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Nakamura gets help on free Qiu Qiu Pkv kicks

Shunsuke Nakamura’s free kicks took his team to the Scottish league title last season.

 

His restarts are always a thing of beauty. But now his secret is out.

 

He practices kicking around a wall of rugby players from Japan’s national team.

That was hard work,’ the Celtic midfielder told Qiu Qiu Pkv reporters after his unusual workout with players averaging 1.95 metres in height. ‘It was the biggest wall I’ve ever seen!

I just wish Nakamura was with a big club, so we could see his magic more often.

 

India’s soccer team to tour Portugal

 

In an attempt to mean something on the international scene, the Indian national team will tour Portugal in July.

 

Indian soccer has been as obscure as that of Guam, maybe this will change something. They certainly have a large population to find some talent.

They will play three games in Portugal, including one against a Premier League side, during an 18-day trip to help boost the team ranked 161st in the world.

After the tour, India will host the ONGC Cup in New Delhi.

 

Something called the U-20 World Cup begins today in the maple syrup-loving country to the north.

 

Is it just me, or are there more recognizable names on the U.S. youth team than the Copa America squad we sent?

 

Michael Bradley. Freddy Adu. Jozy Altidore. Gabe Ferrari.

 

Damn.

 

Hell, those guys could probably do just as well as our best B-team in Venezuela.

 

Needless to say, we all have the greatest of expectations for our youngsters. We so dearly hope that the future is bright and these young stars are for real.

 

Are our prospects really any better than those in the other countries in the world?

 

Probably not. But one win in the competition is better than our over-hyped senior team did in Germany.

 

The U-20 Americans are grouped with Poland, Brazil and South Korea.

 

I won’t pretend to be an expert on the youth teams, but Poland just upset Brazil 1-0.

 

I’m betting that can’t be a good thing for the States.

 

We’ll see how the youngsters do…

 

I couldn’t watch the game. My bar was overcrowded.

 

So I had to resort to ESPN’s gametracker and a trusty live blog over at Soccer by Ives.

 

When I first checked in at halftime, I didn’t believe what I saw… A 1-all tie!

 

It might as well have been a Hanukkah Christmas miracle for all I was concerned.

 

Then as the second half wore on, what we all expected (link=recap) to happen, well, happened.

 

Hernan Crespo (above), who I thought would have a big game as seen in one post below, scored twice and Pablo Aimar and (substitute? who brings one of the best players in the world off the bench?) Carlos Tevez also had goals.

 

The Americans’ lone score came on a penalty kick that was earned and converted by Eddie Johnson.

 

As always, you can find the highlights at Footballocks. If you want to see the build-up to EJ’s penalty, I recommend 101 Great Goals.

 

We all knew this would be a loss; we all knew the U.S. would have to earn results against Paraguay and Columbia to stay alive.

 

The Copa America set-up is the same as the Gold Cup: the top two teams from each group advance, as well as the two best third-place teams.

 

Simply put, four points will likely be enough.

 

So while the miracle-upset dreams were dashed, let’s take it for what it is. A outclassing by one of the best teams in the world.