The Full 90

A day with no soccer

During the World Cup, going a day without games is like having breakfast without coffee, reading an English paper without a snarky headline or seeing the Portuguese national team play without diving.

It’s just... wrong.

But, after 19-straight days with international footy on the flickering box in your living room (or on your desktop), today will be World Cup free.

Me, I’m actually kind relieved. Not happy. But, I actually once woke up more than once these past three weeks at the butt crack of dawn to watch Slovakia or Paraguay play. (Yeah, I might have a problem.)

Maybe I’m still burnt out from USA-Ghana last Saturday. Maybe it was the Portugal-Spain diving contest yesterday that left me a little more than raw.

I think today I’ll go out and explore this giant glowing hot orb in the sky.

Or I’ll stay in the dark and get caught up on “Deadliest Catch” or watch the DVR’d season premiere of “Louie.”

Having said all of that, I guarantee I’ll miss soccer by 1 p.m.

On to the Quarterfinals...

Did ESPN get screwed or what? Sure, Germany-Argentina and Brazil-Netherlands are fantastic match-ups. But losing Mexico, England and the United States pretty much yanks a large chunk of casual viewers out of the mix doesn’t it? I wonder how the watch parties in the P are going to go from here on out.

It’s really quite a shame the casual viewers won’t invest time now that their country is eliminated. I actually think this is a very interesting and borderline amazing Final 8. Five of the most exciting teams are still in play. The lone African team is still alive. And there are two difficult to break down South American teams that end in “-guay.”

Who’s your team now? I tend to root for the Netherlands when the USA is out of the running. (My brother and I adopted the Oranje in 1994 as our “adopted homeland.” Our ancestral homeland, Norway, is hardly ever in the tournament. So we felt we needed insurance.) But I’m kind of taken by this German team. Young, talented, fun to watch, likable. This isn’t your dad’s German team.

It’s also understandable if you’d like

to root for Paraguay


My All-Cup XI (so far)


Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina), David Villa (Spain)


Keisuke Honda (Japan), Mesut Oezil (Germany), Anthony Annan (Ghana), Landon Donovan (United States)


Fabio Coentrao (Portugal), Paulo Da Silva (Paraguay), Maicon (Brazil)


Fernando Muslera (Uruguay)

Making that XI was tough stuff. Leaving out Luis Fabiano, Messi, Juan, Vittek? Tough calls. (It wasn’t that hard, mind you. I had 69 less players to chose from thanks to the no-shows by Italy, France and England.)

The arguments I’d accept: Carlos Tevez (Argentina) for Suarez, Xavi (Spain) for Oezil, Thomas Muller (Germany) for Donovan), Michael Bradley (USA) for Annan, Martin DeMichelis (Argentina) for Da Silva and Eduardo (Portugal) or Richard Kingson (Ghana) over Muslera.

Anyone want to play some FIFA? I kinda want to right now.