172 Comments

USA v Belgium Game Preview & Thread

| July 1st, 2014

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Because, really, what the hell could possibly be happening around the Chicago Bears to warrant this column be dedicated to anything else.

So why do I like the USMNT today?

I always like the USMNT.

Points…

  • Set pieces, set pieces, set pieces. Belgium has not allowed a goal in the run of play yet in this tournament and they sport – when healthy – the sturdiest back four in the tournament. Thomas Vermaelen is out and Vincent Kompany (arguably the best center half in the world) will be limited if he plays at all. US needs a big performance off the dead ball and that usually means a big delivery performance from Graham Zusi.
  • US can’t lose the possession battle to the extent they lost it against Germany and that means Michael Bradley has to play better. Bradley is meant to be the catalyst for everything this attack but his timing, pace and ideas have all been a step behind throughout the group stage. That has to end.
  • Eden Hazard has not asserted himself yet in this tournament. If he chooses today to do so, US fans will be looking down the barrel of a several goal defeat. That’s how much better Hazard is than any of the players tasked to defend him.

Today is a huge opportunity for the USMNT. If they win they’ll be playing a quarterfinal on Saturday of Fourth of July weekend. Families gathered around television. Grandparents watching a sport they’d never watch. That kind of event could be the foundation of a whole new generation of soccer fans in this country. “I started watching soccer with my family on 4th of July weekend” kinda thing. More eyes would be on that game Saturday than on any soccer event in the history of this country. That is the opportunity. Will they seize it?

USA 2, Belgium 1 in extra time.

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  • AlbertInTucson

    HIGHLY Optimistic, I would say.

  • I’ll give you a set piece.

  • MB30SD

    Sadly I agree with Al.

    BUT, I gleefully agree with Perno.

  • Trac

    “The very thought of losing is hateful to America”.

    In other words, Jeff is trying to say if you watch the game, you won’t have to say, “Well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana”.

    • MB30SD

      I’m very pleased with the job klinsman’s done. This has been a great outcome for USMNT. Just getting out of the group of DEATH was an achievement… and without our best (not lately, but) striker?!

      Anything after this is icing.

      • Trac

        I’m hoping the Swiss beat Argentina. It would pave the way for our best chance to the Semi’s if we win today.

        • MB30SD

          Yes, sadly, you’re dreaming. The swiss, in soccer, as in war, suck.

          Hahahaha

        • The Ghost of Super Bowl XX

          Pipe dreams..Messi is in a monster mode right know. but Swiss is not a flan….

      • Irish Sweetness

        Well done lads. Lost nothing in defeat etc. You got out of a group you weren’t supposed to get out of and ran into probably the strongest Belgian side ever.

        Howard had 15 saves? Awesome. What a way for him to go out.

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD
  • Trac

    Wow! Jeff is playing the “Great Swami” part today. This game has 1 nil all over it.

  • MB30SD

    GET. FUCKING. PUMPED!

  • Ronald Raes

    Hi all,
    longtime reader of this blog, and Belgian (posted as BXLBearsFan couple times) . I hope to see a good game tonight, and a win for us.
    cheers!

    • MB30SD

      BXLBearsFan. Nice to see you again.

      Love Bruge, many of your beers, your chocolate, your pomme frites, and liege waffles.

      But today… fuck you and your waffles!

      (hee hee)

      • Ronald Raes

        See, that ‘s the weird part with you guys. what the hell is up with these waffles. Back in BEL, they’re hardly noteworthy. I’ve never eaten or actually seen one of ‘m served like you do.
        We’re the land of chocolate, fries, and beer. and don’t get me started on the f*n “french” fries thing. Now THAT is a proper topic of conversation in Belgium. We invented fries, not those f*n french.
        chocolates fries and beer (and XTC). the hell with waffles.

        • MB30SD

          dude… liege waffles are the SHIT (http://liegewaffle.wordpress.com/liege-waffle-recipe-liege-gaufre-recette/). The normal fluffy ones I’m not a fan of, but the chewy, sugar nugget crunchy liege variety… delicious. And this comes from a guy who doesn’t usually do carb.

          BEER:
          Leffe Brune
          Duvel
          Maredsous 8 – Brune

          My top 3, in no particular order.

          • Ronald Raes

            about the beers…
            i see two brown beers in your top 3. not a fan. Duvel is more my style. And if you like Duvel, i’d invite you to taste: Omer, Chouffe (my favorite), Triple Karmeliet and the 7 trappiste beers.

