World Cup soccer: bad kicks and worse calls

Let me preface this by saying I am by no means a great soccer player. I do think it’s just about the most fun sport I’ve ever played, but I haven’t played in a league since I was 12, played a bit of intramurals in college, and played some pickup games a few years ago.

I don’t have any speed, quickness, dribbling ability or endurance. However, unlike some of the players in the World Cup, I can get a shot on goal.  I know it sounds ridiculous, maybe incredibly naive or arrogant to say that – they’re under great pressure and have people chasing them.

But if I had a clear shot on goal that was within the penalty box, I’m pretty sure that I would get a shot on goal, making the goalie make a save, or at least not miss the goal by a whole lot. Some of these guys are missing the goal by a mile.  They kick it so far above the goal or so far to the right  or the left of it, it’s hard to believe. So, yes, if I had a clear shot with no one covering me, I’d kick it on goal or at least make it respectable.

Second, the call against the U.S. in the last game against Slovenia disallowing Maurice Edu’s apparent winning goal was a terrible call – everybody agrees with that. Let’s hope that that call was just a mistake and not part of some scandal. The ref wouldn’t even tell the players after the game what the call was. If anything, it should have been a penalty kick for the U.S. because two players were being held.  Before you say no, there was a scandal in Italian soccer four years ago. The goal could mean the difference between the U.S. advancing and not advancing.  And how about one of Brazil’s goals today against Cote D’Ivoire? It looked like a possible hand ball, and after the goal, the ref was joking about it with the Brazilian player.

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