A Couple of Updates About Group A

I had hoped to post my thoughts on Group B, but I’m a little pressed for time today. As the original post on Group A has moved below the fold, I did want to call your attention to a couple of facts regarding some of the Group A teams; one of which I forgot to point out yesterday and one of which came up today.

I’m certainly not trying to pick on South Africa’s team, indeed I would be happier to see them go through than any of the other teams, but I failed to mention this yesterday: South Africa is the only country from Africa in the World Cup that did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations this year.

The other news is that there has been a major blow-up in the Mexico camp: Jonathan dos Santos, the brother of Giovanni dos Santos has been dropped from the team. Giovanni dos Santos is now threatening to quit the team. If the discussion here is accurate, apparently it was handled very shabbily. That can’t be good for team unity.

Tomorrow: Group B

26 replies
  1. 1
    Vince CA says:

    If it’s not too much to ask, can you add a link to the original Group A post? I’m too lazy to search for it.

    My housekeeper must have got the heads up on Los dos Santos. She was laughing at me today for thinking that Mexico stood a chance this year.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    Didja catch the BBC America story today about the US-Engerland record over the years?

    And Obama says good luck to US Squad.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Bill Murray says:

    The US squad is going to watch “The Game of Their Lives” or as it is sometimes called “The Miracle Match” right before the US-England match. Gerard Butler as Frank Borghi, Gavin Rossdale as Stan Matthews. That’ll do the trick. To quote the Amazon.com editorial review

    “Perhaps the studio knew they had a cellar dweller; the film was barely released and retitled for home video echoing the moniker of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Soccer kids will enjoy the film, but others better stick to Geoffrey Douglas’s book, The Game of Their Lives, the film’s original title (and mistakenly left on the end credits).”

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    Oh, the drama! Someone’s brother got dissed and now the other brother is going to destroy the team to defend his brother’s honor. Telenovelas have nothing on soccer.

    One of my favorite things about watching futbol is the theatrics of fake injury. The collapsing to the ground, the grimacing and clutching of arm or leg, the writhing in “pain.” And then suddenly all is well, and the player is back up and in the game. No other sport does fake injury so well.

  6. 6
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:


    One of my favorite things about watching futbol is the theatrics of fake injury. The collapsing to the ground, the grimacing and clutching of arm or leg, the writhing in “pain.” And then suddenly all is well, and the player is back up and in the game. No other sport does fake injury so well.

    So true. I grew up in a futbol mad country and certain international players were well known for their acting skills re faking injuries. Much depends on whether the referee is taken in.

  7. 7
    Brandon says:

    Color me unsurprised that Giovanni Dos Santos is causing problems. He’s always been a cancer, everywhere he’s gone.

  8. 8
    Brandon says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people): The injury faking is something that is on a downward trend because players are now required to go off the pitch and referees are less tolerant of the stretcher song and dance. The embellishment of fouls on the on the other hand, as evidenced by Busquets clownishness in the Champions League Semi-Final is a situation that is reaching epic proportions.

  9. 9
    Martin says:

    So, what’s the best way for me to stream games to the office? Last World Cup I packed up my laptop and head down to the coffee shop where they broadcast games all day. Can I stay closer to the phone this year?

  10. 10
    MattR says:

    @Martin: Sorry, I have no idea as I work from home, though I do have a trip scheduled from the 14th-17th so I probably should figure that out. I am just very happy that the trip falls right between the first two US games.

  11. 11
    burnspbesq says:

    I expect Mexico to go into its opening match against South Africa blissfully overconfident. I expect them to pay for their overconfidence, just like Portugal did against the US in the opening game in 2002.

  12. 12
    LarsThorwald says:

    Again, I don’t see what this has to do with the NFL.

  13. 13
    Brandon says:

    @Martin: I imagine that you will be able to see all the matches streamed live for a fee at ESPN3. I have alternate suggestions for sites that will likely have free streams available, but it would disrespect this site for me to post anything that provides people links to copyright infringing content or information that could be used to infringe a copyright. I have noticed that UEFA has not been as diligent about taking down streams as Rupert Murdoch and the Premier League are. My guess is that since FIFA do this so rarely and because they’ve already been paid, they won’t have the same capacity or motivation to monitor the interwebs and take down streams, like the Premier League/Sky Sports does. Therefore I suspect with the aid of the Google, you could probably go far. Otherwise, leave an email address and I’ll shoot you sone links to some sites and applications that I am aware of.

