USA-Algeria 2nd Half

So, as it stands, neither team advances if they don’t win, so both have to be aggressive, should be a fun half.

47th First chance to Algeria stopped on an offsides

47th Free kick to the US about 40 yards out, played it short, and stopped by a real nice choice by the Algerian keeper

49th Nice run but the feed is just a wee bit too long

49th Ball bouncing in Algerian box, but no control, and the counter gives Algeria a corner, which was dangerous. The pulling and grabbing in the box was intense

51st Nice run by Algeria leads to a corner, Algeria has come out more aggressive again, loooooong corner but not controlled

55th Not as much pace yet to this half, until a nice run is stopped by a nice defensive play

56th Bornstein has some nice defense

56th Great run out by Altidore who feeds to Dempsey who knocks if off the post and misses the open net rebound

58th Wow… the announcers asked when the ball will go in for the US, but the question when will the ball go in and be allowed

59th Going to be a nervy rest of the game

61st Lots of stuff deep in the Algerian end, but nothing really productive, I will say that I really like Altidore…

62nd …who just got a yellow from a really pretty dive by the Algerian who took three steps after the phantom contact

63rd Good attack by Algeria stopped by great defense by Bocanegra

63rd The counter leads to a chance stopped by a so-so cross by Altidore

64th Buddle for Edu. Edu had a nice first half but has not been all that apparent in the second

65th Great run but got a bit too deep, still a chance with the corner… which was another wow of a chance

68th Bad bad goal kick, leading to a fantastic US chance stopped by an even better save by the Algerian goalie

68th The Algerian counter was wide open but a really bad strike from the Algerian, this back and forth really the first bright spot of energy to an otherwise seemingly slow half

70th Nearly an own goal from Algeria leading to a corner, chance derived from nifty control on the right side, corner was a good chance but not a great one

71st Definitely more energy now

71st Nice energy by Bradley

74th Free kick earned by Altidore off of a cross by Buddle, dangerous spot… decent delivery but not converted

76th Yellow card against Algeria for not much

76th Cherundolo a nice cross but, again, no good contact on the end

78th Nice attack leads to another great free kick opportunity… great strike by Bradley but right at Mbolhi, the Algerian keeper

81st Bradley for Bornstein… 10minutes to get a goal

81st Dempsey was hammered in the box and Algeria got away with one, big time bloody lip for Dempsey

82nd Another yellow card as all of the sudden Algeria is getting chippy… might have been worthy of a red… Dempsey missed the kick

87th US being aggressive leaving some openings

OK, I have to say I really despise fans cheering because they’re on TV despite the fact that their team is in a bad situation

89th Wow, nice work by Buddle leads to a wasted chance

90th A yellow for Beasley and I’m not sure why

90th 4 minutes of added time

91st Great chance by Algeria leads to a fantastic counter…


91st And it didn’t come easy… great work by Mbolhi again but Donovan with the rebound

93rd And now a 2nd yellow for Yahir leading to a red as Algeria is breaking down, don’t really like the yellow, should have been on the first player in, not the second


Major WOWs

Mbolhi is crushed, but he played a fantastic game

And the US goes from 3rd to 1st in Group C in extra time. The US definitely outplayed Algeria but they made it so dramatic


Did I mention wow

Amazing finish

Player of the match for me is Jozy Altidore, who really played well. Donovan got the goal, Dempsey got the one he should have, but Altidore really pushed the issue


USA-Algeria 1st Half

Well, I’m going to live blog USA-Algeria here.

Things are fairly clear if the US wins this match, as they will definitely advance. If they draw, they might advance, if England loses or draws and does not score more than 2 goals more than the US did.

Big storylines:
Can the US score first
Can Algeria score at all
How will a back 4 that has not played together work for the US
How will Algeria adjust to the need to attack

1st And we’re off with an early run by Algeria.

