America Beats Spain in Football, American People Wonder When Spain Got an NFL Team.

It was one of American Soccer’s greatest upsets.  The Spanish National Football Club had not lost in 3 years.  The Americans advanced out of a tournament pool that included Brazil and Italy only by a strange sequence of upsets and freak 3-0 victories for themselves and Brazil (over Italy).  When the semi-final match up of Spain/America was set, it was hard for Spanish players, try as they might, to keep from thanking their lucky stars for getting the US as a draw.  This US team that clearly could not compete on the highest level after severe beatdowns by Italy and Brazil in the first pool play matches.

Jozy and the Footycats.

Jozy and the Footycats.

But earlier today, the Yanks shocked the world with a 2-0 domination of David Villas, Casillas and the Spaniards on the feet of Clint Dempsey and Josy Altidore and on the strength of their backline.  What a historical bout!

Only no one in America gives a shit.  Here at my office, fairly international and cultured people, let out a healthy round of applause as Dempsey found the net late in the game, but most of America had no idea.

So I have to wonder, does this hurt the European community?  Are they frusterated to see a big victory come to a nation that so brazenly doesn’t care at all?  Most people I have told have responded with the obligatory, “nice”.  I have not seen, heard or bared witness to so much as a fist pump or elevated heart rate.

I for one occaisionally enjoy watching the “beautiful game”, but too often get turned off by people that defend soccer too much.  Appreciate it for what it is, but ultimately, it is a sport where flopping is accepted and often necessary.  The same can be said of the NBA, but when you talk flopping, what is the first thing someone says?  Europeans.  That is right Manu G. and Tony P.   Flop-tastic.

A little ref deception is great.  But to flop?  No thank you Soccer Gods.  I prefer American Footbal where if you flop, you probably will get trampled and die.  Unless of course you are the kicker, in which case there is a good chance you have played soccer at one point.  Baseball is another sport where flopping won’t help you.  I mean, you can argue or pretend to catch a ball, but at what point does pretending you are hurt help you?  Also, what goes on when you roll around holding your knee and then some guy pours water on it and you get back up and play.  It’s like a league of Paul Pierces.

As a survival tactic, I get it.  But check out this video:

I certainly appreciate soccer, and please do not misread me.  I am just making two points:

One, flopping is super lame.

Two, America doesn’t care that we beat Spain.  (we probably should)

Anyway Lost Angeles, I am more curious what you think?  Do you dig soccer?  Now that we’ve beaten Spain in futbol, should they have to play us in American Football?  What does a Spanish offensive lineman look like?  Is it now possible that Pau Gasol (Hollywood Jesus) is the toughest Spaniard since Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator?

Lemme know, yo.

36 Comments

Filed under Rants and Musings

36 responses to “America Beats Spain in Football, American People Wonder When Spain Got an NFL Team.

  1. floppin

    Interestingly, when I think of flopping in the NBA, Lebron comes to mind. He flops and then biatches about it. Also, they are two different games. Soccer is not all about the macho American football nonsense where most of the game is micro-managed by 15 coaches with radio’s in sky boxes.

  2. if you’re going to call out Europeans in the NBA for flopping, you better name more than one. instead, you have Ginobili (Argentinean), Paul Pierce (USA) and Tony Parker (French, good job!). you could easily have included Andrei Kirilenko and Vlade Divac as both are(were) pretty notorious floppers. bottom line: USA JUST F-ING BEAT SPAIN!! HOOOOOOOOOO!! 🙂

  3. brazenAZcards

    Well, soccer is still growing in the US. It’s all about money. As soon as MLS starts to pay decent salaries you will see way better players (American players) and way more interest. I watch all the American leagues, and I think MLS is not far away at all. NHL and NBA should watch out. Also, ESPN Sports Nation did a poll after this upset win and it seems that more people are interested now, especially after this win. Americans are winners. For a sport that is growing, winning consistently is a must if you’re going to win over more fans.

