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Diane & Peter


Once more: The USA, soccer, and the World Cup
July 3rd, Kansas City: Some thoughts after the defeat against Belgium
And once more, Independence Day is coming up and with it, the usual program of BBQ, shopping for sales and I guess, also sports on TV. This time, more than ever in the USA will watch soccer and still, it will be in no way comparable to the numbers watching football or baseball. Especially not, since the US team is out after a defeat against Belgium. Many Americans belive, soccer is just no American sport. However, for allegedly being not familar with it and having no traditions, the US Team did good, no very good, in Brazil. Coming originally from Germany, I admit to have a different relation to soccer and by this German soccer tradition in my back, I would like to tell you, the US are a great soccer nation, only the Americans miss that fact all the time.
Lets start with a little comparison. Football is the American sport, as many say. Soccer is for wussies. Fine, then let your men get out of their body armor, send them on the field and let them run for 90 minutes. With a short break after 45 minutes. No stop after 30 maximal 40 seconds, no endless interruption. I would like to see it. And if a defender pulls the emergency brake on you, there is no helmet, your face just takes it ... or not.
Second thing, modern soccer is often a brain game. You can't just squeaze the ball under your arm and run straight forward, hoping someone defends you and you make the goal. You have to find the free man, you have to pass the ball over twenty, thirty yards by kicking it and you have to do it precise enough, that reaches your team mate. Which means, when you don't have the ball, you have to run yourself free to be in the position to be the next recipient.
And Soccer is a speed game. A striker who gets the ball somewhere in the forward middlefield gives you maybe five to ten seconds to stop him. And he will, with ball and maybe two or three defenders on his heels move almost with the speed of a 100m sprinter. And he will do it again and again, for ninety minutes. A defender will probably run even more because every striker needs to be covered, every angle closed and when the time comes, defenders have to go forward, sometimes over the whole field ... and be back in seconds. Yeah, I would like to see that from a football team!
Now despite all those differences, soccer does good in the US. Teams like Sporting Kansas City play often on European level.

US Soccer 2014

And club soccer is the base for national teams. Everyhwere, not only in the US. Lets just remember, it doesn't look too good, to be kicked out in the group phase in every second world cup. But it also means, to have reached that stage in the first place. It means, to be perpetually in the 32 best teams of the world. Which in itself is an achievement for US soccer. But more, this time, in Brazil, the US got really unlucky with the group drawing. The "Group of Death" it was called. Of course, yes, it was a hard group. Germany, Ghana and Portugal. We know the results: A 2:1 victory against Ghana, a 2:2 draw against Portugal and a 0:1 defeat against Germany. Now, Germany, one of the soccer superpowers in the world, is a little bit under form, it appears, but still one of the best teams and still a contender for the cup. And this soccer superpower could make it barely to a one goal victory against the US team. Ghana, always a strong team, lost against the US team. Not that big but big enough. And Portugal who counts also as one of the strongest teams in the world, couldn't break the US team and had to be happy with just one point for a draw. Germany had their draw against Ghana, the same team, the US had defeated. So, it was high level soccer and the US showed themselves on eye to eye level with the big guns ... once more, because that is not the first time. Today, it was USA vs. Belgium. In the US, the bets stood against the US Team about 80:20, I heard. And right, critics would say, the US lost that match. That's true and nothing can change it. But it was narrow enough. The US Team forced another European team into overtime. And when the worst for them happened, they fought and fought on, caught up
to 2:1 and there were chances to get the equalizer. A bit more luck and things could have ended up different. Which makes Belgium a worthy winner because they had to fight for this victory too and it makes the US Team what? To lose in the round of the sixteen best in the world is no shame. But to stand the ground, to show that much potential for the future, that is more than "no shame", that is setting your mark. And, together with other teams, the US team has broken up the exclusivity, European and South-American teams had once in this sport. This makes soccer even more a world sport. Maybe, David didn't defeat Golith, this time, but Goliath is seriously damaged.
Bottom line: We have one of the best soccer national teams in the world. Our team stood the round of the sixteen best in the World. And opposite to football, in soccer this means really the whole world. Belgium was end of the road for them, but from where I stand, it doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things. Because what we see here, over the last world cups already is, US soccer has claimed its place on the international stage. The team is, without a miracle, no contender for the cup. Still, seeing the tendency, my impression is, the US national teams got stronger from tournament to tournament. They are on the way to build a soccer tradition. That's the important thing, as far as someone considers sports important. I don't tell you to abandon football and baseball. Those sports are as American as it gets. But dear sportsfans, keep a little bit of space in your hearts for those soccer players, who ran their rears off and fought their hearts out in Brazil in the "Group of Death" at 85-90F and humidity of 70% plus to get where they were, till the luck left them- It was actually a quite lofty place. Because you may haven't noticed it, but despite all your denial, the US have become a soccer world power, noticed all over the world, only not in our own country. And that's a reason to celebrate. And then, we aill see. Four years till the next world cup comes up, that time in Russia. Four years of more building, of more training, of more soccer also here in the US on club level. But I am sure, the US will stand their ground there.

