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Manya's Musings Through the First Week of Action in Germany

Manya Makoski is laid up with a broken leg suffered while playing with her USL W-League team, but if you’re going to break your leg, you might as well do it right before the World Cup (as long as you are not actually ON the World Cup Team of course). The injury knocked her out of this summer’s Nordic Cup, but it did give the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team standout a chance to watch as many World Cup games as she wants.
She checks in from her couch on her thoughts on the World Cup so far.

It’s just a soccer ball, guys!

Call me crazy, but I think there is some controversy over the ball being used in the World Cup. After watching numerous reports and listening to the commentators comment like they do, it seems that the “goalies no likey” the ball. The goalkeepers complaining about how the ball knuckles? Seriously, what don’t ‘keepers complain about? Not to be rude or anything, but it’s the World Cup, these guys hit shots with ridiculous pace and spin that would take chips out of a brick wall and the ball is going to knuckle. Get over it.

Okay, onto England. I watched the England vs. Paraguay game in nervous anticipation.
England’s Peter Crouch had numerous opportunities on goal, almost all of which he squandered away. Each time the ball sailed over the net or went out (see: shot for a throw-in) I groaned in disappointment. I, like everyone out there (and don’t even try to deny it!) wanted to see the Robot Dance. That’s all I was asking for in return for my 90 minutes of cheering for the Three Lions. And when Crouch finally put one away, he didn’t even do the dance! That is the last time I bloody cheer for you, Crouch.

On June 13, finally, the game the world had been waiting for arrived. Or shall I say the “The Show,” the world has been waiting to watch. And that’s Brazil. That one word sends a chill down the soccer fanatic’s spine. The Brazilians know everyone loves them and that it’s their job to play beautiful, exciting attacking soccer all the while proving that they are the world’s best…again…times six.

Brazil opens up their training sessions to the press. Their ‘keeper was playing forward in a scrimmage and even scored a couple. Their starting line up was announced a month before the tournament started. The world knows what they have, and they don’t seem to be that worried or concerned about anything. Some may call that cocky or arrogant, but when you have five previous World Cup titles (and the fact that you went 7-0-0 in at the 2002 World Cup), I just call it confidence. Even though they only beat a inspired Croatia, 1-0, Ronaldinho and his crew are just getting started. Trust me on that one.

(P.S. to Ronaldo. Second Skin works nice for those blisters, or maybe a little skin lube? And please score at least one goal in the tourney. It would be nice to tie Pele as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer in the World Cup even if your tummy looks as though you ate him).

The France vs. Switzerland game was very painful to watch. I’m sure even more painful if your French. They just have too many old guys and too many superstars on one team to actually gain a rhythm and create goals.
I may be a defender now, but I know that when you are in front of the goal, you shoot the ball. Okay I’ll just go ahead and name names. Frank Ribery, shoot the darn ball!

Even though he is struggling to score, I must give a shout out to France’s Thierry Henry for stepping up against racism and the abuse of black players in Europe. The ESPN feature on him really showed how much heart and passion he has for the game. I know he will make as much difference off the field as he has as one of the world’s best goal scorers.

As always, I welcome your opinions, thoughts and musings on what has been a great World Cup so far! Email me at  

Play on,