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World Cup 2014

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

ToniKroosGermany1-Armenia2014 (AP)

By TATE STEINLAGE 

With the World Cup a mere six days away from kicking off, teams are searching for positive results in their final tune-up matches as preparation time begins to dwindle.

Germany is one of those sides. The world’s No. 2 ranked team according to the latest FIFA rankings completes its send-off series Friday in a friendly against Armenia. Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger starts on the bench for the Germans as manager Joachim Low gives the nod to Toni Kroos in what appears to be a 4-3-3 formation.

Meanwhile, Brazil battles Serbia in its final tune-up match. Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari isn’t tinkering around with his lineup after crushing Panama 4-0 on Tuesday. The Brazilians look to best the Serbians ahead of their June 12 World Cup opener against Croatia.

Domestically, Major League Soccer has a Friday night feature in Texas as the Houston Dynamo look to add to Sporting Kansas City’s recent woes.

If you’ll be viewing any of today’s action around the world, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and play-by-play in the comments section below.

Today’s viewing schedule is after the jump:

2:45 p.m. – Germany vs. Armenia – ESPN Deportes/ESPN3

3:00 p.m. – Brazil vs. Serbia – beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports en Español

6:50 p.m. – Columbia vs. Jordan – beIN Sports en Español

8:00 p.m. – Greece vs. Bolivia – beIN Sports USA

8:30 p.m. – Mexico vs. Portugal – ESPN2/UniMas

8:30 p.m. – Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC – MLS Live/MLS Direct Kick

114 comments
  • QuakerOtis

    Reus out with a nasty and painful ankle roll. Not sure if his cup is done, but he looks afraid it is. Trainers helped him hobble off, could not put pressure on it.

    Germany looks good though. Much better passing and possession, though the finishing is still lacking.

    Like

    • BookNerd

      I think he tore some kind of ligament, honestly. It looked really painful — unlucky and sad.

      Germany looks better, but finishing sucks and defense still has issues. Boateng is not a right back, Howdes is questionable, and wtf is with Lahm. Best right back in the world and he plays DM.

      Also, why are all their games in Germany? It seems like a bad idea not getting used to the heat.

      Like

      • Increase

        Germany is gunna have a rough WC now… Reus out(likely)

        Their home-base isn’t done last time I heard. Friendlies in Germany…

        Loew is an idi0t about Lahm and both right and left back are like 1 player deep. Someone gets injured and its Howdes starting and right back.

        Sooo much wrong with the German team right now and I really don’t feel like making a list.

        The question is… is a weak Germany good or bad for the USA?
        I think maybe bad…

        First time got moderated.

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      • NC Jeff

        Is a weak Germany good or bad for the USA??? I guess your theory is that, if good, they’d deny both Ghana and Portugal points, while if bad, may surrender points to both (forcing the US to also have to get points). From a sporting standpoint, I want all 32 teams at their best, but from a shear tactical standpoint, I’d have to say the US is better off with a weakened Germany.

        Like

      • Increase

        Strategically, them on 6 points would be the best for us as they would have the least motivation.

        I will say this though. They are likely still good enough to beat both but by the time they reach us the USA would likely be in better physical shape.(Hurray Concaf?) I really don’t want Portugal taking points off them though.

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      • Quit whining about soccer in the US

        If we beat em, great. If not bad.

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      • GW

        Lahm has been in midfield a lot lately. Maybe he has slowed down.

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      • Big Larry

        Not only is Lahm one of the top fullbacks in the world, he is also one of the top defending mid-fielders.

        Like

  • froboy

    Brasil not looking all that great, I’d say Serbia was their equal if not better in the first half.

    Like

  • Del Griffin

    To those that think that our defensive gaffes will lead to goals against germany and Portugal every time, i will point to this game. Germany has had a million good looks given up by bad defense, and have missed. The chatterers would be up in arms if we were playing like germany is today

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    • Grant

      Germany has multiple gears, they seemed to be on cruise control until the penalty. This team is stacked with very good to great midfielders. Reus is a world class talent but Germany won’t be missing anything they can’t replace.

