Tonight I'll give you the final post of the Visions of Ypsi World Cup Memories. We'll take a look @ 2002 & 2006 & then a quick look ahead @ this weekend's excitement.
About 4 months before the Japan/S. Korea tournament, we moved into the house on Sheridan. The early matches were on @ 4:00 (or so... maybe 3:00... maybe 2:30) in the morning. i got up in the middle of the night for 2 weeks to watch the games, & the crazy lady next-door did too so we would always see each other's light on @ crazy ass times. After winning in 1998, France crashed out in the 1st round w/ 1 point & a -3 goal difference thanks to rock-star-like partying & all night gambling. The USA had their best showing ever though beating Mexico in the knock-out round & then losing a hard fought match to Germany 1-0 thanks to a 39th minute goal from Michael Ballack in the quarter-finals. This was the tournament during which Jason was living in Brasil, & Brasil won so he had a pretty freaking good time. Fat Ronaldo won the Golden Boot w/ 8 goals, & I was unpleased w/ the piss-poor showing from France.
I was working in the summer for my dad's mortgage company, & we spent our lunches in front of different Wayne & Washtenaw televisions. The USA finished bottom of their group w/ 1 point & a -4 goal difference. They drew 1-1 w/ the eventual winners, Italy, though so that was pretty cool. France barely made it out of their group, but once they did, they turned it on. Zidane had just come out of international retirement & ed the squad to some pretty fantastic results. I watched the knock-out game between France & Spain w/ my dad @ an Italian place in Livonia 7 they won 3-1. I saw the quarter-finals @ Conor O'Neil's in A2 & France beat Brasil 1-0... awesome! They then beat Portugal 1-0 in the semi-finals. The other matches I remember were the Mexico v Argentina knock-out round match (Arg. won 2-1 in extra time), Portugal v Netherlands in the knock-our round (Portugal won & there were tons of cards w/ fights & all sorts of craziness), & the England v Portugal game. I saw them all @ Conor O'Neil's & the England match was crazy w/ tons of British ex-pats losing their shit over Owen Hargraves' mediocre showing.
of course, the finals were a bit of a let-down. Matterazi, the Italian central defender kept punching Zidane in his dislocated shoulder which led up to the big head-butt. I really blame Domenech, the French coach, who refused to sub Zidane out after he dislocated his shoulder. Instead, he subbed out Henry who'd been having the season of his life. I was wearing my Zidane shirt, & since the bar was about 95% Italian fans, I thought I'd get my ass kicked, but they ended up being alright. Bigger losses occurred in the next few weeks, but they've been workedd out quite well, so maybe that's a good omen for the French squad. We'll see how they do tomorrow.
Tomorrow & Saturday:
I hope Domenech plays a 4-3-3, but usually he plays it a bit more defensively. Here's the line-up I would use, if the French Football Federation ever realized that I'd make a better coach than him.
They'll be playing Uruguay tomorrow @ 2:30... come up to Conor O'Neil's & watch it w/ me.
On Saturday, the USA plays England @ 2:30. be sure to watch it even though I don't have a lot of faith in the USA's ability to get much out of the match. Here's the likely line-up:
I don't know if it's a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2, but it should be alright. Even if they don't get a point against England, they should get out of the group. The problem w/ that is if they finish 2nd, they'll probably end up playing Germany in the knock-out round which will be tough.
Stay tuned for the Visions of Ypsi Player of the Day tomorrow & everyday for the next few weeks.
*We could get DeMerritt instead.
** my knowledge of the mid-field is shakey @ bet, so it might be a little different.
And before the matches tomorrow, you can enjoy this... World Cup stars carved our of crayons.