Ok. I finally had a chance to watch the Italy v. US world cup game. What a friggin disaster. Simply the worst officiating I've ever seen in professional sports. Marcelo Balboa said it correctly. The man made four correct calls the entire game.

1. The starting whistle
2. Red card against Italy for flagrant elbow McBride's face
3. Offside call negates US goal
4. Ending whistle

The US team looked much better than they did against the Czechs. They should have won the Italy game but the red cards proved and insurmountable hill. I have zero doubt the ref had it in for the Americans. Chris Waddle (BBC) said the man should be sent home immediately. If I were Bruce Arena, I'd be lodging a protest (quietly) with FIFA for such poor officiating. This is not sour grapes. I blasted the US team for their piss poor performance against the Czechs. They deserved to lose. The game against Italy saw more cards dealt than a poker game. Additionally, the referee has a shady history with allegations of fixing games.

Defensively, the US pressured the Italian line and forced them to commit which sucked the air out of their game. The American forwards also ran the ball more which pushed the Italian midfield and back lines to expend as much energy as possible and keep the midfielders busy on defense. Kasey Keller may be the best goalkeeper in the world. He is simply phenomenal.

The prospects of making it to the group of 16 are dim. We have to beat Ghana by 4 goals or by 2 goals and Italy has to win against Czech Republic. Ghana has had a surprisingly strong showing this year and Group E is very unbalanced. Whoever it in charge of FIFA rankings should be canned.

Let's go USA! I hate to root for Italy, but I'll hold my nose and do so if it means we make it out of our group.


ColossusHube said…
Duff -- actually, all we have to do is beat Ghana straight up, and have Italy beat the CR straight up. This would leave Italy 1st in the group at 2-0-1 (7 pts.) and the US 2nd at 1-1-1 (4 pts.). Both Ghana and the CR would be 1-2-0, 3 pts. apiece.

After the game on Sat., Brent Musberger noted that in the '02 Cup, this very same ref was sent home for "discrepancies" in officiating! What the hell is he doing back at the NEXT World Cup?? WTF???
Duffy said…
You are correct. I was thinking about this yesterday after I posted and realized my mistake and haven't had time to correct it.

If Italy wins we need only a win. If Italy loses, we need to win by 4 against Ghana to advance.

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