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      • Mark from LA

        And… bam, bam, bam, bam, and since I started this post… bam. Germany has unbelievable class, even while enduring a harshly critical media which looks only to poke holes in the team.

        Hard to see any points for the US coming from this fixture, a point would be an unbelievable accomplishment.

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    • Matt

      Awfully quiet here now. Still think we can make defensive mistakes against this team? we stand absolutely no chance playing even a perfect game

      Like

      • QuakerOtis

        Never said anything like “Hey! Let’s make mistakes and play with our eyes closed!”

        And sure, we still have a chance… of not getting blown out… as long as we play better than this *stellar* Armenian side.

        What is with some of these commenters…?

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      • Matt

        Because weve looked that much better in our send off games? Turkey could have easily beat us

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      • Matthew R

        I agree with you and with Del Griffin. Also for Matt’s reference he could look at Germany vs. Cameroon last week or the Netherlands vs. Ghana… even the best players on the best teams are only human and don’t punish lesser teams for every mistake they make… and to insinuate the United States has no chance against Germany is just stupidity

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      • QuakerOtis

        Right. Any given group game.

        And, to anyone who wants to point out that the US is nowhere near as good as Germany: duh.

        Like

      • beachbum

        yep, anything can happen on any day in a matchup, soccer as much as any sport seems to me. officiating so crucial and potentially game deciding in soccer too, just one play or something, in tight contests

        Like

  • soundersdude

    Serbia has actually looked pretty good so far.. looks like they should have qualified

    Like

  • Dace

    Reus is still pretty young, he’ll be in his prime come 2018 so i don’t feel too bad for him. Feel a little bad for Ribiery though, not sure he’s going to get another WC chance.

    Like

  • DB

    Miroslav Klose + Germany shirt = goals.

    Took twice as many games, but Klose has now passed Gerd Muller as Die Mannschaft’s all-time leading goalscorer.

    Like

  • Good Jeremy

    I leave for 20 minutes to handle things and the game goes from Germany playing poorly and leading 1-0 to a dominating 5-1 score.
    Bah humbug.

    Like

    • QuakerOtis

      Figured this would happen. They can only stay quiet for so long. It was only their finishing that held them back. Could be 10 – 1.

      Like

      • Gary Page

        Also, let’s not discount the fact that Armenia is not much of an opponent.

        Like

      • QuakerOtis

        Yes. We will be on our back foot the whooollle time, but we can definately control the ball and move it out of the back better than Germany’s opponent today.

        I still say we lose against the 2nd-Half Germany 3-2, with the 2nd goal a late consolation, if we’re lucky.

        Like

  • DB

    If Deutschland does any thing in this WC, it’s going to be on the backs of their “old masters.”

    Like

  • soundersdude

    Wow horrific horrific call by the linesman on that offside against brasil. Not even close. I remember hearing about Fifa being worried about match fixing in these lead up games.. hmm

    Like

    • Nick4235

      Had to be one of the worst offside calls I’ve ever seen. At least 3 yards onside just a great run and a great ball.

      Like

  • Benny

    Poor Armenia. Last friendly they got hammered as well giving up 3 goals to Algeria.

    Like

  • Shawn

    god forgive me but i hope reus ankle injury will put him out for about 3-4 weeks

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    • Jesse

      no way, the hope should be he is healthy for Portugal and Ghana. Then they rest his sore ankle against the US.

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      • shawn

        Honestly we should beat Ghana. Portugal with out of fitness Ronaldo should go to the wire. I think we are better than Ghana overall

        Like

  • Jack

    Ives reporting : Brad Davis off working on the side after starting out with full group. Had some tape on back of his leg, looks to be nursing hamstring.

    Like

    • El Gringo

      Ok, Jurgen, bring back Landon now. Not funny to start Brad Davis in a World Cup match.

      Like

      • Turgid Jacobian

        That’s a possibility I hadn’t considered. Klinsmann is aabout the lulz? Is he a deep redditite?

