FanPost

Game Thread for Ukraine vs. Wales (11:30 EST) and US vs Uruguay (5 PM EST)

Hello, all, today is a pretty fascinating day for soccer on TV, so I thought I would post a general thread for the two matches on ESPN and FOX that are really worth the watch.

Not a ton of analysis for this one, but here goes.

Wales vs. Ukraine, most pundits agree, hinges around one man: Gareth Bale. Completely estranged from his club team and riding the pine, Bale apparently does much of his training in the gym on aerobic equipment. That said, he knows this Welsh team well enough that he can simply step into a starting leadership role for them, put on his Superman cape, and carry them through games with his incredible range of passing and shooting which appears to be saved just for them. Ukraine, meanwhile, are probably an overall better team with many players that weren't able to game or train for a period of five months, coming off an adrenaline rush of beating Scotland in a do or die playoff semi only a few days ago. They will be looking to overcome those legs, though no doubt they are entirely focused on the task at hands. In short, this should be engrossing and emotional viewing.

The US and Uruguay game is definitely less meaningful, but certainly an interesting dilemma for both coaches. Both are coming off comfortable wins against World Cup bound opponents; USA beat Morocco 3-0, while Uruguay managed a 3-1 thumping of a Carlos Vela starting Mexico). They both have that big first win in preparation with their first choice lineups, and now the question is: How many starters and how many experiments do I field? Though in all likelihood this will feature some less experienced but promising talent on the fringes trying to make a case for the plane, and I'm here for it.

That's it for context for me, and again, to anyone who engages with this dual thread, greatly appreciated!

Also, it's Sunday, and while the Ukraine game kicks off in the AM, the thread still begs the question, what are you drinking?