Gone For… World Cup 2022!

And gone for several lunches too I’m sure! πŸ˜‰

This is a WPPSA for all my blog-followers and any visitors stopping by here between Nov. 20th thru Dec. 18th, 2022. What is a WPPSA you ask? Well, it is a WordPress Public Service Announcement, of course! And it is telling all of you that I will be very unavailable here during all the FIFA World Cup games for the next 4-plus weeks. Most of the televised games here in the U.S. are between 4am to 4pm CST until the Round of 16 then later in the day with the quarter-finals beginning Dec. 3rd.

Khalifa International Stadium – Doha, Qatar

Real quickly, here are the U.S.A.’s first three games, Central Standard Time (UTC offset: -6 hours)…

  • USA vs Wales — 1:00pm CST, Nov. 21
  • England vs USA — 1:00pm CST, Nov. 25
  • Iran vs USA — 1:00PM CST, Nov. 29

Best of luck to your nation or favorite national team, if your native country didn’t qualify this year. My second country, my home away from home in world football/soccer, or futebol as it’s called in Brasil, is… well, you guessed it: Brasil. I will be cheering passionately for both teams! Meanwhile, for a teaser-appetizer of the planet’s most greatest sporting spectacle only every four-years when about 7/8th’s of the planet’s population watch obsessively every match, here are some of the Top 35 Goals of all World Cups since 1958. Enjoy.

See you all here after Dec. 18th and the Final. GO USA!!! Then Brasil!!!

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

112 thoughts on “Gone For… World Cup 2022!

  1. 1.Bergkamp
    2.Ronaldinho (against England)
    I was going to include Maradonna’s goal but I truly believe that after his blatent cheat England were so demoralised they couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag after the hand of God incident.

    There were a few goals not featured in the video which I personally would have included, but all said and done, subjectivity will win the day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. There were several (many?) I too would’ve included. But then the goal highlights would’ve been Top 135 WC Goals, right? πŸ˜„

      But I had goosebumps after watching them! SPECTACULAR GOALASO!!! I’m so excited for tomorrow and the next four+ weeks! πŸŽ‰βš½πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡²πŸ‡§πŸ‡·

      And you KNEW Maradona would be featured. Genius with the ball he was and not so with ‘divine hands’… OR the coke and drugs. πŸ™„πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

    • But I AM a bit partial to WC’s greatest saves, as you might know Ark. πŸ˜‰ I can NEVER watch enough this phenomenal defiance of all physics and human ability by one of England’s all-time greats…

      Sheesh! More goosebumps!! HOLY MOLY BATMAN! How is that even possible!?


        • I did. Been in a few collisions like that in my playing days. I thought for SURE the Iranian keeper had a broken or shattered nose. 😬

          True. That scoreline was more a reflection of Iran’s comparitive quality, or lack of, than England’s dominating proficiency. But hey, Saka’s and Sterling’s goals were special! GOALASO!!! πŸ˜‰


            • It was a very nice goal. And the shocking starter, Josh Sargent, almost had a nice header in during the first half.

              But sheesh. That was a Jekyll and Hyde two halves for us wasn’t it? And I am UTTERLY baffled as to WHY Berhalter subbed in no-name, no-experience whatsoever… Jordan Morris!!! And Gio Reyna doesn’t get any minutes whatsoever, much less doesn’t start! WTF!! And the refereeing was abysmal! Obviously Qatari referees have no WC experience at all and it showed glaringly!

              An incredibly frustrating 2nd half. 😠


            • Sorry, Mister D we had load shedding … or load shitting as my daughter calls it … last night and I missed all but the first few mins of the second half.
              Power returned at midnight. l had the live score pinned to my phone and I was a bit heartsore for you and yours when I read Bale scored a pen.
              Still, a draw is better than a loss.
              If you thrash Iran you should easily qualify.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Wow, that must have been incredibly frustrating, not just because you were cheering for my Yanks, but to miss almost an entire half of a WC match you wanted to watch, especially after our boys’ first half of excellent play. 😠 Hope that doesn’t happen again during a much bigger game for you? 🀞🏻

              “Thrashing Iran”? Haha, don’t think that’s going to happen; Iran WON’T let that happen twice in their Group play. Besides, your 3-Lions have several good/great natural goal-scorers. We don’t. πŸ˜’ But yeah, better than a loss. I’ve been saying for awhile… “If our premier, high-experienced best players—Pulisic, McKennie, Reyna, Weah, Aaronson, and Adams—can stay healthy and play their A-games, we SHOULD advance out of the Group Stage.” But look what happened with Berhalter and Reyna. 😑 If Berhalter makes another asinine decision like completely leaving out Reyna, we will not advance! Reyna has been getting decent-to-good minutes at Borussia Dortmund!!!! PERIOD! He is NOT unfit as Berhalter is lying about. Something else is going on.

