Landon Donovan and the United States Soccer Team

Well where do we start? What a crazy sports day yesterday was! Top to bottom we had intrigue, excitement, victory and defeat and well a continuation of some sorts.

Let’s begin with The World Cup. Four games are now set for the second round and the Sports Rabbi nailed 3 of them on the head.

The United States beat Algeria 1-0 and England defeated Slovenia by the same score to both advance to round two. And as the Sports Rabbi had predicted, the USA finished 1st in their group and thus avoided a second round encounter with Germany, who England now has the pleasure of facing. The USA on the other hand get a much weaker Ghana side.

I actually did not get to see the USA Vs. Alegria game live as I was attending my son’s kindergarten graduation which began at 5:30pm. I decided I would tape the game and watch it on my return to the house. But at about 6:40pm while the diplomas were being handed out (my son was one of the first to receive his) I couldn’t take it any longer and called my 10 year old son at home to find out what was going on with the matches. He said bad news, England up 1-0, USA 0-0 in the 87th minute.

Oy vey I thought. I already began to get my blog together coming up with headlines such as, “USA Chokes to Algeria”, “USA Sent home Packing”, another disaster for USA Soccer, as They are ousted from South Africa”. I then was already figuring out how I would continue to bash them and Bob Bradley their coach.

3 minutes later I called back again to get an update to hear my son screaming into the phone, “Donovan Scored, what a GGOOOAAALLLLL!, You can’t believe it!”. I was relieved almost jumped into the air as some other kid got his diploma (there were about 35 children, so it took some time) And then a minute later the whistle blew to send the USA into Round number 2. A sigh of relief came over me and the games later in the evening would be to determine the USA’s next foe.

The truth is, The USA did deserve to go through considering they “won” against Slovenia 3-2 and they drew against England, but they really had to pull out those points at the last possible minute. And good for Landon Donovan. He’s the Captain, He’s has had the biggest two goals of his career and possibly two of the biggest goals in USA soccer history. The first was against Slovenia to begin the comeback and a beauty too. And then yesterday after a superb Tim Howard save and outlet pass, 3 Americans raced downfield with Donovan leading the way a couple of passes a juicy Jabulani rebound and a pounce by Donovan to pump the ball into the net, 1-0, game set match. (A little more on that later).

This was a crucial goal and their Captain for Life (no offense John Harkes) made sure to posh his team through to the next round. This is the sign of a leader. Look at the likes of Mark Messier, Michael Jordan and Kirk Gibson for helping their teams in the clutch.

Landon Donovan now joins the ranks of these immortals as the USA continues on. Don’t count the USA out of title contention here. I picked them to win the whole tournament and they still can!

The other matches will pit Argentina and Mexico and Uruguay and South Korea. Both should be interesting I got the first match correct, but I had Greece and France in the other game, both teams are already playing golf, with the French in total disarray. The French team had mutiny against its coach Raymond Domench and the whole France staff, what a disaster.

But Uruguay Vs. South Korea and Argentina Vs. Mexico should give us two games with end to end action, but I believe Lionel Messi and Argentina will go through and Uruguay will make it to the quarter finals as well.

Lots of good soccer to look forward to for the next few days!

Thoughts from the Pulpit

1) Game, set and well, not match yet. Nicolas Mahut from France and American John Isner are in the middle of playing one of the most amazing tennis matches ever. How about almost 10 hours worth of tennis! Unbelievable! The only reason the match was suspended last night was because of darkness. Tied in the 5th set 59-59, both players when serving, kept putting away his opponent because of absolute exhaustion. A combined 193 aces have been served and a standing ovation by all in attendance was a true testament to these players will and desire to keep going forward. I am looking forward to the continuation today!
2) How about the Yankees! A 6-5 10th inning win over the Arizona Diamondbacks thanks to a Curtis Granderson home run and Mariano Rivera getting out of a bottom of the 10th bases loaded jam gave the Yanks the victory and now its on to Los Angeles to face their former Manager Joe Torre and the Dodgers. Another fun weekend in store for baseball fans.
3) The NBA draft is tonight and all eyes will be on the 30 clubs involved to see how this evening will play out. Who will go where? Will there be a trade that will put the pieces in place for a run at a player like Lebron James? What will be with The New Jersey Nets and their new owner? Who will take a chance on DeMarcus Cousins? Those answers will begin to be answered later today!

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