    • Zack

      the NHL should be scared that like soccer, no one in America watches it. The NBA has nothing to worry about. ESPN polls don’t mean anything two minutes after a huge win. When we lose to Brazil, it will go back to zero interest (to your point that consistency is important). The MLS is very, very, very far away when a Beckham can’t even stand sticking around with all of Hollywood here.

  4. lol

    Playing a full futbol game requires much more athleticism than playing a full American football or basketball game.

    • Zack

      so does having sex with an elephant, but that doesn’t mean it is better does it. Also, I’d argue both points.

      • Kevin

        You could argue, but you’d lose. By a lot.

      • Zack

        to one point, athleticism doesn’t mean everything. i mean, the most athletic baseball player, say a guy like Jose Reyes, he might get worked in a soccer game, but he would be athletic enough to run with them out there and he could physically kick a ball. Kaka would piss his pants at a major league fastball. Literally, he’d pass out.

        To the NFL point, it is very hard to argue with me that a pro running back or wide receiver is less athletic than a soccer player. I am fairly certain Ronaldo wouldn’t beat Adrian Peterson in a decathalon.

        Or I could fall back on the good old American argument. Real men can take a hit. They don’t pretend they just got hit and roll around on the ground like a girl.

      • Kevin

        Yes, these men are all as athletic as soccer players. But can they run for 90 minutes back and forth on a 108-yard long field? I truly, sincerely doubt it. Running backs are good for bursts and even the occasional breakout touchdown run, but then they go to the sidelines, sit down for 10 minutes while the defense tries to shut down the other offense, sip some Gatorade, have a laugh, and generally catch their breath. In soccer, there is no time for that, especially in a game like today.

        So I think that it’s fair to say that athletes in sports like football (the American variety) and baseball are probably as athletic as soccer players, but you cannot tell me that soccer players aren’t more fit than any football player.

        As for the “real men” argument: play one game of soccer, then play football. I guarantee you’ll get more beat up playing soccer. I played both in high school (football for my school, soccer for a local league), and I never took a beating during a football game quite the way I did in a soccer game. The fact that they don’t wear pads is probably a key factor.

      • Karta

        I agree with Kevin below. 10 outfield players (save for the goalkeeper) are moving in the fields 95% of the time. That is constant running.. no sit-downs.. no time-outs.. no waiting on the base for something to hit the ball right with his bat. Football needs not only athleticism, but it also needs stamina and concentration throughout 90 minutes, non-stop. Because if you lose either stamina or concentration, someone will try to take advantage of that in a split-second, as can be seen with Sergio Ramos when he gave that ball away to Clint Dempsey

      • Zack

        Karta,

        I think you have some very good points. Still, I don’t doubt it hurts to get kicked in the shin. It hurts to get spiked in baseball. It hurts to get hit in the ribs with a ball thrown 95mph. It hurts to get hit by a linebacker running full speed. The thing is, in soccer they stay down A LOT. That’s the only point.

      • Zack

        Also, soccer is a great game. The flopping/diving is just a sore spot. It’s okay. A lot of people say baseball is boring. I love it. If I support one thing in life, it is doing what you love. So keep watching footy and enjoying the hell out of it.

      • Karta

        Hit in the ribs hurts. I agree, but there’s no point of the player to actually go down and then pretended that his ribs are broken because there are no rules in baseball that gives a penalty for hitting someone in the ribs. (I don’t know much about baseball, I watch baseball occasionally).
        In the NFL, they wear a ridiculous amount of armour and would you look at the size of the players??🙂 I would expect them to be able to take some hard-hits.
        In football, some of the players exploited a flaw in the game which then prompted them to dive and feign injury. It’s the fact that if someone tripped you when you’re running full speed, you will fall down. Whether an injury follows after that or not, we will never know because we are not the ones experiencing whatever pain that they’re having. Only they know and we should not judge them until the replay is played on the tackle.
        Mind you, FIFA is starting to crack down on dives by giving yellow cards to players that the referee spotted to have dove. Also, if the referee feels that there’s no foul on a tackle, the play goes on even when the tackled player seems to have broken his foot and then the “injured” player will be tended after the ball goes out of play.
        As for your point with the players stay down a lot in soccer, it’s just the nature of the game. A way a player can re-possess the ball is by taking it back from the other players foot. In some cases, their feet will collide. Saying that in soccer, the players stay down a lot is like saying in the NBA, the players jump a lot. It’s just part of the game which some players unfortunately tried to exploit.