              Anyway, anything is possible, right? Look at what Saudi Arabia just did… at 4am this morning my time. πŸ˜„

              Liked by 1 person

  2. USA vs Wales β€” 1:00pm CST, Nov. 21
    Nov 21st 7pm UK GMT
    Let there be civility amongst the supporters (writing from N E Wales)
    England vs USA β€” 1:00pm CST, Nov. 25
    Nov 25th 7pm GMT
    There will be a very critical view of the England game (mixed marriage here – English Wife, Welsh Husband) – Neither of us cut England any slack.
    Anyways hoping they will be good games of football
    (Generally something of an eyebrow raised, consequent sour feeling and suspicions of ‘brown envelopes under the table’ in Europe over Qatar getting the event)

    Liked by 2 people

      • We’re Aston Villa supporters and over the decades have watched many a UK national side fail to live up to the hype…..
        Battle hardened to these sorts of things.
        Despite the laments from those who want goals, the USA did well against England (some US senator really shouldn’t tweet about soccer , he doesn’t get it).
        USA vs Iran…going to be interesting.
        England vs Wales who knows?

        Liked by 1 person

        • …(some US senator really shouldn’t tweet about soccer, he doesn’t get it).

          Oh, Determined… there are an OVERABUNDANCE of ignorant American mouths who have NO CLUE what they’re talking about! I’ve heard it all my life here. But I think it’s an arrogant American mindset to run your mouth on a subject and foreign sport you can’t even discuss intelligently; though today futebol/soccer ISN’T a foreign sport here anymore, is it? But that’s what we do here, and about many other things too. πŸ˜’

          What REALLY chaps my ass sore here is that even when Mexico is playing the USMNT here in the states, it is STILL an away match when it comes to fan-support!!! I kid you not! The Mexican fans are ALWAYS out in droves, louder and much more fanatical than any American soccer fans. It’s very sad.

          Our last Group play matches will indeed be very interesting. You think Danny Ward between the sticks for Wales is better than bench-warmer Wayne Hennessey? Does Ward give Wales a fighting chance? πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • We get the same over here with Wrestling- a lot of brits willing to parade their anti-Americanism just don’t get the fact that it is staged entertainment on high octane and the audience is as much a part of the show as the referees and commentators.
            Over here the BIG US soccer team which gets most respect is the Women’s squad and the mature fans are looking forward to the next Women’s World Cup, to see if our Lionesses can repeat the win in ‘The Euros’ That was a class competition: lots of passing, attacking football ANDDD very little theatrics when a player went down.

            I didn’t ‘see’ the match US vs England, listened to it on the radio – which is a much better commentary, I thought it tight and interesting actually. Lots of lamentation is the papers the next day; they missed the drama of it. US full of zest and spirit but still lacking that final finesse at the end, England? Where was the team that beat Iran?..When were they going to wake up? Like I said…Lots of drama. You don’t need goals to enjoy a game.

            Yeah I think Hennessey is out now; that was a sign of panic if ever there was one – it happens. Too much hype and expectation placed on a team, and Iran sensed it- great display by them from the start.
            In theory if Wales beat England by 4- 0 they could through, but would then likely face Australia or Denmark and I don’t see them ‘happening’ against either.
            As for England if they do win the group, they will face France…….
            Yeah, France…😱

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ah, though the anti-Americanism on several levels is deserved & justified, you are exactly spot-on with “sports entertainment”! When all is said and done… it is ultimately just pure entertainment. There are SO MANY other aspects of life—and death, esp in combat zones or severe oppression by a regime or hyper-religious culture, e.g. Iran and Ukraine currently—that are hardcore reality and colossal to a people’s right to live free, safe, and decently. I never ever forget that, no matter HOW incredibly passionate I get about my/the World’s Most Beautiful Game!!!

              You don’t need goals to enjoy a game.

              Oh how so very, VERY true that right there is! Even when American football has its often LOW SCORING games, such as 10 to 3, or 13 to 7—and believe me, there are PLENTY of highly defensive games in American collegiate football or the NFL with mediocre, average offenses, it makes no sense at all when fans of American Rugby-Football sing their games praises. And I can’t tell you how incredibly annoying the incessant stoppages of the game have gotten 10x worse over the last 5-yrs or more! I no longer follow ANY American football, on any level. Well, except maybe Pee-Wee football—that makes me laugh every time! πŸ˜‰

              Re: England vs Wales, I don’t see the Red Dragons giving England much worry. The 3-Lions MUST show well for their nation or they heap a TON of repeated criticism from fans. They don’t need that, ESPECIALLY going up against Mbappe, DembΓ©lΓ©, Griezmann, Pavard, Rabiot, and France’s spectacular talent and form. They look as if the defense of their World Champion’s title will be very difficult to take away.

              Btw Determined, I’ve tried finding your actual name as I believe Jill Dennison used at one time, but I can’t locate it on your blog. Mine is Dwain in case you hadn’t seen it. πŸ™‚

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hi Dwain; I’m RogerπŸ‘‹ – I thought my name was there, somewhere- but then WP and I have issues with each, ever since Kismet decided I was spam and left me with no choice but to shut down my first site.

