Monday, June 21, 2010

Kelly Gray: Italy on the ropes? Second set of games adds flavor

Now, this is apparently where all of the teams start playing. Like I said in my last post, I was disappointed in the first round of games. Teams like Argentina, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Holland and Brazil really didn’t play up to their potential. The second round of games, though, has been different.

First we will start with the U.S. game. The first half was reminiscent of the 1998 World Cup team. The Americans gave up an early goal and couldn’t string any passes together. The U.S. looked like they were out of their league. To Slovenia’s credit, their first goal was an amazing strike.

The second half was completely different. I couldn’t believe it was the same team that came out the first half. The U.S. were working together, getting chances, and doing all of the dirty work that it wasn’t doing in the first half.

I was particularly impressed with both goal scorers. Landon really stepped up and led the charge for the comeback. His goal was typical of Landon - calm, collected and placed perfectly into the net.

Michael Bradley was connecting passes, breaking up plays and his goal was the end result of some amazing play by the U.S. I love seeing him push into the attack and if he keeps making that third-man run then he is going to cause a lot of problems for the Algerian defense.

Onto the other teams. Portugal absolutely handed it to the North Koreans. I mean 7-0, damn. That is a butt kicking, and if you saw the highlights, all of the goals were good goals. If they continue to play like that then watch out for the Portuguese.

Brazil played very calm football with some glimpses of the Samba Boys and created some beautiful goals. Even if Luis Fabiano’s second strike was a handball, it was still a beautiful goal.

Italy is on the verge of being knocked out of the tournament and they will be if they keep playing the boring football that they have the last two games.

Holland is still playing pretty well. I really want to see Robin van Persie take over a game and be the leader for the Dutch.

Spain played some of the best soccer I have seen so far in their game against Honduras. If they keep that up they actually might live up to the expectations that the Spanish people have for their team.

Ok…that is enough for today. As always follow me on twitter @kelg22 and be sure to check The Total Footballer for the latest in the footballer lifestyle. Please email me at

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