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20 June 2006

Agence-Vleeptron Presse Sports: Guide to Team USA / World Cup 2006!!!

Click! Kick! Use Your Head!

The people who read Vleeptron from Europe and Asia (caught a guy who hangs in Mexico reading it last week) cannot possibly imagine how little we know about Soccer (aka Football/Fusbol/Futbol/Footie) in the United States.

I know so little about Soccer that I couldn't even find an image of a Soccer ball, so I used two molecules of buckminsterfullerene, or buckyballs, instead. Buckminsterfullerene is a molecular form of carbon which consists of 60 carbon atoms; chemists who dreamed it up, then cooked some up, and eventually found some occurring naturally in deep space named it for the Geodesic Dome invented by the visionary architect Buckminster Fuller.

THE RULES OF SOCCER are fairly simple. A bunch of guys who can't use their hands run up and down a rectangular field and try to kick or head-butt a round thing which is not a sphere into a goal area. The goalkeeper can use his hands to try to keep the round thing out of the goal area.

Agence-Vleeptron Sports is indebted to U.B. of DE for explaining the Off-Sides Rule. "I can't explain it. But I know it when I see it."

TEAM USA tied Italy 1-1 the other day and so remains Mathematically Alive -- a form of Living which is pretty thready and marginal. If we lose to Ghana Thursday, we are Mathematically Fucked, and must go home, which, if you will check the roster, is the Netherlands, Germany, England, Belgium, and, in surprisingly many cases, the USA.

A Soccer Mom, in American political parlance, is a white suburban woman who drives an SUV and takes her kids to soccer practice, and then votes for Republican candidates, including Bush. But in an educated, prosperous way. Cf. also NASCAR Dad.

I am really going to make a big effort to wake up by 10 am Thursday to watch the game. What do you eat at Soccer games? Sausages? Okay! I like this game already!



Anonymous patfromfootballand said...

10 Things Vleeptron needs to knwo about Football
1) Do not even dare to call this sport Soccer. Only Americans call Football Soccer because
2) We play Football...without a bloody helmet
3) "the ball is round, a game lasts 90 minutes and in the end the Germans win " (attributed to Gary Linecker)
4) Ajax is not relevant in the World Cup. Not a bit.
5) You cn get a sausage (Bratwurst) during halftime.
6) UB is absolutely right about the Offside Rule. Can't explain it but I know it when I see it. Watch "Bend it like Beckham" for a funny explanation.
7) All FIFA apparatschniks are arrogant twirps. the fIFA Presdent (a swiss) is the biggest twirp of them all. Unless he is standing next to Franz Beckenbauer
8) Everybody on this planet knows who David Beckham, Diego Maradona, Pele, Ronaldino or Socrates are. compared to those legends ben roethlisberger is but a fleafart in a hurricne.
9) Football is more than just a sport. It is Religion, social event, entertainment and much more all in one. Never ever forget that.
10)go to reno, vegas, atlantic city or your local bookie and bet your dough on Brazil as the winners of this World Cup. trust me, you will not regret it.


Blogger Bob Merkin said...

yes yes i know Ajax has nothing to do with the World Cup. But you know how much I love Amsterdam and how little I know about Footie (I had to call it Soccer for A-VP Sports' American readers), so I have become an Ajax Fan, and have even sworn to go to a game the next time I visit. And I want an Ajax t-shirt. (They were sold out in Curacao.)

If I buy the Ajax t-shirt, will I be safe to wander around other Dutch cities and other European places? Or is it safer to just wear my George Bush t-shirt with the big American flag?

The new Ajax stadium is supposed to be architecturally one of the first Warm, Fuzzy and Safe anti-hooliganism stadiums in Yerp. The stands are filled with huge mirrors, so when you're betronken and start to cause trouble, you look in a mirror and see yourself, and then you are Ashamed, and you schnellst stop making diese Betronkenaffengesselschaft.

Well, that's how it's supposed to work in theory, anyway.

I saw a crowd of about 40 Suisse Footie Fans at the Dover ferry terminal once. They looked Safe, but were dressed as ... uhhhh ... long striped scarves, silly top hats ... I guess the scarves and top hates were the Suisse colors.

The only time I have ever been anywhere where there was a cop with a machine gun on every corner was Amsterdam. Ajax was playing Iuventes, and they didn't know the Final Score yet. They just wanted to be ready in case some fans were Disappointed when they exited the stadium.

Pls tell altakaker editor more about Franz Beckenbauer. This name entirely unknown to moi.