              American Football has had an on-off attraction the UK over the past 25 – 30 years. It turns up on UK TV, late, late night, but the fascination has faded to the hard-core followers. Now recently WWE turned up in Wales’ capital Cardiff (3rd September) and folk poured in from all places, sheer entertainment, and those folk earn their bucks with some of those stunts.

              And made to soccer / football. It’s a bit of a national spin off sport as to who can be the most outraged / disgusted /let-down when the England Lions don’t deliver – Euro 2016’s defeat by Iceland 2 -1 being a classic example. I hold to the possibility that with so much money flooding into the UK Premier League through TV, ‘Prize money’ from winning cups, sponsorship etc, and thus to need to succeed it is natural that large numbers of class overseas players are being brought in; thus the English pool of talent doesn’t get the chance to develop. It happened to Scotland when the two Glasgow teams Celtic and Rangers started to buy overseas two or so decades back; their national game has never really recovered…..all about money and since big combines from overseas started to buy clubs…even more big money – it happens.
              I think that’s why there was so much enthusiasm for the Lionesses; their earnings are nothing like the men’s and there’s not the Diva mentality. Also fans are finding out they can go to the Women’s Super League games for a fraction of the price and still see good games (and without the drunken idiots – thus family friendly).
              My favourite sporting clip this year>

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh wow! That’s a FANTASTIC clip! πŸ˜† Those ladies had every right to interrupt with song. BRAVO Lionesses! πŸ‘πŸ»

              I’ve grown to really like how your Lionesses play. Entertaining football for sure with good/great skill. They totally deserved the Women’s UEFA trophy! πŸ†

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yes they deserved every second of that.πŸ‘βœŠπŸ‘
              There is verve, commitment, drive and guts in that team. Sarina Wiegman had to isolate with Covid early on; but Arjan Veurink stepped up, and they kept in touch by phone and laptop through the games- that was inspiring in itself>
              And there was this:

              You can understand Sweden giving up at that point, poor girls just destroyed

              Liked by 1 person

            • I remember that goal vividly! The creativity and movement leading up to that goal was outstanding. An exciting game for sure. Can’t wait for the Women’s World Cup next year in The Land Down Under and with the Kiwi Ferns! πŸ™‚

              Liked by 1 person

            • Same in this household. πŸ˜€.
              Meanwhile 7pm GMT England vs Wales; difficult to work up the gut enthusiasm, we would both like to see USA vs Iran with the drive and determination both sides can put into a game….But Home Nations are Home Nations I guess.
              ‘Play well and play nobly chaps…’
              ‘Play up, play up and play the game…’

              Liked by 2 people

  3. “Civility”? CIVILITY!? Hah! Determined, how often do you witness football supporters—especially in the UK—treat their opposing, visiting fans with average civility? Bwaaaa! If there’s one thing that my 35+ years of school, collegiate, pro, and semi-pro footballing taught me—as a goalkeeper who HAD to be at only one end of the pitch both halves, near fans—is that UNcivil behavior and horrible heckling would be hurled upon me non-stop… it’s that incivility that is increasingly part of today’s game. Not that I like it nor encourage it, but humanity’s worst language, vices, and nature are brought out by super hyper intense competition and sport. The two shall never be divorced it seems. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

    English Wife, Welsh Husband.

    πŸ˜„ Start practicing your best apologies! You’ll probably need them in a fix. πŸ˜‰

    …over Qatar getting the event.

    Agreed. But as we both know well, oil-gas money πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° and loads of it, walks and talks globally for the rest of the industrialized nations. And the continent of Africa and the CAF have never hosted a WC, so they had big leverage back during the bidding for 2022 for sure. Nevertheless, the rest of the FIFA members have had to bend over backwards for Qatar, haven’t they?

    Liked by 2 people

        • Oh dear Prof 😲, ask Mr A that question and duck!
          Great Britain does not have ‘colonies’ anymore South Africa was granted independence in 1961, and the Commonwealth is a glorified trading club. However South Africa is still πŸ€”, geographically speaking, on the continent of Africa. πŸ™„

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, I stand corrected. And yeah, I had forgotten about S.A. being technically on the continent, despite being on the farthest southern tip of Africa. πŸ˜„ I guess I’ve always thought of Africa as everything north of the Cape and nations which qualify for WC’s and the Cup of Nations there. πŸ˜‰

            Thanks for the correction Sir. πŸ‘πŸ»


          • In actual fact we do still have one colony .. USA, but the British don’t like to mention it these days. They claim they won this war thing of independent?That’s all bullshit. The British just got fed up and went home.
            I seem to recall one of their Admirals got a bad case of haemorrhoids and scurvy so they called it a day and buggered off.
            But eventually they’ll come after all the taxes the Yanks owe.
            Meanwhile,wtf is it with this gridiron rubbish?

