Digital Headbutt

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Archive for August, 2007

USA vs. Sweden Live Blog

Posted by Mike on August 22, 2007

Today Team USA plays Sweden in an International Friendly. This game is important because we need experience playing in Europe against good teams (in particular with the Brazil game coming up).

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1st minute: One of the glaring part of our lineup that I noticed: no true strikers in the starting XI. Donovan and Dempsey, attacking midfielders, have been put in the forward positions.

2:40, 3rd minute: A good pass from Feilhaber to Damarcus Beasley, but Captain Can’t Finish taps it left of the goal. Still, The Americans seem to be the aggressors early on.

2:43, 6th minute: I can’t show anything Swedish on my blog without showing you this. Long live Pikea!

2:47, 10th minute: We’re ten minutes into the game, and neither goalie has had to do anything. Beasley’s miss is the closest anyone has come to a shot on goal.

2:50, 13th minute: Sweden gets the first corner kick of the game, but can;t make anything of it. Is it that both defenses are playoing well or that neither team has gotten into any groove.

2:52, 15th minute: Zlatan Ibrahimovic overpowers two defenders and the goalie, and gets a fairly clear shot at goal. Only Bornstein’s presence of mind prevented a goal by the Inter Milan striker.

2:53, 16th minute: Donovan takes a shot from outside the box, but the Swedish keeper makes the stop easily. Still, it’s our first shot on goal, and I like that Donovan took a chance on that one.

2:55, 18th minute: Two straight corner kicks for Sweden but they still can;t get anything going. It looks that if the US defense is going to get beat, it will be from the left side.

2:57, 20th minute: Feilhaber and Michael Bradley are getting into the attack, but they can;t get a good shot off.

We seem to have a serious problem in finding a reliable striker. Without any clear forwards for us, Brazil would be the perfect time for Jozy Altidore to make his Senior team debut. I see no real reason not to.

3:03, 26th minute: Team USA is finally getting into some set pieces (getting a free kick and a corner kick), but they can’t get a good shot off. Sweden seems to have a big size advantage in this match.

3:07, 30th minute: Half an hour is gone in this match. I would give team USA a slight advantage right now, because most of the game has been played in the Swedish defensive zone.

3:09, 32nd minute: Skit Ocska! We almost gave up a goal there! Ibrahimovic broke away from the defense, going one-on-one with Howard in front of the goal. He takes the shot and Howard makes the kick save, but a cross back into the box gives Ibrahimovic another shot at goal. His cabezazo bounces off the post. We were pretty lucky there.

3:16, 39th minute: Sweden hasn’t done a good job of creating chances off of their set pieces. That must be their 7th corner kick, and they have 0 SOG to show for it.

3:18, 41st minute: Not that the Americans have done a particularly good job in their set pieces either.

3:21, 44th minute: Bocanegra is called for an intentional handball, meaning a free kick for Sweden. It hasn’t been a great three weeks for Carlos.

3:23, 45 minutes: We’ve reached halftime, and the game is still tied at 0-0. Neither team has been particularly impressive so far but the USA can win the game if they make sure that Ibrahimovic cannot get a clear shot. They’ve been knocking on the door offensively, and they needed to take advantage of the chances they’re given.

3:42, 46th minute: To start the second half, the Swedes make three substitutions. The most prominent one in Wilhelmsson getting pulled in favor of Niclas Alexandersson. Bobby Convey is in for the USA.

3:45, 49th minute: Two good shots early in the second half. First, Johan Elmander passes to Daniel Andersson, and Howard needed to make great save on that shot. Less than a minute later, Dempsey very nearly scores for USA. If only be put a little more strength into that kick, we’d be up 1-0.

3:49, 53rd minute: Wow. After Sweden’s substitutions, they really have a size advantage now. It looks like every American player is giving five or six inches to their Scandinavian counterpart.

3:51, 56th minute: SKIT OCSKA! That’s swedish for “dammit”. Bakircioglu basically pushed a defender to the ground, giving room for Kim Kallstrom to make a great strike that gets past Tim Howard. Sweden now leads, 1-0. A great goal by Sweden, but how is that push not a foul? It’s painfully obvious that it’s against the rules, and that its allowed the goal to happen. A no-call might decide this game.

