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WC 2006 Match Chat: Italy vs. USA, noon PT
2006-06-17 10:59
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Kaiserslautern!

It could be "Last Roundup" time for the American side if they can't upset the Italians. The teams have met twice in the World Cup. The first time was in 1934 and the Italians won 7-1. They met again in 1990 and Italy won 1-0.

Italian soccer has had its internal problems, but it doesn't seem to affect the players much.

Group E is a bit of a mess now after Ghana shocked the Czechs 3-0 earlier in the day. Italy, Ghana, and the Czech Republic all have 3 points and the USA has none. If the Americans pull off the upset, everybody would tied going to the last match.

But most likely, at the end of the day, Italy will have 6 points and a goal difference of at least +3. The Czechs are at 3 points and +1 and Ghana is at 3 points and 0. Ghana would be able to advance if they could pull off a tie and the Czechs lose by 2 or more to Italy.

If the USA wins, they would still need to beat Ghana in their last match to have a good shot of advancing.

National anthems

USA, Star Spangled Banner Hey, you might not know it.

Italy, Il Canto degli Italiani

Comments (139)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-17 11:04:18
1.   Greg Brock
I have it on good authority that Buffon placed 10,000 Euros on the U.S. Do with that what you will.
2006-06-17 11:05:34
2.   Bob Timmermann
The Italians like their calcio like Chicagoans like their politicians: effective AND on the take.
2006-06-17 11:08:14
3.   Bob Timmermann
As expected, Beasley is on the bench for this one.
2006-06-17 11:08:29
4.   Greg Brock
Score early, score often
2006-06-17 11:09:20
5.   capdodger
1 I wonder what his bonus is if he wins....
2006-06-17 11:11:15
6.   Bob Timmermann
The Italians are like Bob Gibson. You've got to hit them early or else you're doomed.
2006-06-17 11:13:18
7.   Greg Brock
Expect Landon Donovan to do his best Claude Rains impersonation today. Donovan is to soccer as A-Rod is to baseball. Discuss.
2006-06-17 11:20:54
8.   Bob Timmermann
So you really want Donovan to be a truly withdrawn midfielder? As in withdrawn off the field?
2006-06-17 11:24:05
9.   Bob Timmermann
Remember that the USA has won a grand total of SIX matches in World Cup play.

And two of them were in 1930.
Then they beat England in 1990.
Colombia in 1994.
Portugal and Mexico in 2002.

Where would a win over Italy rank? Under the circumstances, I think it would be pretty high. I was reading some stuff this morning where they talked to Walter Bahr about the 1950 win over England. He said he thought the US played better in its earlier loss against Spain and just got all the breaks against England.

The U.S. keeper then, Frank Borghi, said he played that position because he could never kick the ball well. He said he always threw the ball out if he could and he never took the goal kicks. All of his punts would go straight up in the air.

2006-06-17 11:26:55
10.   Bob Timmermann
Alltime USA record against Italy: Zero wins, six losses, two draws.

Past performance doesn't guarantee future results.

2006-06-17 11:28:21
11.   Greg Brock
Oh, I think it's pretty fair to say that a win over Italy, on European soil, is right up at the top of the list. It's hard to say which is THE victory, but after the Czech Republic debacle, I think this would be the most improbable.
2006-06-17 11:29:30
12.   Greg Brock
That said, beating Colombia was my favorite match.
2006-06-17 11:30:36
13.   Bob Timmermann
But I wasn't shocked at the USA win over Colombia since I had seen them lay an egg against Romania in their first match.
2006-06-17 11:32:20
14.   Greg Brock
Shocked, no. But it was my favorite.
2006-06-17 11:33:00
15.   Greg Brock
My my, Bono certainly looks excited. The Edge, however, looked surprisingly composed.
2006-06-17 11:37:15
16.   Greg Brock
Just a little bit of inside info. I hear the US is trying to swing a deal for Kaka. Keller, Dempsey, and an 11 year-old to be named later. No way Brazil makes that deal
2006-06-17 11:42:22
17.   Bob Timmermann
That was from Greg's "Random Pitch Notes Generator"
2006-06-17 11:49:33
18.   Greg Brock
According to ESPN's match rosters, Dempsey is starting, Beasley is sitting, and Johnson is still on the bench.
2006-06-17 11:51:55
19.   Bob Timmermann
The USA looks to be going 4-5-1.

