Have you ever wondered how the US would fair in Group A? ESPN did. I can’t say I’m convinced Stuart Holden is the answer, and I’m also not as pessimistic about the US. I was at the US/Brazil game and the US created plenty of chances. I’m not going to rehash my thoughts.
Czech v. Greece (2-1)
The Czechs are ranked 27th in the world and the Greeks are ranked 15th, but as both France/England and Sweden/Ukraine showed yesterday, the rankings cannot be trusted. Still, I fully anticipated the Greeks to be solid against the Czechs after the Czechs were so dismal against Russia. 2 goals in the first six minutes definitely changed my mind about that.
I mentioned yesterday that I was making some changes to my fantasy team. What I did not mention was that I dropped Gregory van der Wiel for Vassilis Torossidis. I didn’t expect the Greeks to be as disorganized without the energy of the home team. Torossidis only got me one point. After the game I was down to the 97.9%. I’m guessing not a lot of people had Greeks or Czechs after the first round.
Once again, Ninis did nothing.
Russia v. Poland (1-1)
Unfortunately, the real story here was before the game. I thought that seven people had died, but the Guardian Podcast said seven were hospitalized. I guess that’s what I get for listening to netcasts at 2x.
In the game, Dzagoev got another goal, and this time he was in my fantasy team. Despite that, I’m down to 96.5% for my fantasy team, probably due to his yellow card and the fact that he was the only player I had in the game. My lead over my brother is growing too. Interestingly, I was #12 in the Fans of Sweden group at the end of the first round, but have dropped to #19.
For Poland, the captain got the equalizer. The game finished 1-1, leaving Russia at the top of the group, the Czechs in second with 3 points, Poland with 2 points and Greece with one point. As far as what Poland has to do for the next game, the goal meant nothing. However, given the tension between Russia and Poland, the draw probably meant a safer night for all in Warsaw.
For the sake of reminder, Russia is ranked 13th and Poland is ranked 62nd.
The Elo rankings have the teams much closer, with Poland dropping in at #35. I think the Elo ratings are better, but is England really the 7th best team in the world? I don’t think so, but I guess we’ll get to find out a little more about England on Friday when they take on Sweden. Amazingly, considering the US did not make a World Cup until 1990, the USA is #47 since 1970. I also find the Elo All-Time best scores interesting.
Apparently, I am not the only one who was choosing Euros over the NHL. I wonder if the NBA or the Euros will see any sort of bump due to the NHL being over. I kinda doubt it since the time zones are so different, but perhaps on the weekends.
NBA Finals started last night. I didn’t watch, and probably won’t watch any of the series. I’m much more interested in the Bobcats finding a coach and the rumor that won’t go away that the ‘Hornets’ name might return to Charlotte. By the way, the Thunder are up 1 game to none.
Hopefully one of the other SportAZine writers will step up to the plate for the Finals.