          • MB30SD

            I love Brune. Not a fan!?!?!?

            I’ve tried quite a few of the trappiste brews. Also delirium tremens and about 3 others from that house.

            Thanks for the other suggestions… alas, it shant save you from the rath of our USMNT warriors today.

            My apologies on the be behalf of the entire US of motherfuckin’ A.

            Hahaha

          • Ronald Raes

            Pride comes before the fall. your run ends tonight.

          • MB30SD

            ‘Murica

            Been a great run if so.

          • Ronald Raes

            listen, if there’s one thing you learn to never do as a belgian, is to boast. sth i picked up watching US sports.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Well done Belgian Bear! Haven’t seen the Belgian side since Enzo Scifo was on it !

          • For your consideration….

            I could drink Chimay every single day of my life.

          • MB30SD

            not a fan. too sweet and perfumey for me… all of them. yick.

            my brother loves that shit tho. Try a Duvel yonny, promise you’ll love it… and it’s like 9%!

        • Irish Sweetness

          Tell them about Palm beer !

          • MB30SD

            not a huge fan. it’s….. ok.

  • MB30SD

    Hey trac, if you want a visceral example of why the fucking swiss won’t win today, you just saw it.

    Hahahaha… nice 1:1 shot on goal you swiss douche. Hahahaha

    • Trac

      Yup. A lob over the goalies head would have been nice.

  • MB30SD

    BTW, shit’s about to get real for you, hamas cunts: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/01/world/meast/israel-teenagers-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    Good luck with that strategy against israel.

    • Trac

      Who comes up with their taunt material?

      • MB30SD

        they’re fucking animals and they deserve everything they’ve just brought on themselves.

        I don’t know man… I know this is horrible to say, but what fucking value do these people bring to the world besides more mouths to feed and suicide bombs? I’m not talking about ALLL of them, just sayin’… fucking add some value for christ’s sake or you’re a net-negative and should you really be here taking up air, food, water, lives? Really?!

        I get this opens up the whole cull people argument, and who would decide, and then we have soilent green and all that, but fuckena.

        • burntorangenavyblue

          Seriously, when will Israel just say “Screw it” to the rest of the world and do what they really want? If a few Western nations get upset, who cares? They’ve been through WAY WORSE than that.

          • MB30SD

            Bingo. parking lot.

            I get that’s basically what the nazis said (and the moral implications of my position), but I’m more than willing to take out both stat sheets and do an apples to apples comparison on value given to the world. I’m not basing anything on a personal crazy bias, I’m willing to go strictly on value.

            Loser gets the fuck off the planet?

          • burntorangenavyblue

            I mean, don’t they get 72 virgins or something like that? Why not? SMH

          • Irish Sweetness

            Interesting argument, MB. Interesting. The Nazis gave America their rocket program and ultimately put them into space and then on the moon. So they get a pass using your own rationale, Eh … eh ?

            Palestinians .. .you got me.

        • For your consideration….

          Scale of those that deserve death:
          1. new bandwagon douchebag Seahawks fans
          2. Hamas

          • burntorangenavyblue

            With the prevalence of the national media being very accessible for all sports lover, band-wagoners will always be the norm now, sadly.

            Now, I would agree for the 1996 Green Bay band-wagoners that I grew up with in Chicago, they can go.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Taking up air … in their own country MB ? I wouldn’t be happy squashed into the west bank after the rest of the world decided somebody else could have my country.

          There’s mostly innocent people stuck in that shit-hole, they asked for no part in any of this – ertainly not the children. Poor bastards. And that includes the three kids they found under rocks.

          • MB30SD

            they lost it… in a war… it’s not their country, it’s a gift.. from israel. And all they do is violence. The palestinians are a pawn for the rest of the militant arab regimes to tweak the free world and israel. The ONLY ones who stepped up help the pals when it was all over was…. wait for it…. do you know the answer? It wasn’t ANY of the arab nations that had just used them to start and fight THEIR war.

            You want your own land, do something besides launch rockets and kill innocent people. something… anything.

            And do some research about which side is more accepting, helpful, and good. Stop blowing people up in cafes and maybe the wall would come down. You always act like they didn’t do anything to be put in the position they are in… and its ignorant dude. I don’t care that you’re a terrorist apologist, just have a good fucking reason for it, smfhay

    • Irish Sweetness

      I fear a lot more than three Palestinians will pay for those deaths, MB. This is the perfect time to put a stop to it all. No retribution, the open hand of peace and peaceful discourse. I know it’s easier said than done, but after 800 years of slavery, Ireland showed that it could be done.