3:58, 63rd minute: Not a very good pass by Beasley. He gets into good position in the box, but his pass is too far for Johnathan Bornstein. But why wasn’t there a midfielder to receive the pass there?

4:00, 65th minute: Johnathan Spector and Kamani Hill come into the game for Bornstein and Donovan.

4:04, 69th minute: Our midfield seem to be outplaying Sweden’s in this game, but they still haven’t taken advantage of offensive opportunities. And that’s the biggest problem with our national team as a whole: we need to do a better job of getting goals out of the chances we create.

4:10, 75th minute: Sweden very nearly scores again, this time on a free kick. But Sallstrom’s hard strike is just wide.

4:12, 77th minute: 20-year-old Sal Zizzo makes his first appearance for the U.S. senior team. Welcome, Zizzo!

4:16, 81st minute: At this point in the game, Sweden is trying to kill clock and protect a possible 1-0 win. Yeah, I wouldn’t be very scared of my offense today, either.

4:26, 90th minute: Michael Bradley comes oh..so…close to scoring a goal at the last minute. Michael Bradley makes a great glancing header to force a diving stop by the Swedish keeper. He very nearly gives up a rebound. three inches out of his hands, and Jay DeMerit is right there to tie the game; but he manages to keep hold of the ball and end the threat.

4:30, full time: The game is over, as Sweden wins 1-0. Team USA played well in the first half, but a disappointing finish, especially by the midfield, allowed the game to slip away.

It’s clear that we have a big problem at the striker position, and we need better offensive performance. I think that Jozy Altidore is almost certainly our star forward of the future, and he should thus get some experience in the upcoming friendly schedule, starting with our big game against Brazil on September 9th. Whether Bob Bradley will start playing him now could be another story. Still, the future looks bright for this team, and we have three years to make the necessary corrections for when we truly hit the world stage in South Africa.

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Posted in Futbol, Live Blog, Skit Ocska!, soccer, Sweden, USA! USA! | 1 Comment »

Grylls vs. Stroud: The Survive-Off, Day Two

Posted by Mike on August 21, 2007

Bear Grylls and Les Stroud have been given a challenge to find out: Who is the ultimate Survivor?

beargrylls1.jpglesstroud2.jpg

Day One is in the books, and Bear had a rough night. As dawn breaks on Day Two, Bear Returns to main camp, and finds a surprise. After an already rough 24 hours, this sends him over the edge.

———————————————

Bear: Ughhhhhhhh. That was not ideal. It was the roughest night, that I, have ever had to endure. At least I had a lot of company on Everest. I’m just glad I’m back to–…

(Hears a distinct crunch, looks at cameraman)

What the hell was that?

Cameraman #1: (mouth full) Ummmngnngg… Idonnonnn.

doritos.jpg

Bear: Is that…DORITOS?!? What the hell do you think you’re doing?

Cameraman #1: Uhhmm…Surviving?

Since when does corn grow in this God-forsaken place? I’m here surviving in the f—ing wilderness, taking whatever God has thrown at me, and here you are in some sort of…orange-powdered orgy with your potato chips!

Cameraman #2: They’re actually torti–

They’re a disgrace, that’s what they are! A f—ing disgrace! How is anyone supposed to take this survival show seriously! Here I am getting scrotal frostbite in an ice cave, and my crew is carrying tents and the vending machine from hell every step of the way! Dammit, show some balls, man! The only thing that would make you wussier is a harmonica.

Les: I heard that.

Bear: Shut up, old man! You and your musical dildo still have to answer to the Queen!

You know, there was actually this story about a man, a cameraman, who came into the Hokkaido winter on a mountain just like this. He opened a bag of Doritos, and it eventually attracted an angry bear. That bear was starving, and he smelled the food from about a mile away. When the bear saw the bag in the human’s hands, he began to charge. The man tried t run, but he stood no chance. He bit off the man’s nether region, before mauling, and trampling, and clawing him to death, and all for that little bit of food, and that just shows why you’ve got be careful, and NOT BLOODY EAT SNACK FOOD IN THE BLOODY WILD!!!

