Thursday, August 21, 2008

A few things...

It's been a crazy day, and I got a late start due to rising from 4-6 a.m. to watch the USMNT squeak another "Boring, Boring Arsenal!" victory - and not the fun, sarcastic kind. Anyway, here we go...

#1 - Our U.S. ladies had an uphill struggle against Brazil until the final whistle, but an extra time Carli Lloyd rifle job was all they'd need to claim a third Olympic gold medal in four tries (and America's 1000th of all-time). The report is here and the highlights are here (for stateside readers only).

Most observers discounted their chances after Kristine Lilly took time to start a family, and more so when Cat Whitehill and Abby Wambach went down to injury. The prognostic dark clouds seemed to have gathered for good after an opening loss, but I'm pretty sure the Olympic champions can see there was one person in their corner all the way.

Congratulations to coach Pia Sundhage and a spirited new generation of USWNT stars on the triumph, plus a special "Atta girl!" wink to vindicated netminder Hope Solo. You all never cease to make America proud.

#2 - My U.S. v Guatemala player ratings are up here. Obviously, aside from Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu, I wasn't overly pleased.

Speaking of Timmay, check out these golden quotes about the kick to the head he received from Carlos Ruiz and the subsequent "sincere" apology, courtesy of Steven Goff. Full version is here.

"With Carlos, you expect that. You know what? He's dirty. I wish I could say otherwise... I think you would rather have him be a man out there and say, 'Look, I don't like you, I am going to kick you'. You can almost respect it in a funny way... He kicks, he punches, he's an ***hole. And he wants to come and be your friend - there is no place for it."

#3 - With Tiago saying "no thanks" and other targets steeply overpriced, don't be surprised if Everton manager David Moyes makes a move for Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley within the next week.

No, I don't have any confirmation, just a whisper in the wind.

#4 - The men's Olympic gold medal match is tomorrow, so it's time for one last prediction. For a nice preview of the 1996 Atlanta final rematch, check out what Soccernet's Sulaiman Folarin has to say here.

Argentina v Nigeria - Where most final participants might play chess, tomorrow's combatants are more likely to rev their engines for 90 (or more) minutes. Even if Argentina wanted to keep full control, they know that's not likely to happen against the powerful Super Eagles. This is also a very tough call, but it should be a barnburner. I'm thinking we're gonna have some goals - Nigeria 3, Argentina 2

#5 - Look for a new "Seriously... what the hell are they thinking?" tomorrow. This one's been coming for a while now.

#6 - You won't see any match highlights in this short film, but anybody wondering what kind of atmosphere Charlie Davies plays in at Hammarby can now have that answer... and mind you, this was a Cup match.

Bajen vs Kalmar Cupen 2008 from Bajen777 on Vimeo.

- Greg Seltzer

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