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July 4, 2014
 

QUARTERFINALS DAY 1 BOOTROOM: HAPPY BIRTHDAY OOSAH!

JUG-gling German fans.

JUG-gling German fans.

Twenty years ago today I was 15 years old and in Palo Alto, California watching that rat bastard Leonardo take out Tab Ramos with a vicious elbow.  It was also the day the legend of OOSAH! was born.  Straight from the mouth of a sweaty, overweight, middle-aged, sunburned Scandinavian gentleman seated right behind my father and me.  I am astounded that OOSAH lives on through UF two decades later.

Unfortunately, this World Cup ended much like the 1994 edition for the USMNT–praised for its heart and fight but considerably overmatched in the skill department–so we cannot chant OOSAH for today’s matches.  But, seeing how its the USofA’s birthday I will be saying it a few times while grilling and drinking.

Anyway, there are some matches today…intriguing ones actually as federation opponents face off in each.  Germany is looking to advance to the semi-finals of a fifth straight major international tournament against a French side redeeming itself for dismal performances in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.  France looked like a contender in the group stage but struggled until the late going against Nigeria.

But, France’s showing was better than the lackluster performance by Germany against Algeria.  It took two goals in extra time to overcome the desert foxes.  Plus, it appears France has taken to guerilla warfare as seven German players are said to be dealing with flu.  Sketchy Sauerkraut?

This should be a good match, but as Gary Lineker once said, “Football is a simple game, 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”  Germany 2 – 1 France.

The later match pits the face of 2014 World Cup leading up to the tournament–Neymar–against the face of the tournament after 4 games–James “Don’t call me King James” Rodriguez.  Otherwise known as Brazil v. Colombia.  James–the leading goal scorer in the tournament–leads a surprising Colombia squad against a Brazil team that has never really lived up to its billing as a tournament favorite.  Brazil has not looked otherworldly and has benefited from home-cooking.  Meanwhile, Colombia cantered to victory in each of their matches with James looking like the next big thing in soccer.

That trend will continue against Brazil for James–at least with respect to him.  But, Brazil’s home-field advantage (and FIFA’s need) will carry it through to the semifinals after penalties in the second straight match after a 2-2 game between the CONMEBOL combatants.

Enjoy the day! Eat, drink, grill, sleep, and watch soccer!  The most American things you can do these days.

 

 

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