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New poll added: Jurgen Klinsmann is … Click here to answer!
(Photo above) Here’s the view Luca Cocito had of the Belgium-South Korea match.
Click on Google Maps’ World Cup links — they’ve got some fantastic views of Brazil’s stadiums and streets. Very, very cool stuff!
We feature one photo on this page. Click here for more — new photos added often.
Click here for our very cool Trivia and Fun Facts page.
NPR explains why soccer is finally catching on in the US.
If you want to see where Chile gets its inspiration from, check out this fantastic commercial featuring the rescued miners from a year ago:
ADAM ROTBERG’S 2ND REPORT FROM BRAZIL:
Adam Rotberg is a friend of Staples head coach Dan Woog (and a Staples soccer fan). He blogged very entertainingly about the 2010 World Cup, and is now in Brazil. Here is his 2nd report:
A few days removed from that win over Ghana, but my internet has been pretty spotty since leaving Natal.
That game last Monday was easily among the most exciting sporting events I have ever attended in person. DaMarcus Beasley was exposed in the 1sthalf, Michael Bradley underwhelmed, Kyle Beckerman proved his worth and in the end an injury-forced sub won it in spectacular fashion. It was a performance typical of the US team in the World Cup — not markedly different from what Bob Bradley produced but in the World Cup, a result like that can justify the ugliest of styles.
In person, it was thrilling. The American contingent was strong and loud. The Brazilians seemed to back Ghana, especially as the game wore on. Seemingly they were just trying to support the team that had a little less support. The Ghanaians were quite festive in their corner, and pretty confident (at least the ones we interacted with).
The stadium itself was nice. Nothing spectacular, but brand new and able to handle the crowd well. The concessions had a menu that promised hot dogs and hamburgers, but actually just sold beer, Coke, chips and cold sandwiches.
As we have traveled around a bit, the country is awash in yellow. Support for the Seleção is everpresent. On Tuesday, at least half the restaurants were closed hours in advance. Everyone planned to watch the beloved national team. Mexico pulled out quite the result though, and the Mexicans we met could not be prouder.
The rest of the week was spent in the small beach town of Natal, alternating between the beaches and restaurants watching games. Last night the Uruguayans were out in full force celebrating their elimination of England, the definition of poetic justice from Luis Suarez.
The Chileans weren’t quite as boisterous, but a few at our hotel were fully proud of their midweek performance against the reigning world and European champions. Both shocking and well deserved at the same time.
We are now in Rio for the remainder of the group stage and will try to send some more updates on the atmosphere here. Viva America!
No matter what your politics, you have to check out this video of Joe Biden in the locker room after the US beat Ghana. An amazing behind-the-scenes look:
ADAM ROTBERG’S 1ST REPORT FROM BRAZIL:
Adam Rotberg is a friend of Staples head coach Dan Woog (and a Staples soccer fan). He blogged very entertainingly about the 2010 World Cup, and is now in Brazil. Here is his 1st report:
I am writing this in a taxi to my hotel in Natal, 20 hours after my dad was kind enough to spend part of his Father’s Day taking my girlfriend and me to JFK. To be here now is a massive relief, as my stressor over the last 2 months was getting here in time for tonight’s game. If we believed everything we read, nothing about Brazilian travel would be easy.
Despite all the negativity, travel was simple. The only hiccup was a bus driver who was confused about which plane to drive us to in São Paulo. I’ll take an airport that is 98% done over something like Newark all day though.
Now on to soccer. While “must win” is overused, a US win tonight would go a long way to getting out of the group. They got better over 3 sendoff games, and really seemed to hit a stride in the first 45 against Nigeria. Keeping that flow while controlling the emotion of being at the World Cup is a necessary balance. Disciplined defending through the middle will be very important, as against Turkey they were carved up a few times, Ghana likely won’t be as wasteful.
Individually, it will be interesting to see if Klinsmann sticks with the midfield trio of Beckerman/Jones/Bradley. I thought Beckerman was out of his depth at the international level but recently changed my tune. He is the only one disciplined enough to play that deep lying midfield role. Protecting the center of defense is priority and neither Jones nor Bradley can stay deep enough to do so. As well, it frees up Bradley to get forward, and he is the most dynamic American. The other question mark is whether DaMarcus Beasley can play left back at this level. He has improved since transitioning, but this is a whole new level of opposition.
See you all again soon. In the meantime: Viva America!
Click here for some superb, in-depth videos on the US team….
The Westport Library is showing many games on a big screen in the downstairs McManus Room. The upcoming schedule includes: Monday, June 16 (US-Ghana); Tuesday, June 17 (12 p.m., Belgium-Algeria; 3 p.m., Brazil-Mexico; 6 p.m., Russia-South Korea); Wednesday, June 18 (12 p.m., Australia-Netherlands; 6 p.m., Cameroon-Croatia); Thursday, June 19 (12 p.m., Colombia-Ivory Coast); Friday, June 20 (12 p.m., Italy-Costa Rica; 3 p.m., Switzerland-France).
StaplesSoccer.com is your World Cup go-to site.
We’ll have contests, trivia, history, blogs from players and alums who are in Brazil, details on where to watch matches — you name it, it will be here — all Cup long.
Here — to get you started — is a link to Sam Borden’s very insightful New York Times magazine story on Jurgen Klinsmann: his philosophy, his ambitions, his pressures.
Here is an insightful piece on the importance of the World Cup to little kids (and the rest of us).
Here is a piece from Yahoo, saying that the US’ “Group of Death” may not be as fatal as so many people think.
Here is a story on how to stream the games.
And here (below) is ESPN’s World Cup commercial. The banner will wave!