Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
The following is a guest post by David Henry Sterry, who is co-author of “The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatics Guide, for those who like their soccer with a side of kick ass.” The opinions expressed are his own.
It was do or die today for USA and Algeria. When do you ever get to put “USA,” “Algeria,” and “do or die” in the same sentence? That’s what we love about the World Cup. After the draw that was ripped from the jaws of victory by the evil Coulibaly of Mali, everyone from noted Scottish/Berkeley soccer pundit Alan Black to venerable English broadcaster Martin Tyler to American tennis sensation Andy Roddick called the decision a pox on the backside of world soccer.
But the Americans were using the calamity for inspiration, full of brimstone and fire, mixed with piss and vinegar, confident that with their fate resting in their own hands, they could secure a victory, and move one step closer to glory. Algeria, fresh off a well-deserved tie against once mighty, but now sadly suffering England, were relishing the hot spotlight of the world, and ready to lay a large smackdown on the Americans.
For the USA, this was, in some ways, the most important game they’ve ever played. With ESPN and Nike pumping tens of millions of dollars into the World Cup, and so much riding on bringing World Cup 2018 to America, Team USA knew that a loss today would be nothing short of disastrous. A victory, on the other hand, would take them through to the next round, and after that, the sky’s the limit.
The 15th Major League Soccer season kicks off on Thursday as fans thankfully turn their thoughts from collective-bargaining agreements and guaranteed contracts, to action on the field, safe in the knowledge that the only strikers making the news this week will be those who score goals.
Others will make their judgments on the deal that avoided a strike — but what is certain is that the new five-year contract and modest salary structure ensures not only that MLS will start on Thursday (Seattle Sounders host the Philadelphia Union) but also that it will enter its 20th year in much the same status as it began its first – a league featuring a surprising number of good players, being paid a surprisingly low amount of money.
Everton hope to complete the signing of Landon Donovan on loan from Major League Soccer’s L.A Galaxy, a move which has generated plenty of excitement among North American soccer fans.
The move makes a lot of sense for Everton manager David Moyes – it gives him no-risk attacking cover, particularly useful while Nigerian Yakubu Aiyegbeni is away throughout January at the African Nations Cup. What is less obvious is why a short term loan spell is a good move for Donovan.
After a wave of optimism following their successful run in the Confederations Cup, the United States have come back down to earth with their 2-1 defeat to Mexico.
Although Mexico didn’t seal their victory on Wednesday until Miguel Sabah’s strike seven minutes from the end, the result actually flattered the United States who were outplayed at the Azteca stadium.
He was supposed to be the man who would take soccer in the United States to the next level yet David Beckham is in danger of becoming an embarrassing liability to the game in the country.
On a weekend when 65,000 people turned out for a friendly match in Seattle, 82,000 watched a Gold Cup game in Dallas and the U.S. national team continued their impressive form with another victory, the soccer news was all about Beckham being booed by his own fans.