Only two days until the World Cup. I am becoming more and more excited.. I have class until 8:20, but then not again until 10:10, so I will be able to watch most of the first game, which starts at 8. I don't think I'll be able to watch the second game, but that's ok, since the game I'm really waiting for is England vs. USA on Saturday.
One of the other Costa Rican English teachers here is a huge soccer fan. I've been having some really interesting discussions with him. Two days ago he was telling me about how much he dislikes Jonathan Bornstein, which is something I should have realized but never thought about.
For those who don't know, the final qualifying game for the World Cup in the CONCACEF division, which is the group the US, Costa Rica, and Honduras all play in, was played between the US and Costa Rica. The US had already qualified for the World Cup. Costa Rica needed to win outright to qualify, whereas if the US won or if the game ended in a tie, Honduras would qualify for the World Cup. Bryan Ruiz, the best player for Costa Rica who starred this past season for FC Twente, the champions of Dutch Eridivisie, scored two first half goals. The US then scored one goal in the second half.
Costa Rica looked to have the game in hand, but in extra time with only 2 minutes left in the game, Jonathan Bornstein scored the game tying goal. Here's the call of the game from the Honduras announcers, which is amazing. With that one goal, Bornstein became a hero in Honduras and a villain in Costa Rica. I find that really amusing, since the game had relatively little impact on the US men's national team.
My friend also really dislikes the Mexican team, way more than he does the US. I wish I knew more Costa Rican fans, since I always figured the US was the most hated team in the CONCACEF. I wonder whether thats true or simply me assuming the US is the center of everything, especially in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, which constitute the CONCACEF
We're both going to be rooting for South Africa on Friday, though I will be rooting for Mexico against most of its other opponents. I tend to root against the established powers, particularly the European teams and Brazil.
My pick to win it all is Brazil. I think Spain's injuries will catch up to it. I like Dunga's counterattacking style. Brazil can win ugly, in ways which is more difficult with juego bonito. I'm also skeptical that we will not see any jogo bonito, since although the players Brazil has picked may not be as skilled as Ronaldinho, they still bring plenty of skill to the table.