June 23, 2010
Landon Donovan said the disallowed goal against Slovenia would increase viewership. Don’t know if it did but Donovan’s gooooooooooal in the 91st minute will get folks tuned in for the next match.
Folks around the world wonder why the USA isn’t into soccer. I had forgotten until the 19:52 mark when a clear and obvious goal was disallowed. Here we go again. Flashback to the last 3 World Cups and the last game where Edu was clearly robbed – with no explanation ever given.
It doesn’t take a rocket science to understand the true politics behind the matches. It’s up to you to say it outloud.
And have you seen that disallowed goal lately?
Hard to find because FIFA – much delayed – claimed copyright. AP and various other large news outlets have been using still photos of the goal. Clear censorship from a free press country.
Imagine for a moment [eventhough it's an absolute impossibility] that the calls were so clearly in favor of the US – no matter the particular nature of the politics of the countries in general.
Would that referee have gotten away with not explaining his call?
And if it were a US referee?
Today’s disallowed goal was just the jumping off point of missed fouls, fake fouls, and no doubt about it attempts (some successful) to injure US players. It was so obvious the announcers didn’t bother getting outraged. The camera even caught one of Algerian players laughing after a missed call.
Playing hard so the other team doesn’t win is one thing. Attempting to injure opponents in a scoreless game is another. It’s not sport – pt’s a political statement.
Which brings me back to the US not being interested in World Cup Soccer.
The fundamental nature of American sport is sportsmanship. The notion that at the start of the competition either team/individual can win, that the competition will proceed with well-defined rules, equally applicable to both sides, and will be presided over by an impartial referee required to explain his call.
Not so with World Cup socceer. Think East German Olympic machine of old, the modern day Chinese “women’s” gymnastics team and the judging in figure skating/ice dancing.
World Cup soccer is what the casual or first time soccer watcher in the US sees when they tune in. And if something is fundamentally corrupt – it’s no longer sport and not worth investing in.
Then there’s the game itself: the non-rapid pace, the lack of breakaways and shots on net, the lack of substitutions, the mysterious time left, the arbitrary calls that need no explaining, the arbitrary awarding of penalty cards, the huge field compared to the number of players and most of all the no hands.
And then there’s the World Cup set up. Had the US not won today, they would not have advanced. And had it been a tie they would have gone home without ever being beaten – by their opponents. As is, they advance in first place.
For soccer to catch on in the US, (it never will with the present rules), they’re going to have to narrow and shorten the field and allow for substitution. The action and caliber of play would increase exponentially and the goalie’s skill would really make a difference. At least twice near the end of today’s match, players were too tired to take that extra step. That’s cheating the fans who sit there for hours listening to that NOISE. Fans who pay the salaries of those exhausted players and who are so frustrated at the end of the match they end up fighting, rioting and going after the ref.
And folks will have to learn the game, which means covering it from more angles – starting with the end zones. One can’t appreciate the passing lanes or defense watching from the sidelines and it ends being an up and down marathon with occasional 40 yd dashes.
In the meantime, it watchable using the lowest fast forward. The action is still easy to follow and that NOISE cannot be heard.
Congratulations Team USA.
England, too. (Won 1-0)
Landon Donovan after the game re disallowed goal:
We embody what Americans are about. We can moan about it or get on with it and we kept going. We believe, man.
US scored 9 goals in qualifying from the 86th minute on.
President Clinton was in attendance. He is the honorary chairman for US’ bid for the 2018 & 2022.
Next match Saturday 2pm EST (ABC)