But how would Jose in the adidas commercial line 'em up?

2006-06-17 11:53:58
20.   sam2175
Hmm, so USA has the mindset of not losing. Given the shocker earlier today, I think that is the right strategy.
2006-06-17 11:56:14
21.   Greg Brock
Jose goes 4-4-2, but inexplicably pulls John Harkes out of retirement and places him as a defender.
2006-06-17 11:56:38
22.   sam2175
When players sing the national anthem, can they actually hear themselves or the person standing next to them? I guarantee there are quite a few terrible singers out there.
2006-06-17 11:56:47
23.   Bob Timmermann
But the chances of advancing with a tie aren't all that great.

You would have
Italy 4 pts, +2
Czech 3 pts, +1
Ghana 3 pts, 0
USA 1 pts, -3

2006-06-17 11:57:10
24.   Ravenscar
The Edge always was the quiet one.
2006-06-17 11:57:39
25.   Bob Timmermann
The beauty of just "reading" this match is that I am spared Dave O'Brien.
2006-06-17 11:57:56
26.   Greg Brock
That's quite an up-tempo rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Caught Sam's Army a bit off guard.
2006-06-17 11:58:53
27.   Greg Brock
25 Why JP and Harkes aren't calling this match, I have no idea.
2006-06-17 11:59:58
28.   sam2175
Bob, I think the idea is to try and take chances with Ghana, and go by the supposition that Italy is not going to lose to Czeck Republic.
2006-06-17 12:00:16
29.   Ravenscar
Bob - Why aren't you actually watching?
2006-06-17 12:01:03
30.   Bob Timmermann
I can buy that since the Czechs have no strikes available for the match against Italy and Ghana lost both its goal scorers with second yellows.
2006-06-17 12:01:19
31.   Bob Timmermann
I have to work.
2006-06-17 12:02:16
32.   Bob Timmermann
I meant "strikers" instead of "strikes"
2006-06-17 12:02:23
33.   Ravenscar
Wouldn't it be less distracting to have it on in the backround on the radio or something than continually staring at the screen?
2006-06-17 12:02:52
34.   Ravenscar
Computer screen, that is.
2006-06-17 12:03:00
35.   sam2175
Too much whistling early on. I think US is playing a more physical game.
2006-06-17 12:03:08
36.   Bob Timmermann
The tend to frown on having radios on in the public areas where I am working now.
2006-06-17 12:04:04
37.   Ravenscar
I think American guy should have gone at the keeper on that one. Aggression.
2006-06-17 12:05:55
38.   Ravenscar
That call on Totti looked questionable to me.
2006-06-17 12:06:02
39.   Greg Brock
There is a lot of energy out there. From the team, and Sam's Army. Very good.
2006-06-17 12:07:26
40.   sam2175
38 Totti call was right on. Tripping from behind is absolutely an yellow card worthy offense.
2006-06-17 12:08:34
41.   Greg Brock
So the US is going to play a lot of balls long, and let Donovan and McBride make runs. We'll see if it pays off; you certainly don't keep possession very long that way.
2006-06-17 12:09:56
42.   Ravenscar
SHOOT Dempsey!


2006-06-17 12:11:14
43.   Ravenscar
I only saw one replay of the Totti call, I could be wrong. In fact, the reason I said that is that from the replay it simply looked like the guy tripped OVER Totti, as opposed to it being from behind.
2006-06-17 12:11:35
44.   joekings
I like the agressiveness, their passes are just a bit off the mark.
2006-06-17 12:14:56
45.   sam2175
That was a scare, set pieces could be important in such a defensive minded game.

Now is the chance for US, but that was a questionable foul against Italy.

