• Losing Altidore could really hurt the US in this game and moving forward. I’m really hoping he’s good for Portugal! We don’t have a lot of experienced depth at forward outside of Dempsey.


  • It wasn’t always pretty, but US comes away with 3 very important points. They showed some resiliency in responding to the equalizer late in the game.

    Injuries to Bessler and Altidore are some big question marks moving forward. I think US will miss Altidore more as I saw a big difference to the US attack once he went out. I’m also worried about how many unforced errors US had throughout the game. Bad passes and some bad decisions really cut down on possession time and didn’t really give the defense and midfield much time to reset after Ghanian possession.

    The US squad doesn’t have a ton of WC experience, so I’m hoping those jitters settle down moving forward. We’ll have a tough time beating or drawing Germany and Portugal if we give them that much possession and that many chances.


  • I think I’m just starting to breathe again .  … but my heart is still racing. Oh geez, I was so worked up throughout that game. Especially the last 20 minutes or so . . .  be still my heart.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wittmann:

    You played football? I am surprised. Happy, but surprised.
    I have never been good at sports. Hated PE at school.
    Spent my last years at school dreaming about AD&D and planning castle building.

    I played from 3rd Grade through 8th Grade. which is junior high, and on my senior year in high school, I played in a city league.

    The first team I was on was called the Blue Angels. We were horrible and didn’t know anything about football, but quickly learned. Of course, here in the States, we called it soccer.

    This was only one of two losing seasons I was to have.

    The next season, I joined a team called the Blazers. Our first two seasons we got second place in our city league.

    The next 4 seasons, were remarkable.

    We won 4 championships in a row.

    For the first seven seasons I played a defense. We were feared for our tenacity at defense, especially the four years we won, but as a defensemen, we never got the praise the forwards got, but without a defense we couldn’t of won that many championships in row.

    I got tired of not getting any respect, so I changed teams.

    You know as a kid, you always want to be a goal scorer, but I didn’t get that opportunity till my 8th season, then I joined a new called the Stompers.

    I finally got my break as a forward. I played on both winged positions on either side. I was called the, “setup man,” and was very good at it. I would set people up to score, but because I was a forward, I finally was in position to scores, as well, for the team.

    I played for 4 seasons with this team, and we went to the championship every year against the same team and they beat us three times in a row, until the fourth year and we finally beat them.

    I was finishing 8th grade when I won my fifth championship and was not eligible to play again. This was 1984.

    I was so sad because football(soccer) wasn’t available in high school, in Paris, at the time. Only the big cities, in Texas, had high school soccer, at the time, then something special happened my senior year.

    A city league opened up in Paris, Texas for high schoolers. I was barely eligible to play, because 18 years old was the maximum age, you could play.

    We were used as test subjects for possible high school soccer teams. We had to play well enough against big city teams, like Dallas and Houston, Texas, in order to be granted a high school soccer program.

    That last year I played, our record was 5-6-1, not quite at .500 wins, but we managed to defeat some Dallas teams, enough to earn a soccer program for Paris High School and to this day, because of how well we played, they have a soccer program, still to this day. A few years after that, my high school, North Lamar, got a program a well.

    Even though, I never got to play soccer in high school, my team was instrumental, in 1988, for getting my town soccer programs that have survived even till this day.

    That is something, I’m real proud of. 😄

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    Well guys, I heard we won, but we had some hurt players. At least we avenged against Ghana.

    I wish I could have seen it, but I’m busy all this week. 🙂

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Glad you won guys.
    Thank you very much John Brown for the answer. You are right to be proud too.
    I hope you get to see more of the US’ games.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    That was a heck of game for the US. I scared the crap out of my cats cheering after that header to retake the lead. I certainly agree on US needing to keep possession more going forward. Lots of sloppy passing and just couldn’t keep the ball. But the strategy might be just to play D and look for opportunities in transition because they don’t have the skills forward. I really hope Altidore can come back.

    Ghana is a good team. If Portugal and Germany are as good as billed I certainly see why that group was labeled “Group of Death.”


  • Germany sure looked as good as advertised against Portugal.  😄

    For most of the game it seemed the best Ghana defense was USA’s attack. We looked pretty good attacking to start the game. I wonder how much the injury of Altidore and then Dempsey getting kicked in the face played into it. Maybe the team didn’t have much confidence in their forwards after those events? And maybe the team relaxed with the goal lead and figured they did their job and now they just had to hold on? Course that early goal was akin to kicking the hornet’s nest. Once Ghana got over the shock, they turned it on.

    I scared my cats as well on that late goal! I ran around my place screaming my head off.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wittmann:

    Glad you won guys.
    Thank you very much John Brown for the answer. You are right to be proud too.
    I hope you get to see more of the US’ games.

    Glad you like the story. After this week, I should be able to watch more games. Hopefully US can survive Portugal, and I hope we get our guys healthy again, in time for Germany. They look very strong in the highlight reels on the sports news.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    They do look the best so far.
    Mueller over exaggerating his injury and getting Pepe sent off, has really angered people in Italy. My dad is over there at the moment and that is all he went on about!
    Can only hope something like that comes back to bite them on the arse.
    I hate cheating and it is  rife in football.  (Like corruption from the top down.)