Cameraman #1: Ahhh, okay, I get it! (cowers away in fear)

Bear: Give me that bag. You don’t deserve to have this. (stuffs face with Doritos) You gooaaaeees ogga be (more Doritos) affamed of youfelffs…

———————————————

For Les and Bear, the Doritos are the only food they’ve had since leaving Sapporo 36 hours before. They must now search for food, and they have spotted some animals in a ravine. The must now descend a sheer rock face.

Les: I’m gonna get my ride for this one. (walks up to pimped-out ride he made the day before)

pimp_ride.jpg

Oh, crap.

Bear: What now?

Les: Well, I was going to use this vehicle to traverse the cliffs, but the door is locked.

Bear: Wait a minute…this is a survival vehicle…of your design?

Les: Yes.

Bear: And you needed access to this vehicle at all times?

Les: Yes.

Bear: And yet you put a lock on it and used it?

Les: Yes…

Bear: Well, that was a fresh cup o’ stupid, now wasn’t it? Well, I suppose it’s not that bad. So…Where are the keys?

Les: (slouches) right there, on the dashboard.

Bear: (snickers turn into uncontrollable laughter) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA -HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA! Hahahahahah, haha, hahah, haaaaaaa… sorry. It’s just… what in God’s name were you thinking man?

Les: Don’t laugh too hard, or I’ll be forced to use this.

Bear: Use what, a water purifier that you crapped on?

Les:

——————–

After Les wakes up a few hours later, our heroes finally attempt to descend the cliff.

——————–

Les: Man, this is a tough place to climb. I am really not comfortable with his. The drop is about 150 feet, and the angle is about 60, 70-

(slips off rock)

Whoooooooaaaaaaa!

——————–

Les has taken a very, very hard fall. He has a lot of bad bruises and some scrapes, but, amazingly, he has no major fractures, open wounds, or other injuries. Nevertheless, he lies at the bottom of the cliff, concussed, bewildered, and in pain. Meanwhile, Bear has safely descended to the bottom of the cliff in only a little over the time it took for Stroud to tumble down.

——————–

Les: Uuuuuuugghhhhhhh… I feel terrible.

Bear: When climbing, use your legs, three points of contact, no arms over your head, blah, blah blah, and we’re down. Hey Les, looks like you didn’t have much trouble getting down either, “ehhhhh?”

Les: Oh, shut it. I just took the worst fall in my life, I alerted every living, breathing food source of my arrival, and now it will take me that much longer to track them down.

Bear: Cameramen! (clap clap)

Cameramen: Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! (scale down cliff with an amount of climbing equipment that even the most paranoid citizens of this planet would consider overkill)

Bear: Release the zebra!

Cameraman #1: (releases Zebra from first cage)

Bear: Wait for it…wait for it…and…release the lions!

Cameraman #2: (releases lions from second cage)

Lions:

Cameramen: (bring lions back into cage)

Bear:

 

mmmzebra.jpg

Ugh. This tastes like…chicken that been marinated in its own crap, then left in the sun for a few days. But it’s a good source of protein, and just about anything is better than nothing. Would you like to try some, baldy?

Les: Where the f— did you get lions in Japan?

Bear: Where did you get peanut butter and jelly in the Kalahari desert?

Les: Oh now come on, that was different!

Bear: No it wasn’t.

Les: Yes it was.

Bear: (puts on banana costume) It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time! Peanut Butter Jelly Time! Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Les: Stop that.

Bear: Where he at! Where he at! Where he at! Where he at! Now There he go! There he go! There he go! There he go! There he go!

Les: Dude, I said cut it out!

Bear: Do the Peanut Butter Jelly! Peanut Butter Jelly! Peanut Butter Jelly with a baseball bat!

Les: Well, at least I know why you always bring these cameramen. They’re the only reason you’re alive.

Bear: (whistles) Release the lions!

Lions: (run toward Les at 30 miles per hour)

Les: AHHHHHHH (runs for cover up a tree)

The lions quickly lose interest, but decide to scurry into the Japanese wilderness, possibly putting the entire ecosystem at risk, before they accidentally slip into raging rapids. With night falling, our heroes need to make camp, and there’s no way the Mr. Stroud is going back up that cliff.

