Some random thoughts on the World Cup thus far:
-I thought England’s performance in their Saturday win was lackluster, and I hope they are saving it for later.
-But given that Trinidad and Tobago did so much better than expected against Sweden (and that was a fun game to watch!), England can’t phone it in for that game on Thursday.
-I thought the officiating in the England/Paraguay game was appalling. Peter Crouch couldn’t move a muscle without drawing a penalty; when you’re 6’7″ and have such long arms, you sure are a target (Harry Potter fans will laugh at this: it’s only in the past week that I’ve stopped calling him Barty Crouch! And I’ve been watching EPL all season, how pathetic is that?).
-US commentators: Shep Messing is such a better color commentator than Marcelo Balboa! Balboa is way too accomodating and deferential, even when the referee is doing ridiculous things. Messing is willing to put it out there and say “what the heck is he thinking?”. I also find his insights into the game more, well, insightful.
-Czech Republic just scored a really pretty second goal against USA. It’s 38 minutes into the game right now, and USA’s performance has been variable. Czech play is more consistent.
-The last 20 minutes of the Australia-Japan game were amazing! Australia really, really wanted it, and cranked up the energy while maintaining enough composure not to make bad mistakes. And I loved seeing the big inflated Socceroos in the stands.