Sunday, June 22, 2014

Does This Bus Stop At Arena Amazonia?

If you are like me then you are looking forward to today's second World Cup game for our American National Team.  Our squad has had so much time off between its first and second games that one wonders whether the World Cup organizers set up our Group's schedule with an eye towards establishing at least Brasilian residency - if not citizenship - for the nations comprising Group G.  Come to think of it, once upon a lifetime ago there was a book (and a film that flowed from it) that touched upon - at least in part - the interrelationship between Germany and Brazil. 


In this day and age, "The Boys From Brazil", thankfully, has an altogether different connotation.  


Whether the "score first and park the bus" strategy that we employed successfully - if not artistically - in winning the first of our three Group matches against Ghana can be replicated today against a Portugal side still smarting after getting bitchslapped by Germany 4-0 in its first game I know not.  Methinks that Ronaldo and his colleagues will put forth a better effort today against the United States than they did against the Germans.  It would be hard to put forth a lesser effort. 

Parenthetically this has been an utterly brutal World Cup thus far for the Iberian Peninsula.  Not only did the Portugese get waxed in their first game but the defending champions from Spain were eliminated from the tournament before they even played their final Group match, courtesy of back-to-back pastings at the boots of the Netherlands and Chile respectively.  Here in the 21st Century the Line of Demarcation has taken on an entirely new meaning.  On this side of it is where all the ass-kickings to which Spain shall be subjected are to take place.  The other side of the line is reserved for those ass-kickings to be visited upon the Portugese.  

If the United States squad can manage to snatch victory - or even a tie - from defeat's jaws today, then we the people of these United States will be fairly well set up in terms of having a "home team" for which to root in the knockout round.  While a loss today would not be fatal to the American side, it would likely put them in the position of needing to defeat Germany in their third and final Group game to ensure their continuing participation in the tournament.  Impossible?  No.  An order of the tallest magnitude?  Indeed. 

Here is to hoping that the American team can render such contingency plans moot by earning at least one point against Portugal.  As long as we accrue points, then we keep hope of advancing into the Round of 16 alive.

And right here, right now the dope is that there is still hope...


-AK   

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