Ding Ding Ding… Round 2!

After the first 6 days of the World Cup I am left with many thoughts, mostly good.

Let me just get this out of the way real quick, I am with most viewers: the vuvuzelas are mindless, annoying, and probably deterring the casual football viewers. Although I would probably vote to ban them, if I had an actual say, I would have to urge people to keep one thing in mind… to South Africa, the vuvuzela is football. To ban them would nearly strip them of all their pride and freedom. Would you ask fans in England to stop singing? Ask fans in Mexico stop pounding the drums? Ask fans in Italy to not light fires in the stands? ok maybe yes on that last one. Regardless, I know it’s truly obnoxious and avoidable, but keep in mind the origins of these horns are more than just annoying kids bothering their parents at a sporting event. The vuvuzelas represent inspiration to the African athletes.

Now onto the actual pitch… Germany’s dismantling of Australia made them look like the best team in the tournament. Especially when comparing to Argentina’s single goal against Nigeria, Italy’s pedestrian draw with Paraguay, and the shocker of the tournament thus far…

Spain’s 1-0 loss to Switzerland will act as the big surprise from the first week of games. The Swiss have now gone nearly 6 games without conceding a goal in World Cup play. The alpine cowbells rang across the rows of supporting fans in the stadium and signified the massive upset that had just occurred.

The worlds best players did shine, although few got on the goalsheet:

– Lionel Messi was as dangerous as ever in the 1-0 victory over Nigeria. Despite a few narrow misses, he was clearly the most threatening player on the pitch for Diego Maradona

– In similar fashion, Wayne Rooney seemed like a threat against the US, but the American defenders seemed to have more answers for the England international. Either way, he looks to be healthy, and ready to strike.

– Ronaldo and Drogba squared off in a goalless snooze-fest yesterday. The Portuguese winger did ring one off the post, but also picked up a Yellow for diving. Drogba also had one run at goal, but neither player impressed overall. The Ivorian probably has more of an excuse.

– The All-Star team (a.k.a. Spain) was contained entirely by the Swiss. Villa looked desperate, Xavi was constantly short on options, and Torres had little impact in his half hour on the pitch. To top things off, Pique picked up a nasty scrape on the play where Switzerland picked up it’s only goal.

VERDICTS:

Team now on people’s Radar’s: Chile – offensive threat could worry Spain and Swiss

Most disappointing team: France – seemed to have little punch, despite not conceding.

Most surprising group: Group C – Slovenia leading and England clinging to a solitary point, throw in the Green blunder, what a Saturday for that quartet!

Most Dangerous Team – Argentina – The Germans aren’t far behind, but Nigeria’s more formidable than Aussies, and if Messi heats up, the competition better watch out.

Spain’s loss headlines a week of small scorelines, but the second week is sure to shed some light on a puzzling first round of games. Tables will begin to clear up, with favorites emerging, and the trailing sides will start pressing, desperately seeking vital 3 point results. Don’t worry about the lack of goals, players will adjust and defenses will begin to crack. We’ll see balls in the back of the net this week, I assure you. Cheers!

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