1st Mediocre cross on nice early run

4th Nice run by Algeria, who has been slightly more aggressive thus far

6th Wow, defensive mistake and the US is lucky to have an Algerian shot hit off the post, really nice feed but mostly because the defense did not work together

7th And the US counter-attack from Gomez is dangerous

9th Dempsey is high with a free kick and I wonder how they are adjusting to the special World Cup ball

9th Another opening and mistake on the back line

10th Long but ineffective run by Altidore against nice collapsing defense from Algeria

11th Corner well-earned by Algeria

12th Early well-earned yellow card from cynical tackle by Algerian, Altidore had a lot of space, though it was deep in the US end

13th Bad header for Edu gave up a worthless shot to Algeria

15th Nice stretch of possession with a fairly decent cross but a nice play by the Algerian keeper

15th Another long, errant shot from Algeria

16th Bleah, mediocre pass in US end gave easy possession to Algeria, but they squandered it, got it back, but the shot was blocked and the US has a nice counter

17th Nice attack and aggressive attempt by Gomez

18th Donovan has a nice opportunity that he boots high, might have been wiser to slide it to his left for a wide open Dempsey in the box

19th Mediocre free kick by Algeria leading to an American attack

19th Algeria defends the box really really well, in part by allowing some space on the wings and the midfield portion of their side

20th A great great flurry but the US ending in a disallowed goal which looks to be a bad call… great work by Bradley and great US persistence

22nd Altidore is very nifty at times

23rd England leading against Slovenia, bad news there

23rd Replay of the disallowed goal and it was clearly not offsides. If the US does not advance, there’s going to be some justified screaming, and they just mentioned about the referee not being in place… I wonder if their replays can show where he was 🙂

24th Great defense by the US this time

26th Dempsey is down

27th Nice little attack by Algeria

29th US has a long stretch of possession but cannot convert that to an opportunity

30th Corner to Algeria and the rebound gave Altidore a slim chance but Algeria shut that down quickly

31st Really nice work on the right side by Algeria provided a solid opportunity

33rd Cherundolo with a great cross, but nothing out of it, in part because of Donovan’s whiff of the rebound

34th Nice work in the midfield, but the crowding of Algeria deep stopped the attack

35th Really nice defense by Bocanegra, though shoddy defense elsewhere gave Algeria a opportunity

35th Great great counter-attack leading to a magnificent opportunity and a what looked at first glance to be an amazing save against a beautiful opportunity by Dempsey

36th Another missed opportunity with an open net for Altidore as he and Donovan get in each other’s way, provided by really nice work at the edge of the box

38th Nice attack by Matmoor of Algeria, who has created some dangerous chances

40th Another close offsides call, this time in the US’s favor

41st Long cross from Cherundolo, I think he needed to be more aggressive to gather the pass to him, which took a moment to get to him slowing the attack

42nd Good defense by Algeria stopped a beautiful attack by the US

42nd Odd little knuckler by Dempsey almost caused some problems

43rd Algerian counter-attack provides a decent opportunity for Ziani

44th Bradley and Donovan are making some intricate and nifty and productive moves at the top of the box

45th Nice work from Edu but the attack fizzled

ET Wow, really nice cross from Algeria to end the half

The US played a really nice half but could not finish. It was a fairly open game, showing off much of the beauty of soccer. Only one tetchy moment and it earned an early yellow card.

Right now Algeria is dangerous on counters, but only had one or two build-up attacks that I recall. The US, on the other hand, is really doing nice work in the Algerian half. Now they just need a bit of good fortune.


Well, mostly recovered from another Lilies.

Apparently, I needed a vacation. I only fought once, and spent most of the mornings in bed asleep or reading. Part of it was undoubtedly not being next to the battlefield, as I can’t resist fighting when I see it going on, but some of it was the need for a rest.

The weather did not help either, as it was either rainy or hot. One of the least comfortable Lilies I’ve attended. Bleah.

Nevertheless, I had a great time, especially singing and performing. I really think that once I perform it a number of times the Curse of a Brother’s Love will be a really nice piece. I’ll do it at Trillies and possibly a number of times at Pennsic so hopefully it will have its rough edges smoothed a bit soon.

And I’m going to need it, given that I’ll have to perform more often than I already do. Their Majesties have seen fit to name me their Ollamh (Ollave), or Royal Bard. I’m excited and I hope that I can make it into a position that will continue and be a standard and expected retinue post. To that end, I’d like any of my readers who perform to send me their pieces that they are comfortable performing in a challenging environment like a feast hall, before court, or on the field. These are not easy environments, but the idea is to fill empty spaces whenever they crop up and add to the fun.