Les: I can’t climb back up to our old camp tonight. This looks like a good place to make camp; the cliffs will prevent any animals from sneaking up on us.

Bear: (gnaws on zebra leg) Fair enough. We’ll make separate shelters.

Les: This rock should be a good start.

Mr. Stroud has made a basic A frame with sticks protecting him on one side and a large rock on the other.

stroud-shelter.jpg

Bear: Okay, boys, bring it in!

Crane: BEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP

The crane has lifted in a 500 square foot log cabin.

bear-shelter1.jpg

Les: Okay, this is getting out of hand.

Bear: What? I froze my bloody balls off in an ice cave last night. Once is enough, thank you.

——————–

Both men begin to work on making a fire. While Bear gathers wood, Les chops away at the back side of Bear’s cabin for his firewood. He plans to use a gasoline rag, sock lint, his multitool, a sulfurous rock, oil from Japanese birch bark, and the leftover zebra bones, which may or may not have explosive qualities. Bear’s flint works pretty easily. Les’s fire-making technique, needless to say, requires a bit more patience.

——————–

Les: Okay, so I’m going to strike the metal of the multitool, against this sulphur rock, and see if I can create a spark against the gasoline rage and the tinder.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

Four Hours Later…

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

(strikes the rock)

Damn.

Bear: How’s the fire going, Les?

Les: Gimme that flint.

(strikes the flint)

Mr. Stroud is now quite charred, but at least he has a warm, raging fire that will last well into the next morning. The explosion having subsided, both of our heroes decide to call it a night. But Bear is still wearing the giant banana suit from Peanut Butter Jelly Time. He has now attracted hundreds of Japanese snow monkeys, who believe that he’s a giant banana. At midnight the monkeys make their move, entering the cabin through the hole that, ironically, Les opened taking wood for his fire.

cominatchalikeamonkey.jpg

Monkeys: Whatever the hell is monkey speak for “attack”. “Hu-Hu-HAAAAA!”, maybe?

Bear: AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

As Les licks his wounds and Bear fends off simians, it looks to be another cold, hard night for our heroes…on the second night of the Survive-Off.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Am I going to hell for this?, Bear Grylls, Cult of Personality, Great Moments in Stupidity, Hokkaido, Les Stroud, Stuff That Involves Things, The Survive-Off, This is why the Internet was invented, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, what is this hyperbole of which you speak? | 40 Comments »

100 Most “Influential”: Lorenzo Neal

Posted by Mike on August 20, 2007

Ted Bauer’s 100 Most “Influential” Series is winding down over at A Price Above Bip Roberts, and this week he offered me the chance to write an article about an “important” figure in the NFL. I chose to write about one of my favorite players ever. Lorenzo Neal doesn’t pile up a lot of stats, but he’s a halfback’s best friend, and possbliy the greatest pure blocking fullback in NFL history.

neal-and-ldt.jpg

“Lorenzo Neal has been the fullback for the San Diego Chargers since 2003, where he blocks for LaDanian Tomlinson, arguably the best back in the NFL today. For Lorenzo, his most impressive stats have been compiled by others. The halfbacks for which he’s blocked have had 1,000 yard seasons every year since 1997. Five running backs (Adrian Murrell, Warrick Dunn, George, Corey Dillon, and LDT), ten seasons, and they all had 1,000 yard seasons behind Neal. If you include the years when he blocked for Mario Bates in the mid-1990s, the halfbacks behind him rushed for 15,922 yards. That’s good enough for 3rd on the all-time rushing list…”

Think about that. You know you’ve accomplished something when you helped Adrian Murrell rush for 1,000 yards, for the Jets, in the mid-90s.

Read the full article, “100 Most ‘Influential’: Lorenzo Neal”

Posted in Lorenzo Neal, NFL, Shameless Self Promotion | 1 Comment »

Liverpool vs. Chelsea Live Blog

Posted by Mike on August 19, 2007

I’ts Liverpool versus Chelsea. Enough said.

11:12 am, 9th minute: A pretty exciting game so far. Liverpool seems have a slight upper hand in the first ten minutes or so, but may be just because of the Anfield crowd.