2006-06-17 12:16:13
46.   Greg Brock
2006-06-17 12:16:31
47.   joekings
I thought he had it!
2006-06-17 12:16:48
48.   Ravenscar
45 - actually, that one DID look like he took him out from behind to me.


DAMN right on his foot. Even the pros lean back when they shoot like I used to when I put it over the net.

2006-06-17 12:18:33
49.   Greg Brock
Dempsey looks great. The aggressiveness and flair is just what they needed. No fear.
2006-06-17 12:18:40
50.   Ravenscar
Nice - keep getting shots on goal, something will go in.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-17 12:19:06
51.   sam2175
Oh Dempsey!

The USA is controlling the middle third here. As long as they keep more possession, and win it in the midfield, they will create opportunities.

2006-06-17 12:20:13
52.   joekings
I hope we caught the Italians on an off day, they have not looked too sharp thus far.
2006-06-17 12:20:59
53.   sam2175
That was a terrible foul by Pope.
2006-06-17 12:22:29
54.   Greg Brock
2006-06-17 12:22:34
55.   Ravenscar
2006-06-17 12:22:38
56.   sam2175
Beware of the set pieces. 1-0 Italy.
2006-06-17 12:23:03
57.   joekings
2006-06-17 12:24:15
58.   Ravenscar
Wow - what a play by the Italian keeper.
2006-06-17 12:27:26
59.   Ravenscar
ok, that was hilarious
2006-06-17 12:27:35
60.   Greg Brock
YES SIR....OWN GOALS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2006-06-17 12:28:12
61.   joekings
2006-06-17 12:28:35
62.   Greg Brock
See ya later DeRosi
2006-06-17 12:28:38
63.   Ken Arneson
And now a red card for Italy. Wow, what a shocking turn of events!
2006-06-17 12:28:43
64.   natepurcell
We are so bad that we can't even score our own goals.
2006-06-17 12:28:45
65.   joekings
2006-06-17 12:29:56
66.   Ravenscar
Whoa! That was the EXACT same elbow that I was thrown in a game where I actually scored an own goal in high school!

These are just like high school games. Soccer is pretty universal and consistent.

2006-06-17 12:31:32
67.   Greg Brock
64 C'mon Nate. Positive mental attitude! LOL!
2006-06-17 12:31:35
68.   Ravenscar


2006-06-17 12:33:17
69.   sam2175
It reminds me of a game in 1994 WC between Brazil and US. Leonardo was shown a red card for elbowing someone (Reyna?). Brazil were down 10 men, but attacked ferociously, and won via a goal by Bebeto, with a beautiful feed from Romario.
2006-06-17 12:35:00
70.   Greg Brock
69 I think it was Tab Ramos
2006-06-17 12:36:12
71.   Greg Brock
Wow, they just took Totti out. That is very surprising, and may show a little frustration.
2006-06-17 12:39:11
72.   sam2175
I think Italy is being cautious with Totti here. He is still nursing an injury, and this game is way too physical right now.
2006-06-17 12:41:42
73.   Bob Timmermann

Yes, it was Ramos who got the skull fracture.

2006-06-17 12:42:12
74.   sam2175
Great attempt by Mastreoni.
2006-06-17 12:42:38
75.   Greg Brock
Brilliant shot Pablo. Keep 'em coming
2006-06-17 12:42:38
76.   joekings
so close!
2006-06-17 12:43:19
77.   Ravenscar
DAMN that was a good shot.

I really wish there was more of those from outside the box. The extensive passing in the mess of the box and just beyond does not seem to come close to as good a result as those aggressive shots-on-goal.

2006-06-17 12:44:54
78.   Ravenscar
ok, a RED card for that one?
2006-06-17 12:45:00
79.   Ken Arneson
That was a red card foul? No way.
2006-06-17 12:45:03
80.   Greg Brock
That is a killer, and a horrible call.
2006-06-17 12:45:18
81.   joekings
2006-06-17 12:45:37
82.   Ravenscar
WELLLL he did tackle his ankle.
2006-06-17 12:46:20
83.   Greg Brock
You can't go straight to red on a midfield tackle from the side like that.
2006-06-17 12:46:42
84.   Ravenscar
OH patience grasshopper - pass a little too quick.
2006-06-17 12:48:12
85.   Ravenscar
Half-time. Sandwich run!