  • I’m 100% behind Pepe’s red card. And I’m honestly trying to stay impartial here and am trying to not allow the upcoming game to influence my thoughts on this. I think the red card was more due to Pepe’s subsequent actions and not so much the first action. Pepe got right back in his face and head butted him while he was still down on the ground. I don’t think he’d have been even carded had he not head butted. There was no reason for that and I think that’s what earned him the red card.

    The phrase you reap what you sow comes to mind as well. Pepe has a long history of being red carded and don’t think his history was unknown to the Swedish ref. Past actions like stomping on Messi’s hand, striking players, kicking players, etc probably influenced the ref’s decision as well. The ref(world) knows him as a violent player whose temper often gets the best of him.

    That said, I do agree that corruption is huge in FIFA and I really wish someone could just go crazy with a broom and clean it all up.

  • '17 '16 '15 '12

    Wittmann, your opinion on this is accepted but not respected. Mueller went down, yes, but I think that getting a hand in the face can have that consequence. But he was not lying on the ground (he made a point of getting in sitting position immediately from the fall), nor did he make any funny gestures. He was holding his face, yes. And when Pepe went down to the sitting Mueller and “put” his forehead to Muellers head, Mueller did not drop from sitting to lying (as 99,9% players would have), but jumped up and confronted Pepe, without touching him back.

    Mueller also did not sign with his hand that Pepe should be booked, like many other players do if they dont cringe on the floor with faked pain.

    Pepe got red because of the head butt. It was not a brutal one, but it does not belong on the pitch (and nowhere else) and is a “tätlichkeit”…dont know the English word…that has to be sanctioned with red. He certainly did not get red for the first action, and even if people (not surprisingly the arch enemies England, Italy) insist it was nothing, Pepes hand had no business so high up in the first place. I think no one can say how hard Mueller has been hit or where exactly, but I guess it hurts anywhere in the face, and from own experience everyone who played knows that it is a sensitive area, close to the eyes etc. I like Mueller, thats true, and he strikes me as a very fair, very straight and unpretentious guy.

    Apart from that, my favorite team at this WC just got trashed 0-4. Since Sweden lost to them in the barrage, that leaves me Italy and Chile.

    Congrats USA! You have a good co-trainer, of course 🙂

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Alexgreat: it was a Red. Always.
    But Mueller did not need to exaggerate the foul. There are times when you go down when a hand goes in your face and I do not believe this was one of them.
    I hate cheats.
    I would not have played Pepe(or Balotelli) if I had been the coach, because I will not abide ungentlemanly behaviour. He does not have my respect, because of his past behaviour. I do not forgive and forget.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Well I never!
    So many surprises so far in this World Cup.


  • That was a weak-ass red card.  Soccer is the sport that could use a review system the most, I think, but no one would go for it because it would “kill” the flow of the game. Nevermind the fact that you probably lose 30 minutes to the constant roll-in-the-grass dramatics, celebrations after a score, fouls, etc.

    I mean, I’m not a soccer rule expert (and many of which I wonder who the hell thought THAT was a good idea), but to call that a headbutt (which is insulting to Zidane) is to liken two cars kissing bumpers to an auto wreck.

    I will continue to watch and enjoy the games, but that whiny baby BS needs to go, and a review system would be the best way to combat it.

    Also: Mueller should be ashamed of himself.  Not only was it fake, it was terribly faked.  He looked like a complete weeny “selling” that foul.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    You Americans must cringe when you see the theatrics, Considering how violent and contact your sports are. Many here(Hereford is a Rugby city) do not like or follow football and cite the “nancyness” of the players as  reason. The magic spray when someone is fouled etc.
    In rugby they play on with an eyeball hanging off or a punch to the ribs.
    I agree with Jermofoot, I would love a review of football.
    It will not happen as long as a Neanderthal runs FIFA.
    Reform. Much needed.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    Pepe backfisted him. That wasn’t just “one of those things that happen sometimes” like what happened to Dempsey. I call good on Mueller for taking the “dive.”

    The headbutt was totally worthy of ejection especially on back of the punch.

  • '17 '16 '15 '12

    @Jermofoot:

    That was a weak-ass red card.  Soccer is the sport that could use a review system the most, I think, but no one would go for it because it would “kill” the flow of the game. Nevermind the fact that you probably lose 30 minutes to the constant roll-in-the-grass dramatics, celebrations after a score, fouls, etc.

    I mean, I’m not a soccer rule expert (and many of which I wonder who the hell thought THAT was a good idea), but to call that a headbutt (which is insulting to Zidane) is to liken two cars kissing bumpers to an auto wreck.

    I will continue to watch and enjoy the games, but that whiny baby BS needs to go, and a review system would be the best way to combat it.

    Also: Mueller should be ashamed of himself.  Not only was it fake, it was terribly faked.  He looked like a complete weeny “selling” that foul.