      Mr Netanyahu was not installed to find a peaceful path I fear.

      • MB30SD

        there is no peacefiul path with these animals irish. that’s the problem. Retribution isn’t some warning sign like mussolini’s head on a stick, it’s just hoping to kill a few of the

        se fucks before they can recruit more. It sucks, but extremist muslims don’t do diplomacy and don’t give a fuck… they see it as weakness.

        As a once-popular trucker hat used to say, ‘Kill ’em all and let allah sort them out.’ Hahaha

  • Ronald Raes

    BTW remember the name Divock Origi. you will get to know him tonight.

  • burntorangenavyblue

    Record numbers watching if they play on Saturday? Maybe. Don’t forget, it’s 4th of July weekend, most people are traveling, vacationing, beaching it up, partying like crazy. When the 4th lands on a weekend, televisions are almost NEVER on. From my experiences as well as many people that I know.

  • Trac

    Analysis so far? Swiss hanging in there. The Swiss just don’t have the team speed Argentina has but they can pull this off.

    • MB30SD

      they remind me so much of greece. terrible. Just go away. hahahah

      Their goalie has been money though. Dude’s gotten fired on hard core this match.

      • Trac

        I believe!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • MB30SD

          hahahaha

          why?

          Here’s what I see from ARG, they don’t pass or cross to people, they do it to a place and hope someone is there. smh.

          • MB30SD

            sniff sniff

  • Trac

    Too bad. Argentina purposed to score so they did.

    • MB30SD

      here we go trac

      • MB30SD

        *SNIFF* *SNIFF*

        Hey SWI… GTFO! hahaha

        • Trac

          You gotta admit the game was closer than you thought it would be. Huh? Huh? Huh?

          • MB30SD

            yes. the swiss backend it toooiiight!

            But it makes for turrible soccer. that’s why I hate defensive teams. Just bad.

            Take heart trac, this is the way it should be.

          • Trac

            We’ll never beat Argentina. This team don’t have the keys to that car yet. Neva kno tho!

  • It should be 4-0. Miracle in ‘Mazon?

  • Trac

    Can I look at the score yet?

    • 0-0. We’re going to have to get to penalties. Don’t even think we can score if they have no goalie.

      Maybe if one of their guys got a red. Then again, we somehow beat Ghana who was dominating.

      • Trac

        Had to stop watching. Too much pussyfooting going on.

        • Yeah, it’s rough watching. Like I said before, “The U.S. bringing everyone down to the lowest common denominator since 1776. U-S-A!”

  • Klingsman, “It’s not a tuma. It’s the U.S. naational team!”

  • The most hated man in music, meets the most hated man in football and boxing. Like some sort of bermuda triangle of haterade.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/01/manziel-tones-it-down-by-hanging-out-with-justin-bieber/

  • Belgium getting more patient with setting up their shots. Not good news for the U.S.

    • Trac

      Can I say it? The USA is not a well disciplined team.

  • Trac

    Still wondering where Jeff’s 3 goals are gonna come from. hee hee.

    • MB30SD

      jesus, that was sloppy defense. yikes!

      • Trac

        No problem. Just need to whip up a set piece and wa la…presto! hee hee

        • MB30SD

          ahhhh come on guys! It’s all about set pieces these days. Whadda ya need a refresher course?

          • Trac

            hahahaha

          • MB30SD

            movie for +5 blog points

  • MB30SD

    defense like swiss cheese

    • Trac

      Do they always pass the ball towards our goal? Why are we giving Belgium half the field and they make us fight for evra square inch?

      • MB30SD

        cause they’re better than us

        • Trac

          Our team goes after loose balls like the Bears did last year. lol

          • MB30SD

            we’re all about getting the surprise goal on the lucky ball… just like a fat chick at a bachelor party.

          • Trac

            oh, do tell? hahaha

          • MB30SD

            my brother is that guy. As long as there’s a heartbeat and a place to put it, he’s in.

            I’m ridiculous. I physically can’t hook up with a chick below a 6.5ish… my body won’t let me. It’s like the gag reflex… just can’t

          • Jumping on the grenade

            http://youtu.be/GlB6KnsdkQs

          • IF only the U.S. went after loose balls like Aaron Rodgers.

