Monthly Archives: June 2012

Spain advances and Torres wants in

I love this photo not just because the team is celebrating after an exhausting and physically depleting 120 minutes of play and PKs, but because Fernando Torres leaped into the mosh. Look how high he got!! The first thing I see here is a man screaming, “Don’t forget about meeeee! I’m better!”

El Niño has had a roller coaster tournament. He’s sat out. Started. Subbed in. Scored twice.

I want me a Spain win on Sunday with a side of Torres playing. I hear you, Nando — loud and clear.

*****

Necessary Background:  Two back-to-back Euro games have been decided by penalties and while it’s an incredibly ridiculous way to pick a winner, I’m going to stow away that storyline for another day. The team I wanted advanced.

Spain beat Portugal after a scoreless (at times listless) 120 minutes. La Furia Roja will defend its European title Sunday. It’ll be a complete rematch or Euro ’08 if Germany advances past Italy. To be decided tomorrow.

PHOTO straight from RFEF.

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Sweet baby Jesus

HATER CAVEAT: Yes, soccer can be a low-scoring game. And yes, even a goal-less 90 minutes can be edge-of-your-seat exciting. If you can’t accept that truth, then I’m sticking Jacob Marley’s ghost on you. You must repent your misguided ways before it’s too late. AHHHH Save yourself.

Today’s Euro Cup match-ups were simultaneous games between Spain and Croatia, and Italy and Ireland. Ireland was already eliminated, but the top 2 teams to move on to quarterfinals were undetermined.

And the scenarios were ridiculous.  Spain could advance and win the group if they beat Croatia, or if they tied 0-0 and Ireland beats Italy or draws; or if Italy beats Ireland and Spain beats Croatia, or if the rain falls a little less gently on the plain, or if the cow that jumped over the moon twists its ankle when it lands…

The point is… Euro Cup tiebreaker rules be crazy.

So there I am biting my nails and gasping at Iker’s infrequent but necessary ninja moves.  And damning time for moving so slowly.  On and ONNNNNNN it drags for 88 minutes.  And then Sweet Baby Jesus!

Jesus Navas, the Spanish sub with a penchant for well tucked-in shirts, gets a wide-open pass from Iniesta.  Jesus put the exclamation mark on the group.  Spain would advance and be group leader.

Jesus is my homeboy here because he scored the goal.  But he’s a baby because he was half a foot from a wide open net (evidence above) and still decided to kick the shit out of it.  Child’s play…

AND because he sucks his thumb to celebrate.

Players get away with everything, especially the ones crazy hot eyes, like see-through White Walker eyes, but cooler.

PHOTOS from today’s matches can be found here, including the thumbsuckah.

Madrasa’s out for summer! Madrasa’s out forever??

Today, in a few hours, the first leg of my journey through Arabic will come to a close. It’s the last day of spring quarter of Arabic 2. In no extended metaphors, this is the end of a chapter. A book. Four books, really. 

It all began with Alif Baa, where I learned the alphabet and began my hate-hate relationship with the ع

Then, there was Al-Kitaab, which saw the worse-than-telenovela drama of Meha, the lonely Egyptian girl who studies English literature at NYU. Good thing her first cousin Khaled is also oh so very lonely…

Then, we switched over to Arabic for Life, a new textbook out of Claremont. Its early chapters definitely made me feel smarter. Sneaky book pumps you full of confidence before it strips that all away with excerpts of Arabic poetry. Uncool!

And at last, we have the fourth book (pictured above). It’s a 3rd grade-level book and it’s my final project due in class today. I get to give a little presentation. The title means “Always late!” And it’s beyond appropriate. I’m always the last one to arrive in class even with the shortest commute. I work on the same campus!! I’m always late in doing my homework (that happens when you don’t take it for credit).

***

Now, before I lose two years’ worth of Arabic knowledge and the ability to use a dictionary, I need to move onto the next leg of my journey. It’s quite unlikely that there will be an Arabic 3 offered, what with budget cuts and diminished interest. My current class includes one (1!!!) other person who started with me in the fall 2010. I guess I could invest in Rosetta Stone or watch more Al-Jazeera or make my way through elementary grade reading material OR (and this one seems most appealing) I could opt for a full-immersion crash course through the Middle East. It’s time to reprioritize my travel plans and put Petra/Egypt/Morocco back on top where they belong. Oops. I mean to say…

البتراء / مصر / مغربي

My only skill cannot be pointing out how awful Cesc’s tattoo looks. Although, it’s pretty cool that I know how to say soccer in another language

!كرة القدم

Jesus saves


By now, you should gather I have a slight crush on one Jota Jota Corona (here too and here). And if you don’t know, now you know:  José de Jesús CORONA has been Mexico’s go-to goalie for some of their last international games, including Sunday’s friendly against Brazil and today’s first World Cup 2014 qualifying match against Guyana.

He’s done a bang-up job of keeping the riff-raff out of the net — punching, diving, deflecting, saving. Yes, Jesus saves!

(PS, I used to have a really cute cartoon t-shirt of Jesus as a goalie in my ol’ AYSO days. Not the above, but you get the picture… and no, it didn’t give me any special skills when I had to play goalie. Man, I sucked.)

Back to present-day Jesus. Yes, he saves!! …Unless, it’s an auto goal.

Oops.

Look, not everyone’s perfect. I’m just happy he had enough sense not to head-butt his teammate for that deflection. I’ve waited a long time to see him with the main selection, and I’ll be the first to hunt him down and kick him if he effs it up for me.

Damned if I see Ochoa against El Salvador on Tuesday.

PHOTOS: “Jesus saves” t-shirt design from here and Jota Jota Corona celebrating during Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Guyana.

Pre-game pep talk: Borrowing from a Lannister

Don’t be scared, boys. It’s only Brazil… and Neymar’s hair.

I’ll give it to you straight. This is not really a “friendly.” It’s  a big effing “frenemy-ly.” Brazil is a great team on a wicked winning streak. But, come on! You’re no bunch of slouches either!!! And listen to that crowd… they scream PUUUUTO for you, not at you. Sure, this isn’t our field, but who’s kidding whom? Dallas?! This is no neutral field?? The people are on your side. Hear them. Feed off them.

So… Man up, uncover yourselves and let Chicharito lead the attack.

Those are brave men knocking on our door. Let’s go kill them!!!

Mexico v. Brazil
Sunday, June 3
3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT

The return of the TRI-colores

It felt like a long time ago that I was going crazy, practicing my zen approach and biding my time between the sporadic Mexico National Team appearances. Now, I have the opposite problem. It’s raining games left and right between the main team, Olympic team and others. How do you keep up with everything? With UNIVISION and an expanded cable sports package, that’s how.

Let’s start with a recap of the junior team, Los Chamaquitos. The kids went to France and represented! Just today the plucky crop of futboleros took the final at the Toulon Tournament by beating Turkey 3-0.

The Chamacos (main selection) have also been pretty busy. Last weekend, they played against Wales in New Jersey (and won). On Thursday, they played a more formidable team in Bosnia & Herzegovina (and won). And on Sunday, they play a friendly against Brazil (and will win). Wishful, I know. But who’s going to root against their team? Que tonterías.

Then, next week the Road to World Cup 2014 starts with a game against El Salvador on June 8.

And a shoutout to all my family in Torreon and the Santos victory.

And the start of Euro Cup 2012!!!!

See why it’s a good time to be a fan.

A complete schedule of upcoming games for all teams is available on el TRI’s facebook page. Just click here.

PHOTO: Carlos Salcido celebrating 100th appearance for TRI, before Thursday’s friendly against Bosnia-Herz.