Saturday, September 21, 2019

World Class – World Cup

Modern soccer ball

Modern soccer ball

Previously, I have covered the history of football (soccer), the World Cup, and the history and development of soccer boots (cleats). I haven’t talked about the actual soccer ball, which at present is under much scrutiny. Adidas traditionally designs a new ball for each World Cup tournament. It has been reported by both players and goalkeepers that the 2010 ball has a mind of its own. It’s the goalkeepers who suffer: from the goals already scored there have been many examples of the ball suddenly changing direction, dipping and turning in flight. All this fuss over a round aerodynamics-designed piece of sewn plastic filled with air, when in the past (1540) a leather, possibly deer skin with an inflated pigs bladders, was all that was needed! The ball continued to develop and in 1855, Charles Goodyear patented vulcanized rubber and, amongst many of its uses, designed the first vulcanized soccer ball. In 1863, the first rules of soccer were introduced by the English Football Association. The rules included “the ball must be spherical with a circumference of 27 to 28 inches.” This rule still applies to official soccer matches played all over the world.

The World Cup started June 11 and will continue to the final stages quarter-final July 2/3; semi-final July 6/7; and the final on the July 11. Already teams considered as underdogs have performed far better than the experts predicted. However there is still a long way to go. When all groups A to H have played  the other 3 group teams, we have a mini-league table: the top 2 from each group moving to the next stage (Group 16) of the competition. This is then a simple knock out. Winners move on. The losers have an early shower and departure.

I won’t be giving a detailed commentary as every game is well covered by the newspapers, television, and can even be received on your mobile phone. I have to say, apart from the high pitched Vuvuzela, Africa has presented the soccer world with one great competition and awesome venues. It’s like a world jamboree. Politicians

Old soccer ball

Old soccer ball

and Country Leaders, take note! Does it take a game of soccer to bring countries in harmony with each other?

Great show, Team USA (the comeback kids) who have progressed to the last 16. How? Guts, determination, believing in themselves and never, never giving up. In my opinion I thought the two disallowed goals were perfectly good and should have been allowed. USA, you must have enjoyed this tremendous game of soccer and be proud of your team and coach.

In the quarter final games on June 26/27:

Uruguay 2 ? Korea Republic 1. Uruguay move to the Quarter Final.

Ghana v USA. Fabulous game, USA, so near and yet so far! One mid-field mistake, one goal. It’s that delicate; soccer can be a very cruel game. America, you can be very proud of your Soccer Team and what they have achieved in the world theater of soccer.

Ghana 2 ? USA 1. Ghana moves to the Quarter Final

Germany 4 ? England 1. Well done, Germany, a truly stunning performance. I really think the disallowed goal which would have leveled the score 2-2 may have changed the pattern of the game (we know how you feel USA). Having said that, the best team won.

Germany moves to Quarter Finals.

Argentina 3 ? Mexico 1. Great game ?all South American?the young Mexican team against the experienced Argentina team. The difference experience makes, with the likes of Messi Tevez, and my favorite defender Gabby Heinze, supported by vintage Zanetti and Samuel.

Argentina moves on to Quarter Final and still my favorites to win the World Cup.

Semi-Final ? Argentina v Germany wow! 7. July. Don’t miss it!

Local News

Marco Island City Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Coach Patterson are starting a Soccer Academy to progress year round ongoing skill and tactical coaching for the kids who want to seriously progress their soccer. The ultimate aim is to develop traveling soccer teams to represent the City in local and state tournaments. Marco, we have the kids, we have the talent, and we simply need to give these kids the opportunity to develop their skills. Phone Parks and Recreation Mindy Matusiak 239-642-0575 for details.

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