            Liked by 1 person

            • 🀣 OH MY, that would be 2-3 ocean-freighter loads of back taxes!!! BWAAAA! And getting fed up with us rebellious, annoying Yanks, Ark, is a pretty good description of Britain’s zeal to fight then…

              …as opposed to their hyper-zeal to tax and tax and tax to pay for their wars in Europe against France, Spain, Dutch Republic, Jamaica, Gibraltar, the Irish, India, and the King’s sanity—or insanity depending on how you assess his mental state! Who did I forget that Britain was fighting then? I know I’ve forgotten about 8-9 other nations or kingdoms. Who else? πŸ˜‰

              Gridiron rubbish? I might know of what you refer, but I’m not 100% sure so I’ll withhold my cheeky response to that part.

              And btw, WTH is Shelldigger down below rambling on about about “…is it takes 3 hours to score one.” Ummm…. repeat after me…

              England 6 — Iran 2
              France 4 — Aussies 1
              Spain 7 — Costa Rica 0

              And I’d wager my Yankee-knickers there will be MORE games with 4, 5, 6, 7, maybe even 8 total goals! Pfffft! Dayum Americans never have understood The World’s Most Beautiful Game. I speak in general terms Shell. πŸ˜‰ And Yanks may never understand it being so self-consumed with hyper patriotism and their own three major sports! πŸ˜‰ hehehe

              Just kiddin’ Shell… if you ever read this my Friend. πŸ€­πŸ€—

              Liked by 1 person

    • Somehow I WP missed this one.
      At the time I was referring to us guys being civil to each other…..And that workedπŸ˜€

      I agree with you though concerning the abuse factor, that is vile for some reason soccer brings it out.
      Rugby fans can be more polite …


        • At any tournament it’s always a matter of ‘England (ie the country) Expects’ . When there was the 1-1draw with the USA many of us thought ‘Here we go again’. Southgate however seems to be the master navigator, yet again.
          It’s France on Saturday, which is a whole different matter. England’ll have to be sharp, Senegal could have snatched a goal or two early on and turned that game around.
          Tough break for the USA, they had a good tournament but came up against Netherlands who appear to have found their legendary form again.
          On the footnote:
          Argentina vs Australia – That special save which stopped Australia drawing level and possibly pulling off a shock in extra time. The Argentinian goalkeeper Martinez plays for ‘our’ Aston Villa. A time with a great past whose moto these days could well be ‘It could be worse y’know’.
          Villa site on Facebook were celebrating inferring ‘our goalkeeper’ saved Argentina; Villa fans have to get their joy wherever they can. We have a new manager so with Martinez we may yet make it into the Top 10 of the Premier League (yea team!) πŸ™„

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Have fun Prof!

    I don’t think you could drag me to a soccer match with a team of horses. The reason everyone gets excited about a “goooooooaaaaaaaaalllllllll!” is it takes 3 hours to score one πŸ˜‰

    I’m looking for the exit, need to get out of here quick!

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ˜„ Alright now, with all due respect and in good friendship, I beg to differ with you on that cheeky (uninformed?) opinion Shell! πŸ˜‰ That’s a typical American, misguided description of the WORLD’S Most Beautiful Game and most watched, most popular sport on the planet, hands down, NO contest! Why is this so? Why do about 7/8ths of some 8-billion humans on Earth passionately watch this sport, ESPECIALLY every four years!? And have been since the 1950’s!? πŸ€”πŸ§  Glad you asked Shell!!! Lemme break it down for ya! πŸ˜‰

      If you have watched soccer matches that take 2-3 hours—very defensive oriented teams—to score a goal, then obviously you are watching or have watched very LOW quality soccer! πŸ˜„ Those matches are a penny-a-dozen everywhere in the world, and probably just above amateur level. You must watch high-quality, elite, world class players and games, especially the high-attack minded teams… for the GORGEOUS play, build-up, and artistic movements on the pitch (without the ball) that result in MANY iconic goals, or saves. This, I guarantee you my Friend. 😁

      But, I get it. I grew up in America (Texas), as you know, and hear or have heard this type of misguided boredom from Americans most all my life. πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ Sometimes what I reply with after comments like theirs is… “I fall asleep when watching a Cricket match. Can’t drag me to one with horses either!” But then… I haven’t a CLUE what the rules are, what the purpose is of knocking over sticks with a croquet-ball, and why everyone gets so excited about funny men running around in circles with their cute hats! πŸ˜„ See what I mean good Sir? πŸ˜‰

      But it’s cool. To each their own, right my Friend?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I figgered that might get him going πŸ˜‰

        I was was mostly being snarky but it is laced with a grain of truth from my certainly uninformed, inexperienced viewpoint. I suppose I just don’t have the attention span to appreciate the game. They are running this way, oh now running the other way, oops back the other way, wait a minute back the other direction again. Oh a guy fell down. It just goes on for a hopeless eternity for me. But I’ve never played the game either. I’ve played baseball, basketball, and football back when I was a kid. I suppose you can better appreciate what you have some understanding of.