- PB -
... back
Tue, May 17, 2016
12:00 AM CT

Daniel Lee Siebert
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Fri, Dec 18, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Christman Genipperteinga
THe legendary robber along the wine road Trier-Cologne made it finally into our collection. With a total of 970 victim, including six of them his own children, he is currently the most prolific serial killer in the Collection.

Thu, Oct 22, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Gerard John Schaefer
The allegedly most prolific Florida Serial Killer, "Killer Cop" Gerard Schaefer, finally also made his way into out collection.

Thu, Sep 24, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Royal Russel Long
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Mon, Aug 17, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Wyoming Rodeo Murders
A story of misperceptions and midnless cabinet cleaning by police authorities that ended up with someone getting away with at least two murders on young women. Now in our collection.

Wed, Jul 15, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper
Now new in our collection: Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper. The first case, blood spatter analysis was used in a court trial world wide!

Sat, Jun 20, 2015
12:00 AM CST

No new addition in June
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Sat, May 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Beauty Queen Killer
New in the serial killer collection: Christopher Wilder, the Beauty Queen Killer. A case that shows how nonsensical the disctinction between serial and spree killers really is.

Thu, Apr 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Burton W. Abbott
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Mon, Mar 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Darren Deon Vann
Ha is basically the usual garden variety strangler case if it wouldn't be for the early warnings statistical data cretated about serial killer activity in Gary/Indiana. Now he is in our collection.

Wed, Mar 4, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Due to technical problems, the March article was up late. Take my apologies for this glitch.

Mon, Feb 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Affaire of the Poisons
We have added the infamous Affaire of the Poisons to our collection. With more than 80 offenders, it breaks a little the format, but well, it's one of the biggest cases of "organized" crime ever, so how can we let it out?

Mon, Dec 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Bryan
Once he made the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, now nobody remembers the case anymore. Nevertheless, the father of all allegedly schizophrenic serial killers has entered our collection.

Fri, Nov 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Trailside Killer
David Joseph Carpenter has now become also part of the Serial Killer Collection ... complete with profile.

Tue, Oct 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Vampire of Duesseldorf
Peter Kuerten aka The Vampire of Duesseldorf roamed the city at the River Rhine for more than two years and left behind a trail of bodies-

Fri, Sep 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Grim Sleeper
Lonnie Franklin aka The Grim Sleeper has been added to our serial killer collection

Thu, Aug 14, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Michael Lee Lockhart
... and with a little delay, another serial made it into the serial killer collection. Michael Lee Lockhart, not so much interesting for his "achievements" but because his case appears as if he became a psychopath only after a serious head injury.

Tue, Aug 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

A Game of Daggers
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Pope Urban II has called for a crusade, but this news has yet to reach Cornwall. And people there have anyway to deal with other problems from storms to wreckers on their coast and when some murdered men are discovered on the beach, nobody guesses, this is only the prelude to much greater events coming to the so remote shores ...

Sat, Jul 5, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Ivan Hill
Ivan Hill, as the first of the many serial killers, who haunted Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s, is now added to our serial killer collection.

Sun, Jun 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Raya and Sakina
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Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Dagmar Overbye
The infamous Danish baby farmer has been added to our Serial Killer Collection.

Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Djoser added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add a new pharaoh to our collection: Djoser, 1st Pharoh of the 3rd Dynasty.

Fri, Apr 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Green River Killer
This month, we added Gary Ridgway to our serial killer collection, a case, not so much interesting for the profiling but for the lessons about case organization to be learned from it.

Tue, Mar 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Manson Family
The "Manson Family&quo; has been added to our serial killer collection. Especially interesting for those who think, brain washing isn't possible.

Fri, Feb 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Hans van Zon
Dutch serial killer Hans van Zon joined our serial killer collection. Not entirely voluntarily though.

Mon, Jan 6, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Syracuse Dungeon Master
John T. Jamelske aka the Syracuse Dungeon Master has been added to our Serial Killer Collection. While not a seria killer but a serial rapist, Jamelske represents a similar psychopathology as some OCD type serial killers, for example Dahmer and therefore is some valuable object for studies.

Thu, Jan 2, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The last of the 2nd dynasty pharaohs, the man who re-united Egypt, is now also in the Egyptian collection.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Sekhemib added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add Pharaoh Sekhemib to the collection, the sixth of the 2nd Dynasty. So, with some luck, I can finish this year the 2nd dynsty, only one, Khasekhemwy is left.

Tue, Dec 10, 2013
12:00 AM CT

The Riha disappearance
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Mon, Nov 4, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Richard N. Clarey jr.
Clarey is one of the lesser known serial killers, skirting the definition a little. Still, for some reasons an interesting case.

Wed, Oct 2, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Now in the collection: William E. Cosden
A garden variety sexual predator, notable only because his existence shows, how wrong the idea of 1 monster at 1 time in 1 area is.

Copyright if not otherwise mentioned Peter and Diane Brendt 2010-. All copies, also in parts, demand the written consent of the copyright holders