  • MB30SD

    BRADLY…. sucks.

  • Trac

    Thank goodness Belgium is as afraid to attack as we are.

  • This reminds me of my friend at a club. His theory: ask enough chicks for their #, eventually, you’ll get one, even if it’s ugly.

  • John ‘GP’ Nada

    Watching the Univision feed makes the game seem like every little shot is amazing

    • Trac

      I’m still waiting for a shot that isn’t straight at either goalie.

      • John ‘GP’ Nada

        Oh that was close

    • I’ve been telling you guys to watch it on Univision even if you don’t know a lick of Espanol.
      Easy on the eyes too.

  • Howard is like a Jedi today. He’s anticipating where it’s going before it’s even kicked. Feel the force, I do.

    • Trac

      He’s good but Belgium has been shooting the ball right at him.

      • That’s because he’s there before their mind is – The Buddha.

  • John ‘GP’ Nada
    • I’d love to be her cell…on vibrate.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Conyo! Que guapa ….

  • Trac

    ooh, ooh, a set piece.

  • We need to send better skanks down to represent. Russia, Netherlands, Brazil…all these smoking fans….U.S. girls in red-white-and-blue fros….not so much.

  • Trac

    That guy ran a route like Devin Hester. Smh!

  • Belgians grow jew-fros? Learn something new every day.

    • MB30SD

      Plenty of jews in Belgium maings

  • Two guys! that dude is lucky the U.S. doesn’t give a crap about soccer, or he’d be the choker of the year. Damn. How can you miss that!?

    • Trac

      I counted 5 easy goals that Belgium should have had. Well, maybe only 4.

  • Trac

    Dang, Belgium’s #4 looks like Frank Thomas. Built like a tank.

  • Trac

    We all knew this was going to happen.

    • Yup. Can’t keep defending against 3 guys the whole game and extra time.

      • Trac

        The U.S. gets sloppy when they try to play offense.

  • Only a matter of time. U.S. D is worse than Bears D last season.

  • Trac

    Gotta score now.

  • It won’t matter anyways. Both of these teams would/will get spanked by Arg.

  • Trac

    I’d love to see us tie it up and win this thing on penalties.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Hasta la vista, baby.

  • AlbertInTucson

    I think I hear Dandy Don Meredith singing “Turn Out The Lights, The Party’s Over.”

  • Trac

    So far evra group winner has won.

    • AlbertInTucson

      That’s a first, I’m told.

  • Keep hope alive!

  • One more! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor!?

  • Trac

    Where’s this team been all game?

  • I tell you what. We probably need a whole new team (except may Green and a few others), but Klinsman needs to stay.

    • AlbertInTucson

      As always with coaching, the question is: Who are you going to get that’s better?

  • Trac

    That Belgium coach is about to have a heart attack.

  • Trac

    Great effort at the end. Too late the hero!

    • SC Dave

      We needed the miracle goal the end of regulation. But we deserved to lose, because we are just not good.

  • Well, at least they went down fighting. It’s like they didn’t wake up until over time. Is that coaching? How can you not be up for a game like this? Maybe they were just outclassed, but if the U.S. played like that from the beginning, they could have really had a chance to win.

    • Trac

      The strategy is to play it safe until the last. 10 mins of regulation. Belgium made the first hard push to score and missed an easy goal right at the end of regulation. The better teams are more aggressive and we didn’t pull out all the stops until it was too late. The end of this game and the Ghana game clearly indicates we have talent, we just need more confidence. I don’t think you can clearly say we gained much this cup.

      Like George C. Scott said in Patton, Americans aren’t interested in holding ground but taking it when it comes to war.

      • Allowing the other team to shoot 30+ shots is NOT playing it safe. This could have easily been a blow out early if not for the combo of some bad Belgian shots and Howard going Jedi.

        We just need an infusion of new talent, which we don’t got cuz all our athletes are in the other sports.

        • SC Dave

          Bullshit. Clutch that dream… if other countries bothered to play our sports, they’d probably kick our asses too. I mean, they do in baseball, for one.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Patton: “We aren’t holding on to anything. Let the HUN do that.”

    • SC Dave

      We have no skill – it’s really that simple. Their players are better than ours… by a lot.

      There are only two guys on our national team I’d have kept, and they are both old. Beasley has probably seen his last Cup, and Howard too.

