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SBI Friday Rewind: Netherlands thrash Spain; USMNT camp coverage; FIFA hands down ban; and more

Sad Iker Casillas


There’s a reason why world rankings and predictions don’t matter — look no further than the Netherlands’ astounding domination of defending champs Spain in group play, 5-1. Meanwhile, dubious officiating reared its ugly ahead again, but Mexico overcame two wrongly disallowed goals to win over Cameroon, 1-0.

As the U.S. Men’s National Team prepares for their World Cup opener against Ghana on Monday, SBI reporter Franco Panizo reports the team is trying not to dwell on their past unlucky history with Ghana. The team also took away a lesson from the aggressive refereeing in Brazil’s opening World Cup match.

And the investigation into corruption surrounding Qatar’s 2022 bid presses on, with German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer being handed a temporary ban for refusing to cooperate with ethics investigators.

Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI today:


Robben, Van Persie star as Netherlands roll past Spain

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Arjen Robben

Mexico overcomes wrongly disallowed goals to defeat Cameroon

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Giovani dos Santos

Sanchez, Chile hold off Australia after strong first half

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Alexis Sanchez

World Cup Day 2: Your Running Commentary

Friday Kickoff: Croatia hits out at referee; Chicharito unhappy with role; and more


Controversial call serves as warning for USMNT on tight officiating

USMNT not looking back to 2010 as opener against Ghana draws near

Report: Brooks draws interest from EPL clubs


DC United releases new renderings of proposed stadium

MLS Ticker: League denies Beckham report; Feilhaber won’t need surgery; and more

Report: Beckham asked to join bid to buy Chivas USA


NWSL Week 10: A Look Ahead


Voting FIFA member Franz Beckenbauer suspended for stonewalling Qatar inquiry



  1. The Dutch did nothing special apart from RVP’s first goal which was simply stunning, artistic, and instinctive all at once. The rest of the game it was just pressure on the ball, unselfish running, and smart passing. They had the look of a team that wanted it and Spain just didn’t.

  2. I can’t be the only one who was more impressed with Robben that Van Persie in that last game.

    Yes, VP’s goal was the breath taker (if you just look for aesthetics) but Robben’s goals were pure soccer brilliance. The calm control needed to bring the ball down, dribble past TWO defenders and the goalie and score TWICE…that to me is the sign of a amazing player.

    Not taking anything about from Van Persie (I hope I am spelling that correctly…), but IMHO Robben is the guy to watch. That guy’s talent cannot understated.

    • Robben is great, but also a bit of a one-trick pony. He’ll almost always push the ball to the left to set up a left footed strike.

      • Paul,

        You are trying to downgrade Robben.

        He has been doing that one trick all his life, at the highest levels of the game. Everyone knows it. The best defenders in the world know it.

        And they still can’t stop it.

        What does that tell you? It tells that soccer is a simple game and that Robben is a very fine player.

    • Also, while the characteristics of this Dutch team are still being defined, in the past Robben hurt as much as helped the side. The classic Dutch attack is based on ball movement and flow, and Robben stops the ball, looking for opportunities to do the leftward slide.

      • It depends on what the Dutch decide they want to be. If they want to return to the Dutch model, then arguably not. If they want to be a team that feeds high players and waits for those players to do something, then definitely – Robben is the guy they want. But I can you there are more than a few people in the Netherlands who don’t like what they see as unattractive football by this national side.

    • The Dutch have always been inconsistent, and occasionally present themselves as headcases. Take a look at the book Brilliant Orange if you haven’t already. It’s extraordinary that such a small population can consistently produce numbers of great footballers, and equally extraordinary those great footballers will seem to gel perfectly at the start of tournaments and turn into something far less than the sum of their parts by the end of tournaments.

      It started in the early 70s, when at a World Cup championship game they basically tried to not only win but embarrass their German opponents. The Dutch scored a quick goal and then seemed to be only playing keep away for much of the first half. Germans got mad, game got physical, Germans dug out a 2-1 win over a vastly superior collection of Dutch players. This was the time when Ajax was tearing through the club tournaments and most of the Dutch team was from Ajax.

      I’ve been a fan (though to lesser degrees than my support of USMNT) so I was hoping last time would be different, and hope this time will be different. Remember the Euros when they tore through Italy and France in group play – beat both by like 3 goals? That was two years after the World Cup finals in which Italy faced France. The Dutch looked absolutely unbeatable, rolling through the two teams considered to be the best in the world, but then they got embarrassed by Russia in knockouts. So I wouldn’t bet any money on this time being different.

    • Can anyone offer any good insight/analysis on why the Dutch were so much more dominant in the second half? Spaniard fatigue coupled w/ Dutch fitness finally breaking them down? Spaniards losing their confidence after the first two goals? Any tactical adjustments? I’m still in shock at how different the two halves were.

      • Maybe two things, I’d guess. First is loss of Spanish confidence, because it’s been a long time since something like that happened to them. Second is possession teams aren’t very good at playing from behind, so the more they push away from their comfortable tactics the more the other team finds opportunities.

      • Mr. M

        The Netherlands are set up to control the midfield and then get the ball to Robben, RVP or Sneijder, three brilliant creative players , who can make something happen. Once they went ahead, their confidence went sky high and Spain’s went down, with Casillas’ uncharacteristic blunder being a big moment. Once a team like the Netherlands gets rolling they are hard to stop.

        Spain for all their dominance in possession, basically don’t score a lot and are not good at the come from behind mode. Costa may have been an attempt to fix that but he did not look integrated into the offense yet nor did he look fit, neither of which should come as a surprise

  3. Spain ranked#1……Netherlands ranked #15

    Germany ranked #2….USA ranked #13

    HAHAHAHAHA……….Anything is everything at the WORLD CUP!!!!!

    • Well, to be fair, Netherlands has enormous talent and should be ranked much higher. There is no way we are better than them.

    • Yes, but why the timing? The discovery period of the investigation has already concluded, per the lead investigator. They are writing up their findings. FIFA did not suspend him during the interview window…. what’s the point now? If he is complicit, he certainly wouldn’t talk to the press at this point (other than to distance himself)

      Who is “FIFA” in this situation? Who is suspending him? Who is the ethics committee? We don’t know.

      • Seems to me as if FIFA is trying to protect the rights of the board members not to self-incriminate while at the same time appearing to take the “fight” against corruption seriously. It’s not their first rodeo, as the saying goes.

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