      • Terry

        Obviously someone hasn’t played college football at a major level. Playing soccer requires stamina… there is a big difference between stamina and athleticism.

  5. downswinging

    I feel that once American soccer becomes more recognized and more mainstream, more of our athletes will head to that sport…a lot of money is to be made there too! Once the US gets a top ten team, people will suddenly become more interested. it is afterall a beautiful game. great article! check mine out…

    http://www.downswinging.com/wordpress/2009/06/united-states-stops-spain-in-itts-tracks/

  6. yowsa

    Good post. I agree on the flopping — just want to add that in my mind, there’s a big difference between an basketball player (yes, Shane Battier, I’m talking to you) drawing a foul (savvy play) and diving that involves feigning injury (shameless play). I do like soccer a lot. I just can’t stand to watch players roll around on the grass like they just snapped an Achilles tendon or have a bone sticking out of their leg and then start trotting around a few seconds later like no harm done.

    • Zack

      COMPLETELY AGREE.

      I should re-state my point. Drawing a foul (soccer/basketball), framing a strike in baseball, drawing contact for a PI in football, this is all a part of the game.

      Why is soccer the one sport where we always see the lingering faking of injuries? That is just so lame. Paul Pierce-like even.

  7. Sergio

    I agree that flopping and bad refereeing are two of the banes of soccer, but you forgot another, one that US goalie Howard seems to have mastered, that of milking the clock

    • Zack

      why not? if you can pretend to break your leg 2x a game, why not sit on the ball. one way to stop this issue, is to adopt a clock that STOPS. this is the same awesome thinking overseas that came up with the Maginot Line.

  8. Karta

    I have never heard of anybody saying “Flopping” for feigning injury before. Outside of the US, it’s either called Diving or Simulation.
    Getting to the point though, I love football (or as you call it, soccer), but I do hate players that dives a lot, like Cristiano Ronaldo for example.
    The reason that people dives is because when someone’s foot connects to your shin, it really does hurt. Even with your shinpad on. Trust, I’ve experienced someone lunged at me two-footed with the shoe-studs and it cracked my shinpads. It freakin hurts. In baseball, there’s no way one would feign injury because no one would believe that you’re injured just because your body clashed with the another player. Also, (as far as I know) there is no rules in baseball that gives out penalty for body contact (feel free to correct me if i’m wrong though). The point is, a foul in football cannot be as easily seen as with baseball. In NFL, it’s ALL about contact so comparing it with football is like comparing apples and oranges.
    Now, where was I? .. right..
    The reason people dive and feign pain is because there’s no way a referee knows whether the player is actually in pain or not. So they have to give the players the benefit of the doubt and give them the medical care that they might (or might not) need. There are genuine pain for players that got medical care and then can start playing again afterwards. This is because possible they have cramps because of the tackle, or they feel awkwardly or just because it simply hurts. But most of these go away shortly afterwards. In short, you can’t blame them…
    Anyways, kudos to the US team, I love football and I would really like to see this sport to be bigger than NFL and its Superbowl…

    • Merdoc

      I am a huge fan of Soccer, and love to play. However some of the diving that occurs truly hurts the game here in the states (diving such as Italy is famous for). We are use to seeing people smash into each other at full speed and getting back up to do it on the next play. The fact that most of the time it is simply to get a call is the worst part.

      A simple way to fix it, any stoppage due to injury requires the player to be sent of for two minutes. Lets see how many people dive when your team has to play a man down!!

      • Zack

        nailed it merdoc. totally agree. hard to see a QB get crushed ten times a game and then watch someone dive. rub some dirt on it kid!

