long way round

World Cup 2010: Opening Day Draws And The Mystery of Jong Tae Se

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South Africa narrowly continued the tradition by not losing and ending with a draw with Mexico. No host nation has lost their opening game, and South Africa showed a lot of confidence in the second half, eventually scoring on a clean breakaway. Mexico equalized with defender Rafa Marquez scoring a goal. I didn't know Rafa still had it in him. Dos Santos looked good all game. Blanco seemed rusty with some horrible first touches. He's more apt roaming in the middle than on the wings. Mphela almost sealed three points but got denied by the woodwork. 

Meanwhile, The French continued to underperform, as expected. Uruguay played eight men in the back pretty much the whole game, and relied on Forlan poaching with a long ball counter every chance they got. Anelka doesn't play as nearly as well in the national team shirt as he does in a Chelsea shirt. I'd suggest Malouda to pair up with Anelka up front, rather than the diminutive and mostly ineffective Govou. I mean, when did Govou ever have a good game with Les Bleus? And Henry comes off the bench as a super sub. That sounds about right. It's been a long journey since 1998, but maybe I'll see you play in the USA next year. Domenech needs to start Ribery, Anelka, and Malouda up front for more creativity, and bring in Gignac earlier if Anelka is his lame self again.

Tomorrow, there's a Korea v. Greece match watching party at this super hip lounge / bowling alley in Cupertino, complete with "Be The Reds" Koreans, Hite, and soju. Then, it's off to St. Steven's Green's pub and their newly installed 3D TVs for the Argentina v. Nigeria match. And then, finally in the city to AT&T Park for a viewing of USA v. England. I'm not sure how I'm going to endure all these games, let alone drinking from 3am. Most likely, I'll skip the hoopla of the Korean game (sorry, my brethren), and watch from home.  

And speaking of Koreans, I read up on Jong Tae Se, the "People's Wayne Rooney" and he has a fascinating story. Born in Japan to supposedly South Korean parents, he attended a North Korean school and plied his soccer trade there. He grew up in Japan all his life, so when he turned 17, he had the choice to play for Japan, South Korea, or North Korea. He chose the north. He also joined Kawasaki Frontale in the J League, and eventually got noticed in 2008 East Asian Football Championship where he earned the top scorer award. He is tenacious at goal and always looks to shoot first when he receives the ball, hence the Wayne Rooney comparisons. This is quite refreshing, as there's no South Korean player who possesses such demeanor and swagger all at the same time. 

I'll be looking forward to how he fares, and hope he makes his dream move to the Premier League. Fergie has had a knack for Korean players after the signing of Park Ji Sung (he even scouted Park Chu Young for a time before AS Monaco picked him up), so who knows, maybe Park and Jong will play side by side one day and make every grown Korean man and woman cry at the sight of reunification in our grasp. 

Posted via email from Long Way Round

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Written by shindz

June 12, 2010 at 1:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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