Oh crap, I want to see the Ghana highlight.

2006-06-17 12:55:16
86.   Bob Timmermann
I'm inspired enough to go off to find a place for lunch with a TV going. Talk to you folks later.
2006-06-17 12:56:21
87.   Greg Brock
Okay, I've seen that Ghana celebration (on the second goal) about six times, and I'm still trying to understand whipping out the Israeli national flag by the midfielder. Am I missing something, or is it just the most random thing ever?
2006-06-17 12:59:04
88.   Greg Brock
Nevermind. Looked it up. Makes some modicum of sense now.
2006-06-17 13:00:54
89.   joekings
88- Could you explain because I still don't get it?
2006-06-17 13:02:20
90.   Greg Brock
In April 1959, Israel, with help from India, supervised the establishment of the Ghanaian Air Force. A small Israeli team also trained aircraft maintenance personnel and radio technicians at the Accra-based Air Force Trade Training School. Although the British persuaded Nkrumah to withdraw Israeli advisers from Ghana in 1960, Ghanaian pilots continued to receive some training at aviation schools in Israel. After Nkrumah's overthrow, Israeli military activities in Ghana ended.
2006-06-17 13:04:21
91.   Greg Brock
For further reference on the Israel/Africa connection:

2006-06-17 13:04:49
92.   Ken Arneson
This is a joke.
2006-06-17 13:05:09
93.   Greg Brock
This is ridiculous.
2006-06-17 13:05:59
94.   joekings
unbelievable. the fix is in.
2006-06-17 13:07:42
95.   Linkmeister
Somebody do a baseball analogy here. Is this like losing two outfielders in the 5th inning?
2006-06-17 13:07:45
96.   natepurcell
Can Italy stop flopping please. thats what i hate about soccer, the wussiness of players. You arent really hurt, just play.
2006-06-17 13:08:32
97.   Greg Brock
This is like Eric Greg is the umpire, and the other team gets four strikes.
2006-06-17 13:11:20
98.   Greg Brock
We are in serious trouble.
2006-06-17 13:12:29
99.   sam2175
Del Pierro without his hair.
2006-06-17 13:13:11
100.   natepurcell
Even the playing field, even the playing field!
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-06-17 13:15:58
101.   Greg Brock
Donovan looks lost out there.
2006-06-17 13:16:02
102.   sam2175
Wow, that was a close shave for US, that center from left missed everything.

Feeble attempt from reyna.

2006-06-17 13:18:23
103.   the OZ
I'm still trying to figure out why Reyna is even on this team. He is awful.
2006-06-17 13:18:42
104.   Greg Brock
Whither Eddie Johnson?
2006-06-17 13:21:08
105.   natepurcell
that was our chance! blast!
2006-06-17 13:21:43
106.   Greg Brock
2006-06-17 13:22:53
107.   natepurcell


