Thursday, June 29, 2006

Viva los Argies

If like Crimenotes, soccer makes you blind with rage click here.

It's one of the tastiest upcoming World Cup matches: Germany against Argentina for a spot in the semis. On pedigree and class alone, it could be a final. Based on the way both teams have been playing, it might be better.

Argentina has scored both the biggest rout (6-0 over Serbia and Montenegro, a defeat so stunning, the country held a plebiscite and voted to dissolve into its component nations) and the sweetest goal. If you haven't yet seen it, enter the terms "argentina goal maxi rodriguez" into the YouTube search window and try not to hurt yourself when you fall out of your seat.

Germany, meanwhile, has been wowing fans with its attacking style. The normally cautious, counterattacking Germans have 10 goals in four games, and even their only one-goal game was dramatic, with a substitute sticking a dagger in Poland's heart in stoppage time. I've even been impressed by Torsten Frings, one of my all-time sports bad guys for his unnoticed handball late in the 2002 quarterfinal against the United States.

I've got nothing against the Germans. The country has been an exemplary host nation, they've managed to shed some of their understandable qualms about nationalism without losing their heads and their team is playing entertaining soccer.

They must be stopped.

Why? Simple. I want their coach, Los Angeles resident and former Germany superstar Jurgen Klinsmann, to take over the United States team. And for that to happen, I want him to come under a torrent of bullshit from the German media.

No sport does recriminations like soccer. So if the Germans get whacked, even by a team like Argentina, the outcry against Klinsmann's attacking style _ and quite possibly Klinsmann himself _ should be substantial. Normally, I'm appalled when the media and fans pronounce innovation dead on arrival after one attempt, but in this case, I'd be happy for the United States to benefit.

After enough piling on from the press and fans, you'd have to think the easygoing media treatment of soccer in the United States would look pretty good to Jurgen. Did I mention he lives just up the road from the Home Depot Center in Carson? As bad as the 405 Freeway can be, it's got to be better than 11 hours on Lufthansa.

And if Klinsmann did take over the considerable young talent on the U.S. team, the stage would be set for a sweet grudge match in the 2010 World Cup. For U.S soccer fans. it would be revenge for the 2002 quarterfinal, as well as vindication in finally beating a European power after two games in which we were the better team, yet came away without a result. For Klinsmann, it'd be vindication of his style and his talent, in support of his adopted home. Movies have been made about less.

This could what Jurgen Klinsmann sees on his way to work, if he takes over as U.S. soccer coach. Mmm, Crenshaw.

1 comment:

CrimeNotes said...

In more interesting (and masculine) news, Oprah's next episode apparently is going to be about the Ebersol family tragedy.

I like to get my soccer news here.