        In any event, I do, truly hope you have a great time. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Um … okay, so just to be sure I’m clear on this … you’ll be taking an entire month off in order to watch grown men kick a ball around somewhere in Qatar? A whole month? And you can’t, like, find time to pop in and let us know you’re surviving all this extreme joy or angst, whichever it turns out to be? πŸ™„ You might think I’m not a sports-minded person, and you’d be right … but, I hope you enjoy watching the ball being kicked around as if it had no feelings, no value … snif.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😊 Well Jill, you’re partly correct and partly less correct. πŸ˜‰

      Yes, the World Cup does last until Dec. 18th. The weeks of Nov. 21st thru Dec. 2nd are the most game-packed mornings and afternoons due to the 8 different Groups and each of the four teams play each other (3 games per team). Once the tournament has been whittled down to 16 teams, the schedule does ease up increasingly until the Final on the 18th. Make sense?

      So Madame, I can find some short time-slots to pop-about on WP and blogs I follow… to comment, etc. 😁 So don’t be too sad for me/us. I’m not disappearing into a soccer/futebol vortex or anything. 🀭 Besides, I could NEVER EVER forget you! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s try the FOX Sports network (USA). I’m going to try to begin the video highlights at the 2:48 minute where Alex Sandro (Alessandro?) launches a knuckling BULLET from about 25-yards out!!! It hits the inside of the post! Oh my my! 😲 Richarlison’s 2nd goal comes in the 2nd half of the 3:49 minute:


  6. For my footballing mates Brian, Ark, Determined, and John Z…

    It’s halftime and I was beside myself with Gregg Berhalter once AGAIN not starting Gio Reyna!!! 😑 WTF Berhalter!? We MUST get no less than a draw with England to help our chances in advancing to the Round of 16! To have this chance we MUST have our all-time best players out on the field! That is NOT Haji Wright over Gio Reyna! That is NOT Josh Sargent or NEVER no-name Jordan Morris over Gio Reyna!!! I cannot believe our head coach's reasoning. πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

    If we Yanks go home after Group play, I mostly blame Berhalter's asinine decisions NOT to play Reyna… and then indirectly Wayne Hennessey, the keeper for Wales… who lost to Iran earlier this morning. 🀬


    • The US played very well tonight.
      England were flat, uninspired and looked like 11 tea ladies on an afternoon coach tour.
      If the US beat Iran… well who knows what might happen.
      Even if England lose against Wales they should make it through on the strength of goal difference unless Bale is inspired and they pummel us.

      I truly think your blokes have a great chance if they keep their heads.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, agreed Ark. But I GUARANTEE you, Iran will be very difficult because now they will be hyper inspired (playing a nation they generally despise!) after that win vs Wales—they have a chance to advance now by beating or drawing vs the U.S. πŸ˜‘πŸ˜•πŸ˜” Never playing Reyna vs Wales hurt us, THEN putting him in way too late vs England put us in this very precarious, risky position! Period!

        I’m VERY nervous about Tuesday’s game… mainly cuz of our numbskulled Manager. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

        Liked by 1 person

    • The snakes played well tonight really, really well, but, big but you did not score so missed an excellent chance to go through. England were awful, just like we have been in so many games. All the young stars who shone so well v Iran lacked any confidence, back to square one.
      Ok round 3. Wales lack skill and are sadly a one trick (Bale) pony, however they have passion and will be up for it. That could niggle the Lions yet I think we will scrape through by just the one goal and play crap again.
      U.S.A v Iran, ding dong all out madness probably a couple or three red cards thrown in and end in a draw.
      I’m never right so best to ignore my silly predictions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • …so best to ignore my silly predictions.

        Haha! Eh, you may not be far off Brian! πŸ˜‰ I can totally see an inspired Iranian side drawing with the U.S. A 0 — 0 or 1 — 1 final score. The ONLY way I see Tuesday’s game going terribly favorably for us is if Iran make 2-3 awful mistakes AND (that’s a big “and”) we capitalize on those mistakes. But rest assured, we will NOT beat Iran 6 – 2 like the 3-Lions did. Not if Gregg Berhalter keeps Gio Reyna OUT of the lineup where he has NO INFLUENCE on the match whatsoever.

        I am so beside myself with Berhalter on Reyna! 🀬 What in the HELL could he possibly justify for keeping Giovanni OUT of our starting 11 or subbing him on (at the very least!) by the 65th or 70th minute to make an impact for us!!! I simply cannot riddle this man’s futebol reasoning to keeping a pure talent like Reyna on the bench!!! Asinine I tell you!