In (8) you mention 6 names. I know 2 of them. 3 if you are talking about the ancient Greek philosopher, but I suspect you aren't.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

oh also pssst you want to bet some Currency on the USA-Ghana game? What odds are they giving in places where Sports Betting is legal? In USA Sports Betting is only legal in Nevada. Also prostitution, Verboten everywhere except Nevada.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

oh also i read Togo was threatening to take their footballs and go back to Togo if FIFA didn't give them more money. How did that work out?

Anonymous patgotnohat said...

Now you can get your Ajax tee here
Just don't go to Rotterdam wearing that one. if you wear the "Bush Hates Me" tee from you will be safe as rain all over europe.
Franz Beckenbauer is a legend, a Lichtgestalt. won the world cup both as a player and coach, currently ceo of bayern münchen and the main force behind germany's hosting of the world cup (and a bloody money machine). rumours claim that he declined the post of the next fifa prez because he would loose valuable sponsor contracts. but still a legend for what he achieved.
togo has indeed threatened to call it quits. the togo football association has recieved 8m from FIFA (television rights etc) but for some strange reason they failed to pay the players. so the coach quit and the players went on strike untill FIFA apparatschniks negotiated with them. We beat 'em 2:0 eventually and qualified for the next round.

Just go to Nevada, bet your cash on Brazil. And don't ask about those darn bloody swiss hats.

Anonymous DespicableTeacher said...

Go Go Portugal!!!

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

well this truly sucks the hairy wazoo.

okay, when's the next World Cup and where?


Thursday 22 June 2006


Ghana's 2-1 victory over the USA in Nuremberg booked their place in the Round of 16 and left Bruce Arena's men facing an earlier than expected flight home from the FIFA World Cup™ finals.

The Africans took the lead in the 22nd minute when Haminu Draman robbed Claudio Reyna of possession on the edge of the area and cooly slotted the ball past Kasey Keller.

Clint Dempsey's powerful finish two minutes before half-time gave the US hope of winning the match, but they were soon behind again through Stephen Appiah's penalty, scored in the second minute of added time at the end of the first half.

Try as they might after the interval, the US could not find a way past a stubborn Ghana rearguard and leave the tournament after claiming just one point from their three group games. For Ratomir Dujkovic's Black Stars, however, a match with the winners of Group F in Dortmund awaits.

The match:
9': The first attempt at goal came from Ghana, with Michael Essien receiving a square pass in the box and firing wide.

15': It was an extremely physical match in the early stages, with each team picking up a booking in the first 15 minutes.

17': After winning a corner, the first effort on goal by the US was a header straight at the keeper by Clint Dempsey.

22': Five minutes later, Ghana opened the scoring. Draman dispossessed Claudio Reyna on the edge of the box and coolly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Kasey Keller at the far post. Worse yet, it was a double whammy for the Americans as their skipper was injured in the process. Although he soon returned, he was substituted before the end of the half. 1-0

30': Ghana almost added a second on the half-hour mark, Essien threading a ball for Razak Pimpong and the forward shot wide of the right post.

35': The US missed a golden chance to equalise when Brian McBride knocked a ball down for Landon Donovan to shoot from close range, but the LA Galaxy man blazed his shot over the bar.

43': The US levelled matters when DaMarcus Beasley won a ball in midfield and played it across the face of goal and Dempsey slammed it past Kingson. 1-1

45+2': But the Americans went from high to low within a matter of minutes when Oguchi Onyewu was penalised for pushing Pimpong in the area. Appiah was perfect from the penalty spot, giving Ghana the lead as they went into the interval. 2-1

Appiah's appetite for goals
55': A counterattack by Ghana ten minutes into the second half almost extended their lead, with a brilliant one-handed diving save by Keller denying Appiah.

60':The first quarter-hour of the second half was similar to the first 15 minutes of the first half, with a lot of physical play in midfield and few chances for either team.

66': The scoring frustrations of the US team were illustrated when Eddie Lewis did well to make space for a driven cross from the left and McBride's header hit the post.

67': The Americans went close with another header as Onyewu rose high into the air to meet a corner but saw his effort go just over.

80': After the two quick chances, the Americans began to attack with more passion than precision, repeatedly getting caught offside as they desperately tried to beat Ghana's trap.

83': Arena's side showed some life again after the introduction of Bobby Convey, but first Donovan and then Convey failed to deliver good balls with targets waiting inside the box.

90': With the desperation mounting for the US, Ghana almost added another when Alex Mensah-Tachie tried to deflect a driven pass on goal, but it went just wide of the left-hand post.

In conclusion:
As was the case in every game they played at Germany 2006, the US conceded the game's first goal. Although they managed to equalise as they did against Italy, the scoreline did not stay level for long, and they just did not have the firepower to overturn another deficit.


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