    Maybe you are really not an expert? Apparently, many Americans still need to emphasize how tough they are, even if only by proxy? So whats the proper English expression for Pepes deed? Light touch with the forehead? Not ok in soccer, like it or not.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Everything the US needs to do, is play two draws and they are good to go next round.
    Believe it or not, but Germany did not play very well against Portugal but knew how to take advantage of the situation.
    I saw better games of them!

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Outstanding Ochoa ,well played Mexico!

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Well earned draw. Means a draw with Croatia will see them through.
    Croatia, despite a better game against Brazil would go home  because the refeering was poor in the opening game.


  • @frimmel:

    Pepe backfisted him. That wasn’t just “one of those things that happen sometimes” like what happened to Dempsey. I call good on Mueller for taking the “dive.”

    The headbutt was totally worthy of ejection especially on back of the punch.

    That’s as much of a hit to the face as Mueller as Pepe in an armbar.  To me it was incidental but perhaps bad taste to have arms up like that.  I don’t know a precedence, but if that warrants a card then that’s weaksauce.  Spot Germany the ball if you feel it was a foul.

    This is a hit, IMO:

    @alexgreat:

    Maybe you are really not an expert? Apparently, many Americans still need to emphasize how tough they are, even if only by proxy? So whats the proper English expression for Pepes deed? Light touch with the forehead? Not ok in soccer, like it or not.

    Yes, I’m the problem here.  No, what I see is a sport that wants to be taken seriously in the US but is completely flush with bullshit, and that’s the status quo.  It’s pathetic when a poor tackle is recognized by the player and the victim and they play on is the exception, not the rule.  I’m not asking to be the NFL or rugby, I’m saying the sport needs to clean up and police itself and not let these antics play out.  To me, it’s less sportsmanlike than getting heated during a match.

    And for your info:

    Headbutt

    Touching heads

    I’m not saying that’s what he was trying to do, but he certainly wasn’t trying to injure or strike with a blow from his head.  In a loud stadium, maybe he was apologizing.  Maybe he was checking if he was ok.  Hell if I know, and neither do you.  But it’s ridiculous if it’s an instant red card as soon as foreheads come together.  Why is that even verboten?  They were nearly in embrace seconds earlier. I just saw a Russian player knock down a Korean player, and he then tried to help him stretch his leg out.  Why not red card that? Logically, the rules don’t make sense.  Don’t even bother going into “he has a history”.  I don’t care, and it’s not at all relevant to the play.

    Pull a Zidane, red card no question.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    It wasn’t the punch that got him the red card. That was just a free kick to Germany. I often see some variation of that sort of thing awarded a free kick.

    The head butt was what got him the red card. Don’t lose your cool when a call goes against you. Pretty simple.

    I don’t have a problem with the card and wouldn’t be terribly bent out of shape if he didn’t get it either. I also don’t know if Pepe had warnings from the ref. before. From the sounds of it the Portugal team was getting very frustrated all around. Maybe the ref was scared of losing control of the match. Sometimes these sorts of calls aren’t just about the incident in question.

  • Customizer

    It should have been yellow. The “headbutt” was just a note to Muller that Pepe didn’t like being conned. And, it completely destroyed the game as a contest - I didn’t bother watching the 2nd half.

    FIFA corruption will come to a head on the Qatar issue. There has probably always been corruption in the choice of host nation, just like in the Olympics.

    London got the Olympics, so its the greatest show on earth. England didn’t get the World Cup, so FIFA is a cesspool of filth. But Qatar is only very slightly less unsuitable as a venue than the dark side of the moon, so the corrupt bidding process is there for all to see.

    The only good thing that might come from it is a winter World Cup in England. I’d love to see Brazil having to play at Newcastle in January with a freezing sleet blowing in off the North sea.

    Spain must win tonight to stay alive; I think age has caught up with them like Uruguay and Portugal, but not convinced Chile are good enough to take advantage.


  • @Flashman:

    It should have been yellow. The “headbutt” was just a note to Muller that Pepe didn’t like being conned. And, it completely destroyed the game as a contest - I didn’t bother watching the 2nd half.

    The ‘contest’ was over before Pepe was even carded. The red just took all hope of a miracle away.

    The biggest effect of the card will show itself in the game against USA. Coentrão is officially done with the World Cup and Pepe getting himself ejected means Portugal will be without two of their backline starters in their game against US. This is somewhat ameliorated by the fact that the US forwards will also be a scratch (and injured) unit.

    Dempsey suffered a broken nose and had trouble breathing after he got kicked in the face. No word on whether he’ll wear a mask or not, but a mask is being considered. And of course Altidore is out for Portugal at the very least. Doctors are hoping he’ll be able to have a fast recovery, but he won’t see the field again until Germany at the very earliest. A banged up backline vs a banged up group of attackers could be the deciding factor in the game. US will likely need multiple goals if it hopes to draw/win.

    We know USA has a pretty good defense and Bessler will be good to go vs Portugal. And as a last defense, Howard’s one of the best in the world. But against Ronaldo & Co, it’s a stretch to think a one goal game will be enough for the US to get the result they need.

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