        • There must be a reason your beloved Reyna is not playing Prof. Could he be carrying a slight injury that no one has been told about? It would seem ludicrous if he is not playing because of, say, personal differences with Berhalter, if that is the case then why have him in the squad?
          I think the Iran game could be a tad spicy. They showed v England they can get a bit nasty when things don’t go their way. Can your boys keep their cool if it all gets heated? I can’t see 22 players on the pitch at the final whistle.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Gio has indeed had a nagging hamstring injury the entire past summer this year. At first Giovanni thought it might keep him out of the USMNT World Cup squad. But apparently Borussia Dortmund has very excellent physio’s, medical staff, and facilities that got him back on the starting 11 for Dortmund this season. Granted he’s brought on as a sub sometimes, but Edin TerziΔ‡ and the staff WOULD NOT allow Reyna to play risking re-injury, not with how much he cost them to transfer there and is valued at essentially 19-yrs old! Bottom-line… he MUST play a lot more than Berhalter is using him. He is simply way too creative and a game-changer (like Pulisic!) to keep him on the bench!

            I can’t see 22 players on the pitch at the final whistle.

            That’s a completely accurate prediction Brian which I too agree with. πŸ˜‰ We’ll see Tuesday. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ ⚽ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ


      • OH! Your 3-Lions will ratchet things up for the Round of 16, so I’m not overly concerned for ya’lls flatness as Arky put it. BUT… I think England was being smart managing their energy & possible injuries for the next Round. Most nations do it in Group play anyway.

        England will be fine and likely go pretty deep in the tournament. But hey, Brian, did you see how MAGNIFICENT my (2nd home team) Brasil played against Serbia? Did you catch Richarlison’s 2nd goal!? Oh my my MY!!! Was that not spectacular? πŸ‡§πŸ‡· ⚽ πŸ‡§πŸ‡· Lindo GOL!!! (skin tingling from that goal!)


        • Missed the Brasil game Prof, Mrs H won’t let me watch all the games especially when her favourite tv shows are on.
          Southgate in his pre-match interview got it spot on. The U.S.A would be full of energy, press high and keep their shape also very difficult to break down and patience was needed. All this was true and then some! Not sure what happened to your boys in the second half v Wales but I was sitting, waiting for the same against us and it didn’t happen, how could they play for 90 minutes at such pace yet looked fu**ed after 45 just a few days earlier?
          Last night some of our players looked lost and lacked confidence, Saka and Bellingham being the most obvious but Sterling was totally anonymous and ‘Arry tried to beat everyone in the box and kept losing the ball instead of laying it off. No one was pressing the ball or passing with pace we dropped off and allowed your lot to run at us. We were very, very lucky to get a point but then it shows the U.S.A lack that killer touch when handed to them on a plate!

          Liked by 2 people

          • πŸ˜„ Pfffft! WOMEN and WIVES!!! Geezzz, as they say… “Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, eh(?), and can’t help at all with wardrobe choices either!” πŸ˜‰

            Well, I also heard Southgate explain later that “…this is Group play” longer term strategy for the next round. Many Managers and squads treat Group play like that. I personally think it’s smart, IF you can afford to do so. England will be fine until the Round of 16 and/or the Quarters. πŸ‘πŸ»

            If we had had Gio Reyna as a starter or AT LEAST coming on by the 65th minute, I think both our results would’ve been VERY different! Gio has the paternal genetics to make the Yank’s WC poetry in motion, I tell ya! No… I SCREAM IT! πŸ₯³ PUT GIO IN ALREADY Burr-halter-top with panties! πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ


      • Ugh Ark. πŸ˜’πŸ˜  We meet the Netherlands next this Saturday. I don’t expect to win that game; not with how “Bearhugger” is lining up our boys and NOT playing our most prolific goal-scorers. And now there’s a question (though slight & too early to tell) whether Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Josh Sargent will be 100%. πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ And since it is OBVIOUS that Bearhugger refuses to play Reyna any significant minutes, that clearly means that if ALL our midfielders and strikers are OUT with injuries… that’s the ONLY EFFIN TIME the moron will put Giovanni Reyna in the damn game!!! 🀬 I am beside myself with this head coach!

        No Ark, we will not make it to the Quarters, sorry my Friend. Berhalter will eff it all up with his mediocre, average managing and no-name no-experienced as a former national team player at world cup levels AND continental tournaments. One of our former, prolific goal-scorers, Eric Wynalda, said the other day in an interview that it is obvious Berhalter and Reyna “are having a rift” over something. Whatever the real reason(s), there is NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER to not play the lethal combination of Pulisic and Reyna, along with link-up with Weston McKennie! None at all!!! Berhalter in the end almost lost us in the Group Stage, but he DAYUM SURE WILL now against Holland!


        • Wow! So critical.
          They qualified. Be happy. No, be thrilled!
          Next, the round of 16.
          Let’s not count our chooks before they’ve hatched

          Nobody expected Denmark to fail so abysmally, and yet the Aussies beat them!

          It was a good performance by the US.
          Yeah, the Dutch are favourites, probably by a long chalk, but this is the World Cup.

          And it ain’t Friday the 13th so y’never know.


          Liked by 1 person

          • …so critical”!? πŸ˜„ You mean, more critical than English fans on their 3-Lions!? πŸ˜‰

            There are only THREE facts of our Yanks national team: 1) young; 2nd youngest team in the WC = WC inexperience; 2) very shallow bench; and 3) we have 3-4 world class, playing in Europe players and 3-4 excellent players playing in Europe’s 2nd division leagues or are second string backups.

