Hello there all of my soccer fanatic friends! Boy what a weekend it was for the world as after it seems like FOREVER, the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicked off in South Africa!
Now you guys know that Jerm is a huge soccer fan, having played the game since I was 9 years old, so I have been waiting for this for a very long time. Not just for sporting reasons either, as you could imagine, but also for the significance of the game being held on the African continent for the first time in the tournaments history!
For many people in the USA, the game that we were all anticipating the most was the USA vs England Group C match to be held at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg S. Africa. Plenty of reasons for fans to be pumped about this match, with the most notable having been that the last time we played England in the World Cup was back in 1950 when a squad of American amateurs walked away with a 1-0 victory over one of the world's then super power of soccer!
In front of a crowd of just over 38,000 fans, the majority of which seem to be pulling the the Three Lions, the American team earned a hard fought draw over one of the teams many have picked to win the tournament!
Of the many talking points you will hear about this game, the one that won't be going away anytime soon will be the once in a lifetime error by England net-minder Robert Green. Green fumbled what was thought to be a routine save on a Clint Dempsey shot from just outside the box. This leveled the score at 1-1 canceling out a Steven Gerrard goal four minutes into the game.
From my view, it was a hard fought game with chances created by both sides, but in the end the play of the goalkeepers played a significant role in the outcome, with USA goalkeeper Tim Howard making a number of key saves, while his counterpart in the English net didn't have as good a performance.
Goalkeeping errors seemed to be a theme in this group however as Algeria goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi had his own issues in coming up with a tame effort from Slovenian Robert Koren from just outside the box. The results from this weekend leave the Slovenian team in pole position in group see with the full three points, followed by England and USA locked up at second place with Algeria at the bottom of the group.
The USA's World Cup will continue play on Friday (June 18) vs Slovenia at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, and then on June 23 against Algeria in Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. England will play Algeria this Friday as well.
It doesn't get much more exciting than this folks! Or can it? Imagine what it would be like for the Tampa Bay area to host a FIFA World Cup game, or possibly even 3-5 of those games. Well that is a real possibly as the USA is one of a host of countries vying to be the FIFA World Cup 2018 host countries or possibly the 2022 games!
We will find out this December 2 if that is the case, but in the mean time, we need everyone to show their support for our bid and go to www.GoUSABid.com/Tampa!
That's all I got for now, but be sure to check back early and often for more updates and FIFA World Cup soccer news from jerm and the Tampa Bay team of bloggers!