11:15 am, 12th minute: Michael Essien gets a yellow card for that tackle on Alvaro Arbeloa.

11:16, 13th minute: A good shot by Bernard Riise from outside the box. Cech makes a fairly easy save, but that was the first true goal threat of the game so far.

11:19, 16th minute: GOAL! Fernando Torres breaks away from the defense on the left side, and has unbelievable touch in getting the ball past Cech into the bottom right corner of the net. Liverpool leads, 1-0. Welcome to England, El Nino.

11:23, 20th minute: A little side note: Ever since that head injury, Peter Cech has been wearing what I believe is a rugby-style helmet. I want to know why more soccer players don’t wear something like this. They take a lot of balls to the head, and they can’t be very good for your brain cells. I know that using your bare forehead gives you more ball control, but I think it’s more worth it to get used to some padding and still be able to process thought when you’re 65.

11:27, 24th minute: Chelsea gets a free kick and a corner kick, but are unable to make very much of it.

11:30, 27th minute: Solomon Kalou gets a good shot at goal, but Carragher and Gerrard are able to stop Chelsea from getting a decent strike.

11;33, 30th minute: Yellow card on Dirk Kuyt, apparently for taking a handball. Chelsea proceeds to turn the ball over almost immediately. Jose Mourinho has the look of a man who just swallowed a tarantula.

11:39, 36th minute: Every time Didier Drogba even so much as touches the ball, any possible window of opportunity has been slammed in his face. This means Liverpool is doing a great defensive job, but it also means that someone else needs to step up for Chelsea on offense. Lampard? Kalou?

11:44, 40th minute: A great free kick into the box, and John Terry comes thisclose to heading the ball in for a tie. He was was little too far ahead of it; Liverpool is very lucky.

11:46, 42nd minute: Steven Gerrard gets a yellow card for that hard tackle. As much as I want Liverpool to win, the call was justified; it wasn;t a very smart tackle.

11:48, 44th minute: Jermaine Pennant makes a great run on the right side, but his pass into the box is well behind Torres. This reminds me of Pennant’s performance against Milan. He spent 90 minutes repeatedly beating opposing defenders before repeatedly beating himself, doing little with the great chances that he’s able to create. It’s a bit frustrating.

11:51, 45 minutes: Liverpool gos into halftime with their 1-0 lead from Fernando Torres’ breakaway. Unfortunately, he got banged up near the end of the half, and we don;t know how healthy he’ll be in the second half.

Chelsea did a good job of creating goal opportunities later in the first half, and definitely had an upper hand in the last 15 minutes or so. If they can continue that in the second half, they should be able to tie or win this game. Liverpool hasn’t gotten many good looks outside of Torres.

12:06, 46th minute: The second half begins. Claudio Pizarro, the Peruvian striker, comes in for Kalou at halftime.

12:07, 47th minute: Chelsea gets a corner, but Pizarro and John Obi Mikel just can’t head the ball towards goal.

12:09, 49th minute: Shaun Wright-Phillips makes a great cross to Pizarro, but again he has a hard time deflecting it in the right direction.

Chelsea has been dictating the pace so far in the second half. Liverpool cannot allow this to continue and expect to win.

12:11, 51th minute: Liverpool gets their first good scoring chance in the second half, but Riise’s shot misses badly. Rafa Benitez reacts like someone just dipped a gym sock into his coffee.

12:14, 54th minute: Another good chance from running the left side of the field, but again Liverpool’s shot misses badly. This time it’s Dirk Kuyt.

12:16, 56th minute: Mourinho to his assistant coach: “Stop laughing. That joke wasn’t funny. Do you know how unfunny that was? That joke was so bad, you’re fired. Never say that about my grandmother again.”

12:19, 59th minute: Ashley Cole gets yellow carded for Torres’ acting job. Cole proceeds to half moon the ref. Either that or his right “cheek” really, really itches.Whatever happened, the ref didn’t notice.

12:21, 61st minute: PENAL! PENAL PENAL PENAL! Steve Finnan commits a “foul”, and ref makes a questionable call in giving Chelsea a penalty kick. Frank Lampard gets the goal easily, and Chelsea had tied Liverpool at 1-1. On replay, Finnan was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but Malouda went down just a little too easy.

