World Cup South Africa 2010, Part Two.

USA 1:1 ENG! Proud to say that I correctly predicted Steven Gerrard would score the first goal of the US-England match, and that the US would tie it up. However, the US failed to get around to scoring the other ten goals I predicted. I’m glad we picked up an unexpected point, and I’m especially glad that England seems to have a head-case for a goalkeeper because we may need them to drop points against Slovenia and Algeria.

This was a great result for us, a huge moral victory in an exciting game… but it was ugly. England looked discombobulated and had to waste a substitution early to avoid a second yellow for Milner. However, they looked like they’d actually played top-flight international soccer before.

Our team looked like a mediocre JV team that relied almost entirely on grit and a great pep-talk instead of skill, tactics or strategy. On defense it looked like we were flailing at the ball. Ricardo Clark let Gerrard waltz into the penalty area all alone for that first goal three minutes in. The midfielders looked like they were frozen with indecision on every other possession. Worse, it seemed like our mids refused to play the ball through England’s back line when they had the chances. If Bradley started Altidore and Findley to take advantage of their speed, then why not give them chances to use their speed? Then, when the English defense backs off to avoid getting burned on a breakaway, there’ll be all kinds of room in the midfield to build up an attack.

But a point’s a point, and we still have a winning record against England in the World Cup.

The cable guy was supposed to show up Thursday night so I could record Friday’s games. He didn’t, so we had to reschedule for Saturday morning, and I got a nice little discount out of it. At work, we managed to watch the first half of the opening match, South Africa versus Mexico, on ESPN 360. Perfectly legal, and probably more productive than anything else happening on the last day of the school year. Sadly, ESPN 360 decided not to show us the second half, so we missed both goals.

Argentina looked awesome against Nigeria, doubling them up on time of possession and taking 20 shots, but only managed a 1-0 win. Messi had some really good shots but couldn’t get anything past Enyeama, who must’ve played the game of his life. Messi-supporting-Tévez looks lethal, though I’m not sold on Higuaín. Maybe they need to start Milito up front in his stead.

Paxon ’10’s graduation was yesterday. It rained afterwards, which was bad and good.

I’ve decided that we need to replace the plea for silence after each graduate’s name with a plea for applause and noise after each graduate’s name. I suppose it would be pleasant if we could get through all the names in respectful, observant silence, but I hate it when there’s cheering for one person but not the next.

Thus, we should trim some other part of the ceremony to make more time for the extra applause, screaming, roaring, whistle-blowing and air-horn-blasting that each graduate deserves.

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