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    • Ali Dia

      This MEX-POR game is the most entertaining 0-0 game ever maybe. How much longer can this last?

      Like

  • Kyle

    Anybody know how to watch the Japan v Zambia friendly tonight? Can’t find a channel listing, would prefer not to stream from some shady site…

    Like

  • Chase

    HEY EVERYONE! The Mexico vs Portugal frindly could have an impact on the US vs Portugal match in group play. QUESTION #1 is Do you want Mexico to beat Portugal giving Portugal a lack of momentum going into the World Cup or #2 Do you want to see Portugal beat Mexico giving Portugal some OVER confidence going into the World Cup? I’ll tally up the votes so i know who to back tonight. thanks!

    Like

    • Jack

      Portugal missing so many key players that if they loose it’s not really going to harm there confidence. So I guess number 2.

      Like

      • Cristiano Donovan

        As long as they don’t get loose against our boys.

        Like

  • Sebastian

    I recommend all USA fans watch the Portugal v Mexico game in order to fully understand that Portugal is not a one trick pony.

    Like

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts

      I’m watching to see once and for all who the greatest country in the world is. That and to see Arriaga II.

      Like

    • Ga1atic0

      As far as what the team looks like without C. Ronaldo. The weak areas the US can expose (hopefully).

      Like

      • Ga1atic0

        Let me elaborate some more… The witch doctor used a dark magic potion on Cristiano

        Like

  • Chase

    Oh wow thanks for the insoght! From which country is the witch doctor from?

    Like

  • AcidBurn

    Why isn’t the score already 4-0 Portugal? I saw the Mexican defense make mistakes and my understanding from reading the comments on this board is that teams like Portugal don’t miss those chances, unlike teams like Turkey.

    Like

  • atleticodemadridfan

    Portugal has looked somewhat dangerous at times – they have good individual players, no one that can quite match the missing CR – but quality, skilled players. But really – they look beatable.
    I think we can hang with them and go 12 rounds, maybe score a knockout punch.
    Mexico just put the fear of G-o-o-o-o-o-l into Portugal. Nice pressure by el Tri.

    Like

    • Ali Dia

      They do look beatable. but I’ve been watching an unhealthy number of these pre-tournament friendslies and I have to say… almost every team has, particularly when playing opposition that is also gong to the WC.

      Things will tighten up, of course, but I don’t see how we (or anybody in the tournament) shouldn’t expect to have at least 3-5 quality scoring chances per game. And if you take a 1-2, and defend better than they do…

      On another note, the score of this game should be 7-5 Portugal…or maybe Mexico (?)

      Like

  • atleticodemadridfan

    Gio just jocked two Portuguese defenders down in the corner. Pretty!

    Like

  • atleticodemadridfan

    PS – atletico de madrid fan = USMNT fan for life
    I am from Ctrl New Jersey, grew up in the same town Michael Bradley was born in, my sister was college classmates with Bob Bradley, etc., etc. etc. – it’s still nice to see Mexico make Portugal sweat and tremble in their booties.

    A good shot from Guardado just whistles wide.

    Like

      • TomG

        I love that random nobodies on the Internet think that they are somehow the arbiters of who is allowed to be a fan and who isn’t. Funny stuff.

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      • Ali Dia

        Nope, not in this second half anyway. Are you watching?

        Like

      • Jack

        Yeah they look pretty good, just wondering what they changed from the other night

        Like

      • Blaine

        Didn’t watch but considering this is the last friendly I’m guessing this is the starting lineup or close to it.

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      • BookNerd

        Yeah, they said it was the lineup, but the keeper is still undecided.

        Like

      • Ali Dia

        Ha well that’s happens isn’t it? Both GK’s keep a clean sheet for 92 mins and then Ochoa gives up an unstoppable (or was it?) header for the game-winner.

        That’s how easy it is to lose a coin-flip. I see no way Corona doesn’t get the start. (He did a lot more work in the first half, in fairness, than Ochoa had to do– although both did well).