12:27, 67th minute: Even thought they got that goal off a penalty kick, Chelsea seems to be losing some momentum to Liverpool on offense.

12:28, 68th minute: Riise had another good shot at goal but he can;t control it.

Jermaine Pennant is taken out of the game in favor of Ryan Babel.

12:29, 69th minute: Lampard get yellow carded, the 8th card handed out today.

12:32, 72nd minute: Liverpool’s forwards look tired, having a hard time moving around. But Carragher still won’t let Drogba even sniff a chance at goal.

12:34, 74th minute: John Terry gets his ninth yellow card. What I don;t get is that Terry and two other players were arguing to the ref, even though he said to play on. Why didn’t someone form Liverpool take advantage of the and try to score while two or three Chelsea players were too bust talking to the ref to notice?

12:39, 79th minute: Malouda executed that free kick well. Joe Cole’s shot attempt? Not so much.

12:43, 83rd minute: Liverpool finally gets a good attack going, but Cech is able to stop Riise’s shot.

Oh look. It’s everyone’s favorite awkward, lanky white guy, Peter Crouch!

12:45, 85th minute: Dirk Kuyt gets a good header on the ball off a cross from the right side, but it’s nine inches too high. Time is running out in this game.

12:49, 89th minute: A great strike by Ryan Babel, but its just wide to the left. A lot of fans in the stadium thought that was a goal.

We’ve got 4 minutes of extra time…plenty of time for some to score (or screw up).

12:55, Full Time: Liverpool can;t get a good attack off in the final seconds, and the game ends tied at 1-1. Chelsea will not be happy because their team did not play particularly well. Liverpool will not be happy because the feel they would have won the game if not for a bit of acting by Malouda that led to the penalty kick. Still, it was a good and exciting game overall.

Posted in Chelsea, EPL, Futbol, Live Blog, Liverpool, soccer | 1 Comment »

Premier League Live Blog: Reading vs. Everton

Posted by Mike on August 18, 2007

I’ve officially begun watching the weekend Premier League games on Fox Soccer Channel. And if there’s a live sports event I’m watching, There’s a good chance that I’ll live blog it. Starting this week, I’ll be live-blogging at least one EPL game each week for the entire season.

Today Reading plays Everton at Madjeski Stadium.

Why You Should Watch: Both Goalies are Americans, and these two teams were the surprises of the Premier League last season.

readingfc.gifeverton-fc.jpg

 

10:10 am, 10th minute: Joining the game a bit late here…Reading has dictated the pace so far, playing much more aggressively than their match against Manchester United. Tim Howard has been tested a few times.

10:17, 17th minute: Everton doesn’t seem to be very comfortable with the ball right now. Lack of concentration with their passing. The rain might be a big factor today.

10:19, 19th minute: Reading was given two decent scoring chances in one minute: a free kick and a corner kick. But they weren’t able to create even a threat out of it.

In what led to the corner, the ball hit two Everton defenders, Lescott and Neville, in the arms before going out of bounds. It could have become a penalty kick, but the ref didn’t see it.

10:23, 23rd minute: Doyle gets a very good pass in the box, but he cant put enough spin on his shot and it goes wide of the goal.

10:25, 25th minute: Reading break away from the defense, and Hunt and Doyle get a really good scoring chance. Hunt passes to Doyle downfield, but Doyle’s pass back to Hunt at the top of the box is too strong, and Everton clears. If Reading wants to do well this season, they can’t throw away great opportunities like that.

10:29, 19th minute: Doyle makes a good cross into the box to put Hunt in near perfect position for a goal, but the header is weak. Ugh.

10:33, 33rd minute: Everton gets a good chance at free kick, and after the initial block Reading had a hard time clearing it, but eventually manage to end the threat. They’ve been playing solid defense so far.

10:35, 35th minute: Reading captain Greame Murty injured his hamstring, and he has to come out of the game. In is place is Ecuadorian Ulises De La Cruz.

10:37, 37th minute: Everton hasn’t done a good job of creating any chances out of their set pieces (corner and free kicks). That last corner was kicked to no one in particular.