            Now, you tell me… in Group B with Wales and Iran, those are two matches we SHOULD’VE won (bigger)—i.e. beaten Wales and scored a minimum of 2.5 goals or 3 against a very weak Iran. Versus England we did as well as could’ve been expected. Hence, we should’ve EASILY, COMFORTABLY advanced out of Group play! But we did not! That is mostly due to how “Bearhugger” or Bur-halter-top-with-panties lined up our boys and never playing a natural playmaker and goal-scorer (with Pulisic & McKennie) in Gio Reyna. Period! We have underachieved and under-performed GIVEN the amount of outstanding talent in 7-8 players we currently have!

            You watch Ark. If Berhalter doesn’t play Reyna along with Pulisic, McKennie, Aaronson, Adams, and our two decent wing-backs Dest and (reckless) Robinson… we WILL most definitely lose to Holland. Period.

            I just hope we aren’t humiliated by the Dutch and Gakpo. πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

            Liked by 1 person

            • All Willbe as it should.
              I’ m just thrilled for Japan. Did you see the game?
              Chewed my nails to the quick!
              I haven’t had the heart to speak to my godson yet.
              He’s an ardent Germany fan.

              Liked by 1 person

            • That game, Spain v Japan was a cracker while hearing what was happening with Costa Rica v Germany, ESPECIALLY when CRC briefly took a 2 – 1 lead over Germany! I said screaming, β€œOMG, Spain and Germany could BOTH go out of the tournament as things stand!” 😲🀯

              I kind of wanted Spain, Japan, and Germany all to advance, but that was my own fictional World Cup. πŸ˜‰ But I too am THRILLED that Japan moves on AND as the Group E winners! BWAAAA! Who’da thunk that, right? πŸ˜„


            • There was work going on in the kitchen and I was relaying the scores to the crew from the lounge.
              Ems joined me with five minutes in the Japan game remaining.
              Her phone was a minute and a half up on the TV feed so my nerves were spared when she announced:
              “It’s over. Japan won!”


            • Hah, the feed to us, including to my phone, was about 1.5 to 2-mins delayed as well. We’ve also been getting a LOT of pixelating and buffering where the telecast goes backwards in time about 5-10 secs, repeating what just occurred. Annoying as hell! The cable technician will be here about 11am — 12 noon to fix. No WAY IN HELL am I watching the rest of the Cup with that crap happening! I’ll take this cable-tech hostage, never surrender him to his company or family… until the problem is totally solved! 😠 πŸ˜‰

              So… Switzerland or Cameroon, and Ghana, S. Korea, or Uruguay? Who’d you like to see advance today/tonight?


            • Not that I’m I know of?
              We bought him from Stoke.
              I just loved the way he played. Still admire his technique, and he has scored for Switzerland this evening!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Ah, I thought it must be some vague connection. Let me look up where Shakira is shaking her fine hips…

              Mmmm, Chicago, Illinois for the Chicago Fire of the MLS. And I mean the futeboling/footballing club, not the Shakira Shaqiri YOU are fantasizing about! Did you SEE those hips in the video????


            • Check, check—well, a little whiskey bourbon in my java-espresso—check, and grrrrrrrrr…

              Can’t checkoff that last one after seeing Bearhugger’s starting 11. πŸ˜‘πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ


            • Ugh. πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ Yeah, have no clue WHY I typed that. Well, actually I do.

              There’s a saying about “Haste makes waste and plenty of mistakes.” Since the beginning of the WC I’ve tried catching every minute of every game. Now of course that wasn’t possible during the third games of Group play, but I tried eagerly to do it and with good success: 4:00am CST to 3:15ish, 3:30ish pm from Nov. 21 thru Dec. 2. Believe me, come Dec. 1st I was one tired dog; tongue hanging out. πŸ‘…πŸ₯΄

              As all the WC games are occurring, I still had all my full-time 18/7 Caretaker duties, house-maid & butler duties, accountant duties, errand duties, etc, etc, and chef-cook duties to name just 6-7 I remember right now. Yesterday was EXTREMELY busy because starting at 3:00pm was my kitchen-duty of making Baked Catfish with parmesan-garlic mashed potatoes & steamed veggies for Mom, sister, & myself—all done as a one man show. When possible I TRY to do WordPress in between very frequent interruptions with/from Mom due to her severe dementia. After our big dinner I was extremely lucky that my sister helped with kitchen cleanup. JEBUS! When she left it was about 6pm. Then a knock on our door. Another elderly lady (we call her Spanish Rose) I often help her with electronic issues, eye appointments, auto maintenance, etc, etc—she needs my help again with her 1989 flip-up phone. πŸ˜„ Are you chaps getting the picture? πŸ˜‰

              Eventually I get a window of 5-mins (tops) to jump on WordPress and congratulate you English fans. Low and behold, my haste made lots of waste & mistakes. I KNEW England played Mbappe & France next; I have that already on my calendar, Dec. 10, 1:00pm. WHY on Earth I said Argentina & Messi Ark, Brian, and Roger… I can’t tell you. πŸ˜–

              Maybe Mom’s severe dementia and dyscognitive dysfunction is contagious? HAH!