With that, I’ll merely make one other comment. This was definitely the Bacon Lilies.

Here Again

A couple of addendum to the long Rush post.

The crowd at the movie theatre was interesting. I’ve never seen a crowd so focused. It was small, but there was no rustling, movement, or speaking.

Nobody twitched when the credits came up. Nobody twitched after the credits ended, and we were rewarded with another fun comment from Geddy’s mom.

We only moved after the screen went black and the lights came up. This was especially interesting because the movie pointed out that Rush fans come and wait until it’s absolutely positively clear that the concert is done, and not at all before.

As we all got up the various groups all uttered something like:
I can’t wait to August 22nd.

And we all started tossing out when we were going to see them on this tour.

I’m going to see them in Chicago with Ted on July 5th. Tickets are in hand.

I’d like to see them elsewhere as well. Wichita, Aug 20th? St. Louis Aug 22nd? Omaha Aug 25th? Tulsa Sept 21st? I’m hoping to get to one of those.

The one I really want to go to though is July 17th in Toronto. Don’t know as I can afford it so we’ll see.

In any case, this Chicago show will be the 20th time I’ve seen them. Not bad at all really.

In The Secret Wells Of Emotion

I was introduced to Rush in 1981 by Ted Shellhamer in 7th grade. I remember listening to Moving Pictures in his basement, and then Permanent Waves and Signals and Hemispheres and so on. His mom made so much macaroni and cheese for us while we talked sports and listened.

It’s hard to explain how Rush exploded into my consciousness, and how important Witch Hunt, Camera Eye, Subdivisions, Natural Science and all the rest of these amazing songs meant to me.

What I can say is that this is my 30th year of listening to Rush and their music is the one constant other than my parents in my life since Ted played Moving Pictures for me.

And their music has filled my secret wells of emotion ever since.

I remember vividly listening to One Little Victory in 2002 on and weeping. It had been four years, four years that we all sort of thought we might not hear anything else from Rush. Four years wishing we could tell Neil that we wanted to help him after his wife and daughter died.

And then there was One Little Victory. To paraphrase Alex, One Little Victory my ass, it was an amazing accomplishment to recover after their deaths.

I wept the first time I heard the song. I wept the first time I saw them on that tour. And I wept tonight watching them talk about it.

Tonight I saw their rockumentary, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, and it was better than I expected. I sort of expected to see all sorts of interesting things and enjoy myself, but I didn’t expect seeing the people and personalities quite so much. I expected the story, but got the humanity.

Neil, Alex, and Geddy have never been big media guys. They’ve had interviews, but the mainstream music media have never cared for them. I’ve seen most of those interviews. This, however, was nearly 2 hours of stuff, including probably more from Neil than he had ever had done in interviews before. Part of this were all three of the guys talking about what was going on in their heads in that horrible time after Neil’s family died. I never expected to see him ever discuss his headspace after that time. Very powerful.

And it was funny as hell. Geddy’s mom saying she didn’t particularly care about their music in the 1960s. Jack Black was hilarious. And the dinner scene as the credits were rolling was just too much.

I have, of course, already purchased the two new singles from the new album. Listening to a new Rush album is different than listening to any other new album. You never know what you’re going to get. You never know what styles and images they will project and I have not loved every Rush album the first time I’ve listened to it.

But I’ve never picked up a Rush album and not gone: “Wow, I didn’t remember how good this album was.” I’ve never listened to a Rush song after a period away from the song and not gone: “Wow, there’s something there I never got before.” There’s so much going on I know I’ll never hear everything. It’s amazing that the more I’ve listened to what these three guys have done the more I’ve liked it. The music of these three has never gotten old, and I can’t imagine that they will.

Three pretty regular guys whose passion is music, who delivered that passion, that emotion, to millions of fans for decades. A band who is becoming more popular now than they have ever been because we fans have continued to listen to them because the music has continued to mean something to us.

That’s the story. And that’s the emotion that made me weep. Because their music is the soundtrack of over 70% of my life and their story and their humanity is part of my story and my humanity.

Right to the heart of the matter
Right to the beautiful part
Illusions are painfully shattered
Right where discovery starts
In the secret wells of emotion
Buried deep in our hearts