In Europe us Americans are seen as a joke when it comes to soccer. In fact, I can’t even begin to count the number of times someone has said “Football, oh, sorry mate, I mean soccer,” and then burst out into hilarious laughter. I guess on the flip side it goes to show that most Europeans have no original humor and just keep telling the same joke over and over again thinking they’re the first one to invent it.

But even English fans who were pissed off that we pulled a 1-1 draw with them in the World Cup opener were completely aghast at how badly the US team got screwed against Slovenia. One headline I saw said: US ties Slovenia 3-2.

coulibaly koman
A US win? Not on my watch!

I mean, this was just so egregious that FIFA officials are considering dropping referee Koman Coulibaly for what was just out and out incompetence. Though there were countless smaller fouls that either weren’t called against Slovenia or were questionable called against the US team there was no denying that when Coulibaly disallowed the US goal that would have seen them come from 0-2 at halftime to take a 3 -2 lead in what some were calling one of the biggest comebacks in World Cup history, it was obvious that something was amiss. None of the US players who could have been offsides were offsides and not only that the one guy who was the closest to being offsides was busy being fouled by a Slovenia player to actually get offsides.

It’s a shame because FIFA has been trying to crack the US market for years. Americans have never gotten into soccer/football at the professional level though it’s one of the most played sports by children. But this year the Americans had a decent team with a decent chance and had the opportunity to bring some attention to the sport in one of the biggest markets in the world.

Oh well, let’s see if they can make it out of the first round.

It was funny though because over here the local stations did not buy the English commentary rights so we watch it in Thai. We were over my friend Rob’s house and after a few beers watching the Germany game my girlfriend had trouble pronouncing Slovenia. She ended up calling it something that sounded like Souvenir. Well all got a laugh out of that until we watched the broadcast and the broadcasters were calling them Souvenir. I guess that’s just the Thai pronunciation of it.

Bill’s Poker Blog

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