  14. 14
    Brandon says:

    @burnspbesq: I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen either, quite frankly. But if Mexico keeps down the path that we are seeing now, confidence may not be one their issues when they arrive in South Africa.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    @Brandon: Cool, I’ll look into ESPN3. Thanks. I don’t mind paying, especially if I can open it up to the staff. They’ve been working hard and deserve a break.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    Oh, cool!

    I get free ESPN3 streaming through my cable provider (I get my internet through them). It may not function at work because of the IP (it says I can log in using my cable account, so I’ll try that tomorrow), but I can VPN back to my home server if push comes to shove.

    Now I just need to set up a big monitor in my office and schedule a 3 hours staff meeting every day! Woo!

  17. 17
    robertdsc says:

    He’s always been a cancer, everywhere he’s gone.

    Who does he think he is, Allen Iverson? /chuckle

    I had some minor hopes up for the Mexicans as several close friends are fans of the team. Ah, well.

  18. 18
    tgp says:

    The dos santos drama is ridiculous.

    The injury thing is interesting because while there are certainly some embellishments and flops many of the fouls or other injuries cause severe acute pain that fades after a couple minutes. try letting someone boot you in the shins or the ankle. itll hurt for a minute or two but youll get up and be on your way. taking spikes to the ankle hurts and would cause you to roll around for a sec. so ya sometimes its embellishment but sometimes its the nature of the injury.

  19. 19
    Blue Neponset says:

    Something you forgot to mention yesterday is that if South Africa does not advance to the elimination round they will be the first home team not to do so.

    For that very reason I think S.A. will make it out of the group. Uruguay will join them. Mexico and France get to fly home early. You heard it here first.

  20. 20
    Blue Neponset says:

    You forgot to mention that if South Africa does not make it to the elimination round they will be the first home team not to do so.

    For that very reason I think S.A. will make it out of the group. Uruguay will join them. Mexico and France take an early flight home. You heard it here first.

  21. 21
    Some immigrant guy says:

    Randinho – don’t feel like you are picking on Bafana Bafana… the boys are ranked 90th in the world, on paper they should never make it through the group stage.

    (Also from your previous post, Aaron Mokoena, I take it back, he is listed as a defender. He has been a holding midfielder for Blackburn and Portsmouth, but seems certain he will be playing center back in the Cup)

    But if Mexico are in disarray, then that should be something in SA’s favour… especially seeing as it’s SA-Mexico in the opening game, which is more than used to producing big upsets…

    Looking forward to the Group B preview though, where amongst other encounters Argentina playing Greece in the Default Derby.

  22. 22
    PanAmerican says:


    It’s more like the Venus sisters than Iverson. His dad Zizinho is a transplanted Brazilian, former Mexican League player and all around pain in the ass.

  23. 23
    Randy Paul says:

    @LarsThorwald: Absolutely nothing. If you want to actually want to comment on the games themselves, please do. If you want to keep trolling, please don’t. Got it?

  24. 24
    Randy Paul says:

    >.@Vince CA:

    Here you go.

    @Bill Murray: That book is so bad and full of factual errors. For example, they mention games taking place in Brasilia, some six years before construction started on the city.

  25. 25
    PanAmerican says:


    Duh. Williams sisters…..

  26. 26

    Bafana moved up all the way from 90 to 83 in the FIFA rankings. Watch out.

    The team that would have failed to qualify in their group in Africa is a shadow of the team now. They have a new (and far better) coach and an unbeaten streak of 11 games, albeit largely against weaker teams.

    Prior to 2002 South Korea had played 14 games in the finals losing 10 and drawing 4. They reached the semi finals, admittedly on some dodgy refereeing but you can’t underestimate the power of of being at home in a World Cup.

    Mexico doesn’t travel well and as noted is in some disarray, Uruguay has had little impact since 1950 and France can be erratic. For punters a long shot bet on Bafana winning the group is not out of the question.

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