Sunday, June 27, 2010

USA's World Cup Run Ends With Loss To Ghana

Been awhile since I've posted anything. I've been following as much of the World Cup as I can and since the games go on during the work day, I'm watching the replays in the evenings.

I was proud of the US winning their group and for a little while before yesterday's game, I was thinking they could make a run at the semifinals. Once you get to the elimination rounds all teams are solid and advancing isn't easy.

The US found that out yesterday losing 2-1 to Ghana. After the game seeing the dejected American players taking in the defeat, my eyes watered a little bit. Two things I want to see happen in my lifetime in the world of sports. The Capitals winning the Stanley Cup is one and the US winning the World Cup is another. Benjamin wondered why is Dad so down after the game and I did my best to explain it to him.

So after having some time to think about the defeat I'm wondering....Where are we as a soccer nation? Where are we going and what is the future of US Soccer? If a change is made, who is the next coach?.... Lots to think about as is the case when a nation is eliminated from the World Cup

I think Coach Bob Bradley gets to stay if he wants to. Though that plan didn't work out too well during Bruce Arena's second World Cup in 2006 (eliminated in three games) and it might be time for Bradley to move on. I like what Bradley accomplished. He got us to a Confederations Cup final, won the group and got the team to the last sixteen in the World Cup. Plus they won the Gold Cup in 2007. That's enough for me despite a terribly managed game yesterday.

I grabbed this off Big Soccer. Here's a list of players who could be around by the 2014 World Cup and their current age.

* Jozy Altidore (age 20) Villareal
* Michael Bradley (age 22) Borussia Mönchengladbach
* Alejandro Bedoya (age 23) Ă–rebro
* Jonathan Bornstein (age 25) Atlante
* Geoff Cameron (age 24) Houston
* Charlie Davies (age 23) Sochaux
* Maurice Edu (age 24) Rangers
* Benny Feilhaber (age 25) AGF Aarhus
* Robbie Findley (age 24) Salt Lake
* Brad Guzan (age 25) Aston Villa
* Stuart Holden (age 24) Bolton
* Sacha Kljestan (age 24) Anderlecht
* Robbie Rogers (age 23) Columbus
* Jonathan Spector (age 24) West Ham United
* Jose Torres (age 22) Pachuca
* Ricardo Clark (age 27) Eintracht Frankfurt
* Clint Dempsey (age 27) Fulham
* Landon Donovan (age 28) Los Angeles
* Clarence Goodson (age 28) IK Start
* Tim Howard (age 31) Everton
* Oguchi Onyewu (age 28) AC Milan

Hopefully other players will emerge as time goes on. While I'm still down after yesterday's defeat, I feel a hell of a lot better about the future of USA Soccer after this World Cup than I did in 2006.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Stephen Strasburg's Debut From The Top Row

Well, from almost the top row, Section 416, Row L, Seat 3. It doesn't matter where you sat last night, you could feel the excitement and electricity of the atmosphere at Nationals Park. Thanks to my friend Jeff, I was able to go as he had an extra ticket.

I haven't been this pumped up to see a baseball game in person since I went to see the Orioles in Game 4 of the 1983 World Series in Philadelphia.

Here are my pictures from last night. As usual, for a larger picture just double click the image. I really had a lot of fun there and this team has a very bright future ahead of it.

The atmosphere outside the ball yard.

Film maker Ken Burns throws out the first ball.

Walk from the bullpen before the game

The first pitch.

Ryan Zimmerman before his homer that put the Nats up 1-0.

More pics from Section 416

Discussion with the home plate umpire.

Continuation sequence #1

Championships that my Grandfather got to see.

The crowd.

Strasburg at bat.

Strike three, see ya!

Continuation sequence #2

Here Strasburg reminded me of Bob Gibson in the 1967 World Series.

Picture tells the story. History!

Strasburg throws 7 innings, 94 pitches, 4 hits, no walks and 14 strikeouts including striking out the last seven batters. Relievers closed the door and the Nats win 5-2. Great night at the ball yard!

The old shaving cream pie in the face. Welcome to Washington Stephen Strasburg!

While reflecting on the subway ride home last night the only baseball game I've seen was similar was Game Two of the 1983 American League Championship Series vs the Chicago White Sox at Baltimore. The Orioles Mike Boddicker allowed five singles while struck out 14 in the Orioles 4-0 win.

I really hope this kid makes it big. How cool will it be to have three solid #1 overall draft picks in the same town (Capitals-Alex Ovechkin, Nationals-Stephen Strasburg and Wizards-John Wall?). Time will tell but right now I'll be fired up to watch the Nats this Summer.

Finally, for more on the Nats, check out Nats 320, one of the best blogs out there covering the Nationals.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Winning the Stanley Cup: No Words

These hockey promos are excellent. Enjoy! Hope to see the Caps at a loss for words like this next year.

Looks like my earlier prediction below of the Flyers winning in six is in danger.