  9. CR9

    umm actually soccer is one of the sports with the most career ending injuries. cuz its not like football wear u go onto the pitch with bullet proff armor and everything. plus ur legs and ankles r very sensitive. plus football is just muscle thats why stupid people play it bcause the 20 different coaches tell u everything. Soccer is more skillfull and actually requires the player to think

    • Zack

      sounds like you’ve never played football. the only reasons soccer careers end is because they aren’t all that tough. the nfl playbook is more complicated than most math textbooks and requires precision timing. soccer is a skillful and creative game, but to say coaches tell you everything is ridiculous. the nfl playbook is longer than Jane Eyre.
      also, if legs and ankles are sensitive, note football players don’t wear pads there.

      also, pansies start posts with “umm”. like, “umm, I’ll have the pinkberry with sprinkles”. pansy.

      • luNa

        WRONG. soccer and football are just as taxing on the body.

        football becausey you’re being hit running at full speed by someone whos probably 6 – 4 260 pounds

        soccer because you’re running full speed, and if someone comes sliding in while you’re running full speed with no pads on, thats just a recipe for disaster

        especially after running 10k

  10. Worthless article. Should have saved your time into something more meaningful.

    As for football. Of course people don’t care for it. It’s not promoted as much as the more established sports are. The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) does very little to promote the game to the poor by not giving us the opportunity to play. The US is still a poor team. They don’t understand the fundamentals of the game like first touch, pass and go, holding play, team play, etc. Spain played like Italy did with Brazil in the Confederations. But that’s Spain style and the US was fortunate enough to get what? 3 Shots in total? It happens and it just works as a lesson for Spain to mix up their game more. I mean, Spain played extremely well and how they were supposed to. They brought the game to the 18 where Villa, Torres, Riera, Xavi, and co. tried their best to penetrate the box. It just doesn’t happen when a team is defending with 10. They did everything correctly. When they saw that their tricky short passing and through-balls weren’t working. Spain proceeded to play the wings through Riera and by including Wing-Back Sergio Ramos. They even attempted several shots outside the box and they were all either pretty close or on target for Howard to miraculously save.

    So yes, the US (finally) played their guts out. But their inconsistency will be proven once more in the Confed. Cup finals. In CONCACAF they’ve been outplayed quite badly by both El Salvador and Costa Rica. Both nations brought the game to them with tight pressure and a higher defensive line where the US was stuck. Their lack of control will be their downfall against a strong Brazil.

    Lesson learned I guess. So you gamble your World Cup qualification to edge out in the Group Stage to luck out against Spain. Great trade!

    • Zack

      How worthless was my article. Your response was longer than my post.

      I don’t care, I’ve been watching baseball all afternoon in 75 degree (F) weather. I didn’t understand most of your analysis. That is because I, like most Americans, don’t watch soccer, whether we beat Spain or didn’t. We could beat Brazil (hooray) or lose (when was that game?), but I’ll probably care more about whether the LA Dodgers beat the Seattle Mariners over the weekend more.

      Thanks for reading.

  11. Craig

    Zach, I know you may claim to be a soccer fan and all, but how can you honestly say that no one in America gives a shit? Sure, America as a collective might not give a shit, but America as a collective cares more about Perez Hilton getting jacked than the election fraud in Iran.

    We exist. When the Czeck Republic absolutely demolished us in 2006, we all broke down. Every time Mexico stars playing dirty against us, we all scream. Tonight, we all celebrate.

    Sure, soccer doesn’t appeal to everyone. It has it’s pros and cons, but doesn’t every sport? I could go on at length with the problems in football, basketball, and baseball, but those are all things anyone can see with their own eyes.

    Won’t you join us? The fact is, even if you don’t think anyone else gives a shit, Zack, I can tell that you do. We could always use good writers to help give the sport exposure.

    • Zack

      I appreciate your kind words, though I do not claim to be a soccer fan. I do claim to appreciate its finer qualities, the speed and creativity of the game, and further, the international obsession with it. Unfortunately, I am American. What that means is, while I am glad we won and I admire our rousing victory, I cannot get up for soccer in the United States on a consistent level.

