Steve's Page | 13JUL14
Steve Russillo's Maundering Mess
1997 – 2014
Celebrating over 17 years of not making the world a better place at all, but yakking aimlessly and endlessly about things that are important to me. Which from my perspective does indeed make the world a better place, come to think of it.

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Twitter: @RussilloSM

      

13JUL14. After the Final round...
It's not that Argentina didn't have a couple GOLDEN opportunities...


10JUL14. After the Semifinal Round...
I had a thought that, when I first had it made me laugh, then didn't: Do you suppose the Brazilians will demolish Mineirão stadium? (Or at least, never let the Seleção play there again?)

Germany seems to get stronger with each game. I wouldn't want to be Argentina on Sunday—either despite or because of—the extra 30 minutes they had to play that Germany did not, or the extra rest day the Germans have.


05JUL14. After the Quarterfinal Round...
I say Costa Rica should be given the win over Holland just because the Dutch had a bunch of OPEN-NET, POINT-BLANK shots and muffed them all. (For blowing such easy chances, Van Persie almost loses credit for his astounding diving header that signaled the beginning of the end for Spain back in their first group stage game!) I give Brazil a semi-final edge over the Germans, based on home-field alone, even without Nemar. (For what prognosticating is worth, I think Argentina beats Brazil in the final.)

Hat's off to Colombia. After the Round of 16 they had the strongest performance, and even with an amazing goal differential of 9 going in, the couldn't eek one out against the home team. (Scroll down a bit and see that Germany's finishing GD in 2010 was 11, five more than Portugal which had the next best at 6....and still went out in the round of 16.)


02JUL14. After the Round of 16...
- USA finish two spots below seed. Could be worse, and frankly is typical of us. I've said it many times (scroll down not too far, in fact) and I'll continue here: We're not one of the 8 best teams in the world, so bowing in the round of 16 is nothing to be ashamed of. Did we squander golden scoring chances against Belgium? Of course. But Belgium squandered more, Tim Howard's UNCONSCIOUS "game-of-your-life" performance in goal be praised. The Belgians have played out of their minds this whole tournament and for the US to have had a chance we would have to have played our best and Belgium played their worst. As it turns out Belgium probably DID play below average for them -- Howard made them look much worse than they were of course -- but we "only" played a little better than average. (Think of it this way: if a 5 game is great and a 1 game is terrible with 0 being average, we needed to play a 5 while Belgium played a 1 or 2. The "Howard-frustrated" Belgium played a 2 but we played a 4, and came up short.)

Heads held high and dream of what might have been had Landon Dononvan made the trip. (Yes, I'm totally going there.) As much as I love what John Brooks did against Ghana, and what Jermaine Jones did against Portugal, and what DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Green did against Belgium, no one will convince me that each of the 23 guys we took were better than Landon Donovan. I'm not saying Klinsmann made a "fire-his-ass" caliber error in leaving him home, but it was unquestionably a strategic and tactical miscalculation, as we all thought it was the moment we learned about it. Even if he's not 100%, you take him and leave him on the bench, because even if you don't play him, you have at your disposal his considerable reputation, on paper if no where else. What do I mean. He's one of the most formidable strikers in history, and other teams must consider that any time they face the US. Think of it: In the 80th minute of an evenly fought draw or one goal game....and then you send in Landon Donovan. At a tenuous moment like that, what can possibly go though the minds of the opponent other than "ahhh shit."


26JUN14. Of Note After the Group Stage...
- With four points and an even goal differential Ecuador did better on paper than Greece did, but of course they're in different groups so Greece dances and Ecuador walks. (Compare to 2010 - scroll down - three teams with four points and negative goal differentials - Mexico, S. Korea & Slovakia - advanced where three others with four points and postitve or even GDs - Ivory Coast, Slovenia & Switzerland - did not.)
- Who could do worse than the Italian (-21) or French (-20) implosions of 2010? It's not news: Spain finished an astonishing 22 places below their seed. (Had Portugal NOT scored their second goal against Ghana and tied instead of winning, they finish not 18th, but 24th: 20 places below seed.)


10JUN14. IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN...
WORLD CUP 2014 - Brasil. Hard to fathom how the 16th ranked team in the world (Ukraine) doesn't make the field, but if you look over to the right, in 2010 the teams ranked 10th, 11th and 12th worldwide did not go. Also of note: no team in the 2014 field comes in ranked lower than 62nd, whereas in 2010 three were ranked worse than 77th! (One was the home country, South Africa, who ended up being one of five teams to exceed their seed by double digits!) Here's how 2010 South Africa finished up. For all the talk about how disappointing was the USA's performance in 2010, we only finished one spot below our seeding. Making it to the quarters of the World Cup sort of implies that a team is one of the best eight in the world, and while the US side is a lot of things, eighth in the world it is not. THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT; I've been watching and playing this game since the days of Kyle Rote, Jr. and Shep Messing when we never went to the World Cup, and now it seems we always do; I know very well how far we've come!


Favorite Songs
(modified 06JUN14)

I'm constantly looking for new music to listen to and talk about. As you can see by checking out lists from years past almost anything is fair game, so suggest something, or better yet, e-mail me something. (Book discussion begins not quite halfway down the page.)