Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Only one month until the World Cup. Get your Tony Meola jersey ready.

After the success of yesterday’s extremely lauded Food Network post, we come today to offer something we guarantee none of you will care about. Why would we do that, then, you ask? Because we are stubborn, that’s why.

What’s that we speak of? Well, as we alluded to last week, the World Cup is near. How near? Exactly one month from today, the U.S. begins its 2010 campaign against England, a match that promises to be entertaining, if nothing else. Now, as much as we would love to write extensive previews, start a running countdown and analyze each group for you, the passionate reader, we don’t have neither the time or patience to do such things. That’s not to say you can’t expect a complete, full-on prediction post as the event nears, but it is to say that, well, we don’t know if there are any soccer fans out there reading this blog. This is what’s called "testing the waters."

So what now, then? Well, for those who may not be soccer fans, but are gracious enough to read this particular blog, something of importance happened yesterday. The United States announced the 30-man practice roster (in which they will dwindle down to 23 before next month’s tournament) late Tuesday afternoon.

Before we move forward, and to make sure we haven’t lost your attention, we will now insert a crazyneat goal you can marvel over before continuing. Magical…

Now, back to the news. As we are sure you have heard by now, Charlie Davies did not make the roster (for a view of the full roster, click here.) What does it mean? Well, nothing, actually. The team is better served without him, and though it would have been an awfully nice story, it became impractical to allow him a roster spot at this point in his rehabilitation after that nasty car wreck seven months ago. We’ll miss his speed, but his absence gives the youngin’ - Jozy Altidore - more field time, which, as we found out last summer at the Confederations Cup, may be an exciting thing to watch. Finally from the U.S. side of things, in “Wow, American soccer media must really not know what’s going on” news, the once-anointed Freddy Adu failed to make the team.

Other interesting tidbits from Tuesday’s events:
- One-time Nike commercial wonderboy Ronaldinho was left off Brazil’s roster. According to the team’s manager, Dunga, the star was given plenty of opportunities, but failed to impress. Who’s going to be Brazil’s marquee name this year? Remember Julio Cesar.
- Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema didn’t make the French squad. Why does that matter? Well, considering Real Madrid popped $50 million for his rights last year, one would think he would be one of the six or seven best strikers in France, right?
- Diego Maradona left the Inter Milan pair of Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso off Argentina’s unit. Also conspicuously absent? Real Madrid’s Fernando Gago. Guess this means Real likes to pay a lot for little production. American sports analogy goes to….? It’s all you.

And finally, a classic open-goal miss that is sure to entertain.

Only 30 more days. Get your body paint ready.

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