ITEM: Ghana: a cynical bunch of time-wasting, diving cheats. Still, pretty capable, eh? When we're fully mature as a team, this is the kind of game we'll win comfortably. Until then, this is the kind of team that will forever be our undoing—cheap, chippy, opportunistic but touched with just enough class. Here's hoping Brazil puts nine past them.
ITEM: Merk. Who gave him a whistle? I wish the Australians had lynched him instead of merely F-bombing him.
ITEM: Deuce. Even in defeat, that guy is the MAN. Do not mess with Texas.
ITEM: Disappointment aside, it's great to see the likes of Jimmy Conrad and Ben Olsen—men who slave for relative pennies in MLS—get a moment on the premier stage. Both played well.
ITEM: Landon Donovan's shrink is in the money. That kid needs some sort of intervention. How do you—if you happen to be a professional goalscorer in, say, a crucial World Cup match—not crack it at the net when you're free in the box?
ITEM: Screwed by the ref. Denied by the post. You still must find a way to win, and we are lacking the X-factor that makes that possible.
ITEM: Even though we're out, I think this World Cup will, in retrospect, be looked at as a turning point for the game in this country. The cafe I went to this morning was packed beyond SRO. Friends of mine who've never taken notice of the sport were hanging on this match. We owned the terraces against both Italy and Ghana. Our team is a long way from becoming one of the elite, but the support is getting there. I don't necessarily want or need America to become a nation of soccer fanatics—hey, I used to be able to get a seat on these occasions—but it seems like people are both enjoying and caring about this tournament, and that's fantastic.
Alright. Now I can—aaaaaaaah—relax and enjoy this thing from here out. C'mon Brazil! You'll have to handle hemispheric payback for us.