10:41, 41st minute: While Reading seems to be in control of this game, neither team have created many scoring chances, and in the few which Reading have created, bad execution ended any real chances. Overall both have played good defense.

10:44, 44th minute: GOAL! Reading throws the ball into the box, the Everton defense falls asleep, and Hunt is able to get a clear shot to put past Tim Howard. 1-0, Reading just before halftime.

Looking at the replay, Doyle did a good job of disabling a defender, doing just enough to keep him out of the way so that Hunt can receive the ball.

10:47: It’s the end of the first half, and Reading goes into halftime up 1-0. Reading were the aggressors for the entire first half, and Stephen Hunt was finally able to convert. For Everton to come back in the second half, they need to be more aggressive up front, and do a much better job of converting their free kicks and corners.

11:03, 46th minute: The second half begins.

English soccer fans remind me of the student sections at college football and basketball games. At least, they would be similar if all of the students were drunk.

11:08, 50th minute: Everton is about to try another free kick. They’ve yet to really make Marcus Hahnemann work today.

11:10, 52nd minute: Everton just had four scoring chances from three set pieces, but they managed to do almost nothing. Good defense on Reading’s part, but these guys need to do a better job of execution.

11:12, 55th minute: Victor Anichebe injured his foot after Hunt tried to take the ball from him. He’s clearly limping, but it looks like he’ll try and keep playing.

11:14, 57th minute: Everton has made the decision for Anichebe, sending him off in favor of Steve Pienaar.

Reading got another good humt, wiith Hunt getting the ball in th box. He couldn’t control the ball though, and Everton is able to clear it.

11:19, 61st minute: With 30 minutes remaining, Reading seems to be in control. Everton still haven;t created any really good opportunities in the second half.

11:24, 66th minute: Oh! Everton bery nearly score on a Reading mistake there, as the ball bounces behind Hahnemann. But Andre Bikey is there to make the stop and calmly clear the ball out of bounds. Bikey has been doing a great job all day.

11:28, 70th minute: if you had to guess what nation other than England is best represented on reading’s squad? what would it be?

Given up? It’s Iceland. Reading has four players from the land of glaciers, volcanoes, and putrid shark meat. In fact, I have a new name for Reading: Porramatur FC.

meanwhile, Soel comes out of the game for Reading in favor of John Oster.

11:34, 76th minute: We’ve had a fairly clean game so far. But the last minute the ref has given two yellow cards, one to Everton before a Reading corner kick, and the other to Ivar Ingimarsson after going for the ball and running into Tim Howard.

11:36, 79th minute: goalscorer Stephen Hunt is coming out of the game to a standing ovation. Taking his place is American Bobby Convey, who was one of our few bright spots in Germany last year.

11:37, 80th minute: Corner kicks by Everton: 11. Shots on goal off the corner kicks: 0.

11:39, 81st minute: Here’s a rule I don’t understand. John Oster is down in the middle of the Everton zone while they’re is on the attack. But the ref doesn’t stop the game, even though the ball might come in his direction. Why?

11:42, 84th minute: McFadden of Everton gets yellow carded for diving. He wasn’t even touched.

11:43, 85th minute: Oh… Everton got a really good chance there. McFadden had Hahnemann completely fooled with a great cross shot from the right side, but it hits the left post. Andrew Johnson has a clear shot on the rebound, but he can’t convert. This was by far Everton best scoring chance, and they executed very well; they got pretty unlucky, though.

11:46, 88th minute: At this point, Reading only has to hold on for about five minutes (if you factor in extra time). If they play defense the way they did against Manchester United, they can chalk up their first win of the season.

11:52, Full Time: It’s over, as Porramatur FC (Reading) win 1-0 off Stephen Hunt’s goal in the first half and great defense in the second half. Everton wasn’t able to get good chances all day.

Posted in EPL, Everton, Futbol, Live Blog, Premier League, Reading | 1 Comment »

Video: David Beckham’s First Goal In America

Posted by Mike on August 16, 2007

What a kick by Beckham, who had a terrific game tonight. This viedo is good, but the announcing doesn’t have that Pablo Ramirez touch I was looking for (GOLAZO!).

Posted in Beckham, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, MLS, soccer | 2 Comments »