  • Trac

    We now return to our regular offseason programming. Sigh!

    • SC Dave

      Same old story.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Tim Howard. 16 saves. SIXTEEN?! Yes, your table IS ready, Mr. Howard.

  • Ronald Raes

    Damn that was intense. Yeeeeeaaaaah Belgium!! Up to Argentina!

    • MB30SD

      yeah good luck with that. they are going to destroy you.

      Oh who am I kidding, you’re both tier 2 teams.

  • Jokey

    Am I the only one who feels like I just watched the replay of NFCCCG Bears vs Packers?

  • SC Dave

    We suck. 44 years I’ve been watching this shit, and we, simply, suck. But for Howard’s spectacular play, we’d have lost 3-0 or 4-0 in regulation.

    We have 31 times the population of Belgium. 31 times.

    Of course apologists here will talk about our athletes in the NFL or MLB or NBA, claiming how good we ld would be. But we’re not. We s.u.c.k.

    It would seem the only thing we’re worth a shit at on the world stage is bombing people.

    • John ‘GP’ Nada

      May want to check that Olympic medal count before jumping off the bridge.

      • SC Dave

        Olympic medals are about money.

        • MB30SD

          ummmmmm….

          • SC Dave

            Is there a single poor country (in terms of money they spend on their athletes) that ever has a strong medal count? Maybe, but I can’t think who that is.

          • MB30SD

            russia?

            (hee hee)

  • MB30SD

    hey dave, go check the Google doodle right now. I’m hoping it calms you down and maybe saves a life.

    http://www.google.com

    • MB30SD

      and then read this: http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2014/07/01/heres-your-list-retorts-anyone-who-makes-claim-us-isnt-soccer-country

      Maybe by then some of the upset will have subsided a bit.

      • SC Dave

        This has nothing to do with being worth a shit. We’ve had over 3 million kids playing soccer since 2000, about 2/3rds of the entire population of Costa Rica (the only team left to root for now).

        • SC Dave

          “Costa Rica will play one of the tournament favorites the Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Saturday in a surprising appearance in the last eight for the small country that has a quarter of the population of Brazil’s biggest city and which hardly anyone picked to even make it past the group stage.”

          Bah… fuck it, I’m rooting for them anyways. Hell, I always hope the Bears are going to win the Super Bowl, though they’ve done it one frigging time in closing on 50 years as a fan.

          … hmm….

          Spurs?

        • Irish Sweetness

          Hey, if Costa Rica is a U.S. territory, maybe you could ‘re-acquire’ some players? They have U.S. Passports too – or no?

    • SC Dave

      Why would that calm me down? Because we choose to play a brain-damaging game that no one else gives a rat’s ass about?

      Oh wait, I’m here because of that brain-damaging game!

      Da Bears.

      • MB30SD

        SEE! Worked didn’t it?!!

        You’re welcome.

        • SC Dave

          No, but that did 🙂

          • MB30SD

            ha

  • MB30SD

    Hey dave, here’s something to take your mind off it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA8Z3ch6qSY

    I really need to start watching this.

  • For your consideration….

    #becauseitsjustsoccer

    • MB30SD

      oh fuck no! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

      not a fucking tear!!!!

      Ps. Your link is broken yonny

      • For your consideration….

        lol
        #becauseitsjustsoccer

        priorities my friends.

        • MB30SD

          fucking JERK!!! Got me.

          Dude when I saw the broken fucking link I frantically searched the web for something, and all I got was this old shot of marshall crushing some dude on a block in the packers game last year. Hahaha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

          • For your consideration….

            i convinced one of my drunk ass friends that Forte shattered all of the bones in his toes after he got hit by a dude on a Segway when he was walking out of Fogo de Chao downtown in 2011. He had blacked out so for at least a half day he was on suicide watch.

          • MB30SD

            hahaha… I need to know one thing from you.

            DId you click the link?

          • For your consideration….

            i didn’t click your link because i knew it would be a rick roll.

          • MB30SD

            damn you yonny… daaaaaamn you.

      • beninnorcal

        What are we talking about? Waffle’s link is broke.
        A tear where?
        On a Bear?
        Hopefully not our qb, not many of those to spare.

        • MB30SD

          look down. the bastard got us

          • beninnorcal

            Fuck, I was freaking out. And it was Johnny posting so I was fearing the worst.

          • MB30SD

            hahaha… ze lufftewaffele

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