              Apologies for my hasty waste mistakes! Forgive me boys? πŸ™ƒ


            • πŸ˜‚ HAH! You know Ark, I probably would’ve thought exactly that given my mental state over the last 2-yrs, particularly the last 15-mons and Group play of this WC! πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ Thanks for the understanding and chuckle! πŸ‘πŸ»


  7. Well, no surprise at all to me that the Dutch were NEVER really nervous in the least with the USA threat—what little of a threat we brought against them. πŸ™„

    I predicted a 4 — 1 defeat to the Netherlands. Wasn’t too far off was I? And our lack of a solid, talented bench REALLY showed after the last 10-mins of the first half. And that was also reflected in our INABILITY to finish off gifted clear-cut chances from the Dutch, TWO easy tap-ins by Pulisic and Ream (I believe?) were not converted! And our inexperienced head coach/manager could not even recognize after the first 10-15 mins in the first half… that this was the IDEAL GAME vs Holland for Gio Reyna to make a serious impact! But what does the imbecile HC/Mgr do!? Too little, too late! He doesn’t react fast enough to NOT ONLY put in the best starting 11 with Gio Reyna either in the middle upfront or on the right wing!!! 😑 I will never understand WHY he never used Reyna in our previous 3 games OR why the dense HC/Mgr didn’t put Reyna in quickly in the first half!!! JEBUS H. CHRISTMAS!!!

    The USA lost to Holland because we do not have an upper-echelon Mgr at the helm! The USSF need to bring back JΓΌrgen Klinsmann!!! Why we ever fired him for Burr-halter-top-with-panties is way beyond my soccer/futebol knowledge and experience! And I’m not the only one saying this about his WRONG decisions. Many of our great former WC players have said it several times too in the media! πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

    That was a just and fair result today. The Dutch never looked worried. Why? Because we had the talent to go meet Argentina next (or the long-shot Aussies), but our coach EFFED that all up from the get go, starting with Game #1 vs. Wales, then Game #2 and #3, and finally against the Netherlands. I’m so SO incredibly pissed at Berhalter for his ignorance… and NOT keeping his promise 3.5 yrs ago: “I want to change how the world sees American soccer on the world’s biggest stage.

    Berhalter failed and FAILED MISERABLY!!! Period. Nuff said. Now for my 2nd love, my 2nd team: BRAAAAA-ZEAL!!! πŸ‡§πŸ‡· πŸ‡§πŸ‡· πŸ‡§πŸ‡·


  8. And then there were three…..
    Argentina Vs ?
    Tradition indicates only Italy (1938) and Brazil (1962) successfully defended their World Cup titles.
    Denmark won the UEFA European Championship having not qualified but took part as Yugoslavia was at war within itself and disqualified.
    So with those facts buoying up my heart I would like to see Morocco create another upset.
    HOWEVER it is likely that France will win tonight, but…….
    There again humble Raith Rovers defeated mighty Celtic in the 1994 Scottish League Cup….
    We all have those tales don’t we?


    • Argentina vs …?

      My wish is France. I see that matchup (Arg v Fra) as a VERY exciting, skilled attacking game with at least 3 or 4 quality goals! ☺️ Yes, Morocco would make a fabulous Cinderella story, not to mention the furthest ANY African nation has advanced. That alone is a remarkable feat, one we may not see again for another 2-3 WC’s! 😲

      But I always, like 99% of the time, want a thrilling attacking match with great goalkeeper saves, defense, and non-human ball skills and shots hitting the posts or crossbars!!! πŸ˜‰ That’s what I ultimately want and I think an Argentina vs France matchup offers the best chance for it. 😁 Plus, I would LOVE for Lionel Messi to finally hold up the Jules Rimet trophy, as it was once called, at the age of 35 yrs young!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If both sides would play to their strengths that would be the sort of game we would love to see.
        Although another scenario can happen in these big tournaments. Both sides being complete professionals and wanting to win, will play in a set of very cautious tactical moves, looking for the break. Thus ‘things’ go on in the mid-field, at times the ball gets passed back to the goalkeeper who kicks it down into mid-field, and away we go again.
        Then at a 0-0 half-time some pundit in a spurt of incredible insight gravely says ‘What this game needs is a goal,’ and the other three solemnly agree. After that they all play the time-honoured ‘What I would do if I was manager’ interlude.
        Oh well, tonight first.πŸ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Very happy that France advances over Morocco! This should be a GREAT World Cup Final: Mbappe vs Messi; Scaloni vs DesChamps; Lloris vs Martinez!!! Let loose the on-field artistry! Let the excitement and partying begin! πŸ‡«πŸ‡· ⚽ πŸ‡¦πŸ‡· πŸŽ‰


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