      America has not done what it needs to do to make its claim in a sport, that is, to brand it American. Other countries have done so with our sport. Europeans and South Americans have created their own brand of basketball, an invention by our own esteemed Mr. Naismith. It was good enough to knock the US out of the spotlight before we reclaimed it in the last Olympiad. The same can be said of baseball, which the Cubans, Dominicans and especially the Japanese have made their own, and arguably, equaled us in their own right.

      What have we done to compete? These wins, like our run to the semis two World Cups ago and our victory today, they do little more than wet our whistle. The reality is, the MLS is an inferior brand that even with the glowing lights of Hollywood, perfect weather, adoring press and 10 million dollar estates, cannot satisfy a David Beckham, a man who already loved this city.

      We need to pay our players more, only we won’t unless we win. We will have to keep winning to earn that right. No amount of prose from a simple, fire-starting blogger can change that. Soccer is in many way broccoli in this country and we are children. We know we should eat it. Our parents (the world) want us to eat it. We just think it tastes bad.

      I have no doubt if America were so inclined, they could dominate the sport, or in the least, be a perennial powerhouse. We are in all things we set our mind to. In fact, that is the essence of being American. We are the nation that stormed the beaches of Normandy expecting to lose more than would walk away. We are the country that sent Jesse Owens into Berlin to show Hitler how very wrong he was. We are the country that never, ever says die.

      Sure, we have made many mistakes. Perhaps our reluctance to appreciate a game so beloved the world over is one of those mistakes, however far be it from me to say whether or not that is true. As a lover of sport and of my country, today made me proud. But I am more fascinated by our lack of fascination.

      Maybe lightning will strike twice and we will beat the Brazilians when they inevitably show up. Maybe we will get the definitive win. But we’ll need more than that. We’ll need to replicate it. We’ll need a group of Americans no one believes in, the kind mocked by the soccer media to pick the nation up, put it on its back and carry us to a new age. We’ll need them to remind us what makes us the underdog so good at battling that we became the definitive world power of our time, for better or worse.

      Until then, summer will remain baseball season where I celebrate or past time and the game of American fathers and American sons.

      Rest assured, Craig, I will keep an open mind.

      • Karta

        Zack, that is an excellent analysis.

        As you said, US Soccer needs to pay more salary to the MLS players and develop a strong youth academy.

        Australia, on the other hand, has a strong youth academy, but has a salary cap on all of the league players but one for each club (they call it the Marquee Player). This resulted in the league still not able to compete on an international level. Our very own Newcastle Jets just crashed out of the Asian Champions League, losing 6 – 0 to a South Korean club *sigh*

        In short say, money talks and more should be invested in youth academy and league “capitalism”.

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  13. BRANDO

    Funny , someone from LA calling TP and Manu floppers while ignoring the floptastic sasha V….and the immortal Vlade Divac. Idiot. Oh and I am an American that watched this game and celebrated afterwards. There are plenty of soccer fans here, your jockocracy of sportswriting just fails to pay any attention.

    • Zack

      First you are a Spurs fan, which means you don’t get to watch any other pro sports in your town besides the Spurs. Although the steak fajitas found on the Riverwalk are tremendous.
      I totally agree with Vlade and Sasha as floppers. Wouldn’t even begin to try to argue that.

      As for the plenty of soccer fans comment, they may be here, but not in MLS stadiums or in places where our US team plays. Just look at attendance and Nielson ratings. I think it is a sport on the rise, but that just means it is at the bottom.

  14. Mike

    Did an American just accuse soccer players of milking the clock? Have you never watched and NFL game before? They almost all end in a team kneeling down to end the game. Not to mention the fact that most of the time the clock is running they aren’t even playing. I’m not bashing football, I like football, but they waste clock more than any other sport. (note: I said clock, not time, that would be baseball, I hate it when the batter won’t stay in the box, and the pitcher won’t throw the ball)

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