Thursday, March 4, 2010

International Friendlies Stoke World Cup Fever Epidemic

The first cases of World Cup Fever were reported Wednesday, possibly caused by the rash of tune up friendlies being played.

Here's how they went down, with teams that are among the field of 32 in bold.

Brazil beat Ireland 2-0. Robinho made his return to England and scored a goal and set up another.

Australia beat Indonesia 1-0 in an Asian Cup Qualifier.

Japan shut out Bahrain 2-0, upsetting Jermaine Jackson very much.

South Korea beat Drogba and Ivory Coast 2-0, Ivory Coast is still looking for new coach.

Serbia pounded Algeria 3-0. This is important because it now looks for sure like there is at least one team in the US' group who they are better than.

Italy tinkered around with their lineups and formations and turned in an unimpressive 0-0 draw v. Cameroon.

Ghana suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Serbia Montenegro.

Nigeria bongo'ed Congo 5-2.

Honduras exposed how silly it is that certain regions have to have a certain number of teams make the tournament, getting beat by Turkey, who is in UEFA and not going to the tournament, 2-0.

Mexico beat New Zealand 2-0 with a goal from PDM leader Javier Hernandez.

Carlos Bocanegra scored for the United States, but Netherlands got a 2-1 win in Amsterdam.

Argentina got a goal from Real's Gonzalo Higuain for an impressive win in Munich, 1-0 over Germany.

Atletico Madrid's Diego Forlan scored in Uruguay's 3-1 win over Switzerland.

Denmark had a discouraging 2-1 loss at home to a subpar Austrian team.

England got 2 goals from Peter Crouch and another from Shaun-Wright Phillips as they cruised over African champs (althought they failed to qualify for the World Cup) Egypt 3-1 at Wembley. Of course the most important thing here is how the crowd reacted to John Terry. Pardon me while I find the proper emoticon to accurately reflect the mixed reaction.

In the marquee matchup of the night, defending Euro 2008 champs Spain convincingly won 2-0 over France in Paris. Goals for David Villa and Sergio Ramos. Maybe if the referees let France shoot with their hands next time.

Greece is heavily indebted to anyone who paid to watch them bungle to a listless 2-0 loss in Athens against Senegal.

Portugal looked a little sloppy in a 2-0 win over China. Portugal chose this interesting matchup because they open play in June against North Korea, who apparently play a similar totalitarian government-inspired style of play as China.

Slovakia lost 1-0 to a Norway side that is going to be home for the summer, while Slovenia, who will be in the same group as England and the US, looked impressive in a 4-1 win over Qatar.

Meanwhile, in the NFL, the chess pieces are beginning to be put into motion ahead of the start of free agency today.

- The collective bargaining situation has spawned this weird phemononom where we have a heapin helpin of restricted free agents, who can be "tendered" by their existing team, and depending on how much they are "tendered", if another team signs them, that means that they must send a corresponding draft pick back in return. Since most of these draft picks are first, second, or third round, you can pretty much assume that none of these restricted free agents are going anywhere.

The Cardinals have released the corner/safety, who was the 8th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Rolle's best season was 2007 when he had 5 picks and took 3 of them back for TDs. The Bears are interested.

Was the Bengals #2 wideout last year, grabbed 43 passes for 514 yards and 5 TDs. He'll be looking for a new team, the Bengals released him.

All the liberal mainstream media outlets told me that the Chargers were going to let him walk, but they tenderized him yesterday meaning he will be succulent and juicy and still in San Diego in 2010.

The longtime Eagle corner had 1 injury shortened season with the Jets, and there won't be a second, he was released.

The Jets released him last week, but don't go mothballing his jersey just yet. The word is the Jets are interested in bringing him back at a lower salary.

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