Sunday, May 04, 2014

Meet the Team: Australia

Nickname: There's a special place in heaven for people who combine the sport, and universal symbols of national identity in nicknames. On that score Soccerroo is about as perfect as nicknames get

Star: The striking talisman of Australian futbol (not football you Aussie Rules buffs) has to be Tim Cahill. The first Aussie to score in a World Cup match, the first to win man-of-the-match honors, the first to be a highly sought out Premier league striker, the first to be probably a little too old to have the same impact he once did. It's been a great run.
Adam Sarota...not that you've
ever heard of him.

Hip-Star: Rising star Robbie Kruse is out for the whole summer, and golden boy Tommy Oar is too mainstream, so we'll go with Oar's Utrecht running mate Adam Sarota whose midfield play will be critical if Australia is going to sneak any points from their Group B Rivals

X-Factor: General consensus is that an aging Soccerroo squad is out of their depth against one of the toughest groups in the whole tournament. Which means that to do anything Australia will have to rely on their rivals poor planning. Chances are that Spain won't overlook anything, but an optimistic Chile and declining Dutch could be ripe for the picking. (Emphasis on could be)

Coach: New man Ange Postecoglou has been on the job for six months and has one win in two matches to show for it...with his team playing on every corner of the earth, getting them together is a bit of a daunting task for anyone, let a lone a first time national manager.

ANZAC biscuits.JPG
Obligatory Cookie Photo
History: The recent golden boys (Cahill, Shwarzer and Kewell) served the Aussies well in Germany in '06 getting them a second round spot against eventual winners Italy and pulling themselves within goal difference of Ghana after a miserable 4-0 blanking by Germany in 2010. But now that Kewell and Shwarzer are out of the picture it's down to Tim Cahill to save the day.

Food: Tempting as it is to make this a shot at Melba Toast and Vegemite, I actually do want to sample some local favorites as each team plays, and perhaps the best bet on that score will be the Anzac biscuit, made for soldiers bound for Gallipoly, and now embraced by vegetarians everhwere.

Hey, I got a Vegemite burn in anyway!
Fool: Tony Abbott hasn't had enough time to make an idiot of himself, but the fussing and feuding of Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd is about as entertaining a form of political theatre as you can find...provided you find the total aggravation of a national political system entertaining...and I do!

Best Case: While sight seeing near the amazon Cahill finds the fountain of youth, calls up Shwarzer and Kewell, dips Robbie Kruse's legs in to get him healthy and together they shove the line ups of Spain and Holland off a cliff...then they finish second and get bounced in the first round.

Worst Case: They mimic their 1972 fore-runners from the first Aussie cup team and come up pointless and goalless in three matches.

My prediction: No matter how sarcastic they are, no matter how frequently they cut me down to size, I do have a soft spot for Australians in general (as well as their beloved Soccer-roos). But in the brutal group B they have about as much chance as an untended baby in a dingo sanctuary. (Too soon?) I'll trust them to get a goal against a napping Spanish and Dutch sides, but beyond that they'll be the Bad News 'Roos. 4th in Group B--0 points

Bonus! Here's a top hit video from reknowned Aussie artists Hilltop Hoods, the island nation's entry in our World Cup of Hip Hop

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