2006-06-17 13:23:32
108.   sam2175
Wow, that was a terrible offside. Good call.
2006-06-17 13:23:47
109.   Ken Arneson
Well, at least that one was a good call.
2006-06-17 13:23:53
110.   Greg Brock
NOOOOOOOOO! Ah, good call for once, but it just killed.
2006-06-17 13:24:39
111.   Greg Brock
Get up you prancing little nonce. Okay, now I'm a little angry.
2006-06-17 13:28:25
112.   sam2175
Tough yellow card for Zambrotta.
2006-06-17 13:31:08
113.   Ken Arneson
Great save by Keller.
2006-06-17 13:31:22
114.   sam2175
Fabulous save by Keller.
2006-06-17 13:32:01
115.   natepurcell
landon donovan= jason repko?
2006-06-17 13:32:35
116.   sam2175
USA doesn't seem to have anyone who can test Buffon from long range.
2006-06-17 13:35:58
117.   Greg Brock
Where the hell is Eddie Johnson?
2006-06-17 13:38:32
118.   Ken Arneson
The Italians look a little bit tired here.
2006-06-17 13:40:06
119.   Ken Arneson
Everybody looks tired.
2006-06-17 13:40:31
120.   Greg Brock
I love Arena, but not putting Johnson in against this exhausted team is crazy.
2006-06-17 13:40:55
121.   sam2175
Come on, somebody shoot from outside the box!
2006-06-17 13:41:07
122.   Greg Brock
That was a miserable possession. Put the ball on net!
2006-06-17 13:43:31
123.   sam2175
I think USA has decided to crowd their box, and play out the draw. They are not even venturing past their center line.
2006-06-17 13:45:15
124.   Greg Brock
It's a tactic that's going to cost them a goal.
2006-06-17 13:46:45
125.   sam2175
124 My thinking exactly, such negative strategy normally backfires.
2006-06-17 13:50:56
126.   Greg Brock
Come on, make one run out.
2006-06-17 13:52:26
127.   Greg Brock
Garbage. Total garbage. Kids play their hearts out, ref hoses them, and we get a draw. I guess I should be relatively happy, but I'm not.
2006-06-17 14:06:47
128.   Bob Timmermann
Back from watching the match at my local Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express.

It just opened. And it has a TV. That was a good $9 sandwich!

Keller was Man of the Match and he was quite studly.

My comments when Pope got his red card and Beasley's goal was taken off are better left unsaid. They involved words starting with "f" and ending with "g."


Now we have:
Italy 4 pts, +2, 3 goals
Czech 3 pts, +1, 3 goals
Ghanga 3 pts, 0, 2 goals
USA 1 pt, -2, 1 goal

The USA will need Italy to beat the Czechs and then they would have to put a serious hurt on Ghana, which I can't foresee.

Unless this crazy Uruguayan ref comes back.

2006-06-17 14:15:00
129.   Ken Arneson
I don't think they need to put on a serious hurt. They just need to win, however they do it.

If Italy and USA win, it would be:

Italy, 7 pts
USA, 4 pts
Ghana, 3 pts
Czech, 3 pts

2006-06-17 14:15:55
130.   Greg Brock
Italy beats the Czechs
US beats Ghana
US is in
2006-06-17 14:18:48
131.   Bob Timmermann
Well, that does add up now doesn't it?

I need to review what happens when you add 1 to 3.

Ghana lost its strikers. The US won't have Pope.

I really hate this Italian squad. They just ooze corruption. I need to root on a team that doesn't cheat as much.

Are the Swedes honest?

2006-06-17 14:20:16
132.   Greg Brock
131 My great grandfather was a Swede, and he was known as "Honest" Andy Johnson, the best butcher in Spokane. So take that for what you will. They are excellent leapers, that is sure.
2006-06-17 14:22:04
133.   Greg Brock
2006-06-17 14:34:39
134.   Vishal
[128] yeah, i used words beginning with "bull" and ending with "it"
2006-06-17 14:36:46
135.   Bob Timmermann
I thought McBride was just in a passive offsides position when Beasley scored, but I may have been watching that with my heart instead of my head.
2006-06-17 14:38:22
136.   Linkmeister
Does that ref win the Don Denkinger award for poorest call in sporting events beginning with the word "World?"
2006-06-17 14:40:35
137.   Greg Brock
McBride was screening the keeper from the offsides position. I was screaming the same thing Bob, but it was the right call. One of the very few.
2006-06-17 14:43:47
138.   Bob Timmermann
So what are the chances of the Italians and Czechs playing a dull draw on the 22nd?

The Czechs can't afford to do that. But the Czechs are losing players like it's the Battle of the Somme.

2006-06-17 14:51:51
139.   Greg Brock
I'm pretty sure that American soccer players are getting tired of blasts to the head in the World Cup.

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