Tim Howard thinks outrage in the United States over a disallowed goal that likely cost the Americans a World Cup win over Slovenia is a sign how far soccer has come in the nation.
“Those types of things are starting to leak into our training camp. People are up in arms; they can’t believe the call. And that’s pretty cool,” the goalkeeper said.
“That’s special because most people who are soccer fans, that’s kind of like a small detail of that game. It was so up and down and obviously it ended up being a deciding factor, but at the end of the day it was just a referee’s call. And for people, particularly our American fans back home, to be so up in arms about it does show that: No. 1, they care, and No. 2, they are getting hip to the game and starting to understand how it all works.”
England players were planning a team meeting with coach Fabio Capello to discuss what went wrong in their disappointing 0-0 draw with Algeria that left them facing possible elimination from the World Cup.
Defender John Terry denied reports of a rift between Capello and the players, but acknowledged that there was a lack of passion from the team in Friday’s game and says he understands why fans jeered the team from the Cape Town field.
“We’ve got a meeting tonight, watching the game to see where we went wrong,” he told reporters at the team’s training camp Sunday. “Everyone needs to get off their chest exactly how they’re feeling.”
The Chelsea captain said all the players were behind Capello and dismissed reports that there was unrest in the training camp.
“I have seen a few reports this morning and, on behalf of the players, I can say there’s no unrest in the camp at all,” Terry said. “We’re obviously still disappointed from the game the other night but we have to pick ourselves up and go into our last game needing to win.”
It’s beautiful, Spain’s game.
But through 90 minutes at this World Cup, that beautiful passing has earned them zero goals, zero points, a lot of criticism, and twice as much pressure entering today’s match against Honduras in Johannesburg.
A week ago, Switzerland stunned the fluid Spanish attack and buried the Red at the bottom of Group H.
It is Switzerland’s only victory over Spain.
Spain boasts more famous faces than can be seen at a Los Angeles Lakers game and perhaps suffers from too much talent — internationals buried at each position.
Perhaps Spain will get a lift from star striker Fernando Torres, author of the autobiography “El Niño: My Story.” Two weeks removed from knee surgery, Torres came on in the 61st minute of Spain’s 1-0 loss to Switzerland, and he says he’s ready to start today.
ALSO IN THE NEWS
• The Nigerian team has asked its government to provide security for midfielder Sani Kaita after his red card during a World Cup loss to Greece prompted more than 1,000 death threats.
• Portugal midfielder Deco was ruled out of today’s Group G match against North Korea because of a recurring left hip injury.
• FIFA says Australia’s Harry Kewell will serve a one-match ban for being shown a red card for a hand ball against Ghana that led to the tying penalty kick.