        Like

  • Increase

    Sooo Portugal has a lot of yellow cards on that defence(3/4). Maybe German can get someone suspended for us. Or we can just make those CBs play soft if they are sitting on a yellow.

    Like

    • BookNerd

      That is a really good point. Plus, Pepe should be back and he is always good for a red, or a yellow.

      Like

      • Increase

        Naw I mean. Someone gets sent off vs Germany or they just have a lot of yellows and are trying to avoid suspension.

        Or just the USA can cause them to pick up some yellows.

        Like

  • Increase

    That yellow on the break away could have been a red in a competitive game.

    Like

  • Baptista

    Anybody agrees USMNT is gonna have a tough time beating this Portuguese team?

    Like

    • Jack

      it’s funny how the narrative of that match just flipped in the last minute.

      Like

      • Baptista

        It was two Mexicans calling the game, what can you expect? Now they re in the English channels as well.

        Like

      • Ted Tran

        On ESPN? Those guys aren’t Mexican, just because they have an accent doesn’t make them Mexican.

        Like

      • TomG

        Yeah, I think that guy needs to be banned from the Internet until he buys a clue. Pretty much the poster child for ignorance.

        Like

      • Jack

        No, I was just taking about people on here/twitter ect.

        Like

      • Increase

        The USA is kinda good on set pieces (no omar right now) im not too worried about those. Mexico went to sleep there in any case.

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      • Jack

        Set pieces were a problem for the US no matter who was starting. We gave up a free header to Belize even. I like the move to the zone however. Lets us react to the ball more and not the man.

        Like

    • Increase

      Depends, we havw better keepers than Mexico and it sorta depends on the condition of Ronaldo. Portugal seemed to lack a bit of speed without him. I think we have a great chance for a draw… and hope for a qin

      Like

    • Patrick2

      Sure, but Portugal’s defense looked human, I think it is fair to say that Portugal’s Goalkeeper bailed out his defense more than a few times. If you can keep a decent amount of possession against them (and thus mitigate Ronaldo once he is back in the lineup), they may be favorites, but I think they are beatable.

      Like

    • Blaine

      They’re not that good but they ain’t CONCACAF either. Mexico could’ve won this game but like I said before this is not the same Mexico from a year ago.

      Like

    • Benny

      They are all going to be tough, but the U.S. can still get out of their group. Portugal is very beatable. Let’s see how they handle the heat in Manaus

      Like

    • Ali Dia

      Were you expecting us to have an easy time beating anybody? That has never happened for us once at a World Cup. Unless you count that time we beat…. Portugal.

      Probably, we aren’t gonna go 4-0 on anybody. We barely found our way to results against Slovenia and Algeria on the back of some late goals last time.

      If you want easy US wins, watch basketball, homey. Otherwise grab a few buds and a few more beers, throw a popsicle shirt, and hope Matt Besler goes legend. Which may not be enough by itself… but….

      Like

      • Baptista

        I am not your homey. But I have never said that USMNT is going to win handily against anybody. In fact, I have proposed 3 and out since Klnsmann created the Donovan distraction.

        Like

      • Ali Dia

        Wow Rambo… you and the bookies. (Actually, they had that before the Donovan omission which is “distracting” nobody but you). Where DO you get your info?!?

        My homey, I’m sure you are eagerly waiting for the day when we lose (sorry Turkey did not work out for you as planned), and you can come here and say “I told you so”.

        Bro–Well, that day IS coming. Unfortunately, nobody cares. We all liked Donovan (well maybe not a couple folks but I’m not one). I do wish he was there. Bedoya ain’t bringing anything to the table right now… Green? I sure hope I’m missing something. But LD isn’t, and unfortunately there are no prizes for forseeing the USA not winning the World Cup.

        Your BFF,
        Ali Dia

        PS You still are coming to the wedding right? It’s a little late for me to find another best man. Help me out here, dogg!

        Like

  • Baptista

    A lot of optimism here even without the Creator in Chief, Landon Donovan.

    Like

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker

      Dude. Get it over it.. u act like LD was lighting it up.. please.

      Like

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