Monday, June 12, 2006

Many people across the United States might not know that playing the Quarterfinal in 2002 is not the best ever result for the man defending the stripes and stars, in 1930 they played in the Semi-finals. Certainly not short of talent, the American Bruce Arena might well coach his team to finish second in their group and be with the last sixteen, once a team can do that anything is possible. Think of the Greece hijacking the last European champions chips in front of, well, everybody else.
At the same time, the same story might also occupy the mind of Czech born Karel Bruckner. He was at those European championships together with the Czech team, and he did not do to bad either. The Czechs certainly will dream of golden times. Moreover, having a history of being two times runners up, imagination in Prague do not has to be in fairy tale land.
World Cup coverage starts on the television, and for the first time I hear a national anthem. It is 'The star spangled banner'. Straight after, the ads start again, and I will never know how the anthem of the Czech Republic goes.
From the start of the game, the Americans struggle to get a hold. They receive the first yellow card of the game in the fourth minute, for spoiling a good change of the Czechs with a nasty tackle.
Moments later a Czech striker crosses a deep ball over in front of the box. The Americans leave a player unmarked, and the experienced Czech heads it in, textbook.


The Americans are not defeated that easy, and they grow back in the game. Their attacks prove their right to be here, with the final thirty-two of the World Cup. They nearly equalize with a header, but luck is not with the Americans.
The Czechs upsetting the fans in the stands even more with a hard shot from 15 meters on target. The ball disappears in the top right corner, a nightmare for the star spangled banner.


The Czech Republic comes out more dangerous in the second half. The Americans keep fighting, and chances are created on both sides.
America gets more control in the game, and a yellow out of a frustrated action of the Serbs proves my point.
A minute later the States pick up a booking, their frustration might be greater.
A few missed shots of the Czechs blows new confidence into the American camp, and they get hungry for the ball.
Still the Czechs are dominant.
"The United States looked like a team that is off by a month," says the commentator.
Personally, I think they deserve more credit.
"Right now the Czechs are dominating the midfield," he says. Now he is right, credit to the Czechs.
A strike of 15 meters in the 70th minute might be the best strike of the States in the game, it goes one foot wide to the left of the goal.
"Some decent built up," says the commentator.
But the American dream is crushed in the 75th minute. The Czechs carry out a lethal counter. A one on one with the American keeper results in the ball bouncing for the third time in the goal of the Americans.


The remark of the commentator sums up the whole game.
"the Czechs have picked the American defense apart."