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Judgment Day in WWC and Copa America

Sam’s Guide to Judgment Day in WWC and Copa America

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Sup haters,

Know what today is? Metaphorically speaking, today’s the day you walk down the street minding your business (probably on your phone spitting some weak textual game at a soft 7 who accidentally swiped right) and see a $1 bill on the ground but ignore it because there’s a 95% chance some little shithead wiped bodily fluids on it and is waiting to laugh at the poor – emphasis on poor if you’re that excited about $1 – schmuck who picks it up, so you keep walking and texting for a bit until you stumble upon a $1,000 bill, immediately forget all about the soft 7 (she had weird teeth anyway, probably not meth-related but no need to risk it) and suddenly your run-of-the-mill Tuesday just got a whole hell of a lot better because finders keepers…

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“But why? Why is today my lucky day?”

Because you are in for a double dose of compelling soccer this evening and many of you probably don’t even know it… or didn’t until just now. But thankfully your old buddy Sam is here to give you the quick rundown on what to expect from the (semi)finals of the Women’s World Cup and semifinals of Copa America.

[[PROGRAMMING NOTE: I put together a short post providing a very brief glimpse at what’s going on in the EPL transfer window…. but after finishing it, like a dumbass, I then went back and expanded it into a comprehensive guide for what all 20 clubs need and who they might bring in to fill the gaps. So while it is done and ready to publish, you are going to have to wait a day on that (since two soccer-specific blogs in one day on Barstool would be like crossing the streams resulting in total protonic reversal, thus all 12 of you who are itching to read about EPL transfer talk will have to check back mañana.]]

Without further ado, let’s get to the…

SOCCER!

SOCCER!

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USA vs GERMANY

Both of the people who read my original WWC preview blog will recall my prediction that the tournament would eventually boil down to a matchup of USA and Germany, which wasn’t exactly a bold prediction considering they are the top two ranked teams in the world, but lo and behold here we are.

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#tbt

#tbt

Unfortunately, because FIFA is FIFA whether Sepp Blatter is calling the shots or not, the organization surreptitiously put the three best teams on the same side of the bracket (USA, Germany and France), thus giving hosts Canada the best shot at making it to the final. Canada – of course – dropped the ball and lost in the quarterfinals to a plucky England squad, meaning defending champions Japan have a pretty straight forward path back to the final, but there is little doubt that the winner of the USA/Germany (semi)finals will be a heavy favorite to hoist the trophy on July 5.

That means tonight’s game may not be for all the marbles, but it’s definitely for most of them.

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PREDICTION

USA (+165)
Germany (+160)
Draw (+225)

If we’re being honest, picking a draw would not be at all far-fetched. This game, according to all the experts, is going to come down to Germany’s (relatively) potent offense squaring off against the USA’s stingy defense.

Is one goal against all WWC good?

Is one goal against all WWC good?

This storyline makes sense given that these are both teams’ strengths, and will be hammered home repeatedly by the media, but one wildcard that people seem to be completely forgetting about is the fact that the USA has the potential to be just as dangerous as Ze Germans, perhaps even more so, if players like Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and (pending the announcement of who is in/out of the line-up) Christen Press, Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux can find their groove.

Clearly, the group has yet to get in sync. Three goals against Australia, zero against Sweden, one vs Nigeria, two vs Colombia and just one against China are not an impressive “haul” by any measure. What’s more, Germany is clearly better than all these teams. Having said that, with every passing game (and the practices in between), the chance that things finally start clicking gets better and better.

Maybe this is the game that Jill Ellis releases the brakes on USA’s offense, letting players like Lloyd, Tobin Heath and a rested Megan Rapinoe run at defenders and/or feed Alex Morgan, who has been looking less rusty with each passing game. Or perhaps you think that Germany’s midfield is too complete and the USA’s goalkeeping advantage too small for the Red, White and Yellow to come away with a victory. If you are in the latter camp though then thank god you were born in this generation rather than the 1930s because people like you probably would have started taking “sprechen zie deutsch” classes in your free time while real Americans were out fighting for freedom.

USA wins 2-1.

Sorry Germany:
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COPA AMERICA

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“OMG you guys, I can’t tell you how excited I am about finally watching ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL play one another in a major tournament! It’s gonna be so exciting!”
-me, on Saturday

(Please forgive the noxious special effect)

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, shit. No Battle Royale between the two giants of South American giants. Lezzzzzbe honest though, this ain’t your daddy’s Brazil. It’s not even your older brother’s Brazil. The country has some serious soul-searching (and talent-developing) to do. Or if you ask a Brazilian, they just needed Neymar – whichever.

In fact, if we’re still being honest, Paraguay probably has a better shot of knocking off Argentina than Brazil would have. The two teams met in the opening game of the group and, as a quick reminder, Argentina took a very quick 2-0 lead through Leo Messi and Sergio Aguero, and looked like they were on their way to a blowout before taking their foot off the gas and allowing Paraguay back into the game, eventually settling for a 2-2 draw.

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PREDICCIÓN

Argentina (-300)
Paraguay (+850)
Draw (+350)

I gave away my prediction long ago when I bestowed upon you the wisdom that Argentina and Chile would be meeting in the final (you’re welcome), so needless to say you already know which way I’m going on this one.

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Having said that, Paraguay is a cagey opponent and Argentina better at least bring their B+ game (rather than the C- shit they brought in the group stage) if they want ensure themselves of progressing. Paraguay is all about grinding out results, and you really gotta give it to the country as they punch way above their weight when it comes to boobsy women who don’t mind flaunting it (and motor-boating cell phones)

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In the end though Argentina just has too many weapons with Messi, Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Gonthalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria (et al, amazingly).

Argentina to win 2-0.

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So now you are fully prepared for tonight’s action. Reminder: comprehensive EPL transfer blog coming tomorrow for your [picture] reading pleasure. ‘Til next time…

God bless Merica

God bless you, ‘Merica


Holler,
Samuel X. Army