if the US were somehow, someway, able to make it to the finals, I will guarantee that the viewing for that game will match or surpass Super Bowl ratings in the US.
Another hypothetical, to test the chemical makeup of the board: What 2014 Michigan football game(s) would you assign a loss to the good guys, if it meant that the final cross was shanked by Portugal and that the US would be through? Just curious...
We had an in-game thread last week and we won.
Thought someone was going to start it, so I'll go ahead and give it a shot and hopefully we can turn our fortunes around.
With just four days before the 2014 NBA Draft, former Baylor C Isaiah Austin was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, ending his potential NBA career before it could even start. The genetic condition was discovered during pre-draft medical evaluations. Austin came out of HS as the #4 player in the country (to Rivals) and played two solid, if unspectacular, seasons at Baylor. Prior to his sophomore season, Austin acknowledged that he's blind in his right eye, making his ascension towards the NBA even more impressive. Now it's all over before he got his chance. Terrible, sad turn of events; that being considered, he seems to be handling it with maturity, per his tweets quoted in the article linked below.
|Sun 6/22||11:30 a.m.||ABC||Belgium vs. Russia||H||Rio de Janeiro||31|
|2:30 p.m.||ABC||South Korea vs. Algeria||H||Porto Alegre||32|
|5:30 p.m.||ESPN||United States vs. Portugal||G||Manaus||30|
***Note, times are the start of coverage, the match starts 30 minutes later. The US/Portugal coverage has actually been moved up 30 minutes and will be a full hour starting at 5pm.***
12:53pm...so far 0-0 in the Belguim/Russia match, neither team looks good (which is good for Group G, because the top two are likely to play these two teams).
"The fact is that the Magnus Effect can change sign," Bush says. "People don't generally appreciate that fact." Given an absolutely smooth ball, the direction of the curve may reverse: The same kicking motion will not produce a shot or pass curving in a right-to-left direction, but in a left-to-right direction.
Why is this? Bush says it is due to the way the surface of the ball creates motion at the "boundary layer" between the spinning ball and the air. The rougher the ball, the easier it is to create the textbook version of the Magnus Effect, with a "positive" sign: The ball curves in the expected direction."