USA ties Slovenia 3-2

After defeating England 1-1, the United States ties Slovenia 3-2 after the worst refereeing decision in a World Cup since Maradona's Hand of God. I don't think any referee can be unintentionally that bad, and I think the game should be looked at for match fixing via the referee.

Highlights here.

FIFA has at least given referee Couliabaly an expediated performance review, however what they really should have is an investigation into betting on the USA vs. Slovenia game. I find it hard to believe that any referee could be that bad on accident. Match fixing is a serious problem in world soccer. If I was FIFA:

a) Couliabaly would never work again,
b) I would have an investigation looking at who placed bets on USA vs. Slovenia,
c) I would lock up all World Cup referees in a gilded cage and monitor their phone calls to be 100% sure on all subsequent matches

Making fun of Stratfor again

The World Cup has inspired me to blog again, so I figured I should get back to one of my blog's specialties: making fun of Stratfor (example A, example B). This time they try their hand at analyzing soccer, a serious mistake.

I bought a temporary Stratfor subscription a few years ago for my thesis - it was a big waste of money. However as a result they still send me emails, including one about the geopolitics of the World Cup:

Isolated from threats, rich in capital and natural resources, the United States is a country where optimistic thinking and risk taking has traditionally been rewarded. Caution is not necessarily prized because threats and natural impediments are few. America's geographic and economic advantages have helped it to develop the first truly dominant global naval force, which has shaped U.S. history in such a way that clear military defeats are extremely rare. It is therefore no surprise that the American team at the World Cup will play a confident and open style of football, regardless of its slim chances of overall success.

This doesn't appear to be sarcastic. So now in addition to learning that Obama has no shot at the Presidency because his middle name is Hussein (example A), you can learn that the United States Men's National Team plays a confident and open style of football. Please disregard all evidence (empty bucket formation, or watching USA vs. England) to the contrary.

USA defeats England 1-1

Wow. I am exhausted after watching that game. A win against Slovenia looks more likely especially given how good Altidore looked today. And then a win against Algeria should be straightforward. First place vs. second place between the US and England will hopefully come down to goal difference.