Was the fix in?

The USA-Italy match was awesome, marred only by absolutely dreadful officiating. Well, after the match, it was discovered that the referee, who had kicked two American players out of the game, had been kicked off the 2002 World Cup for “irregularities”. It makes it even more interesting that the team we were playing, Italy, is currently in the midst of a major game fixing scandal. One of the charges? The manipulation of referee assignments. Wow, how interesting it is that a team being investigated for manipulating ref assignments just happens to get a ref with a crooked past who tries to hand them the game on Saturday.

Oh, and WTFer Matt Eison is in Germany for the World Cup. Here is his latest report:

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I was really proud of our boys for bouncing back after the anemic showingagainst the Czech Republic. The atmosphere is fantastic. Kaiserslautern is called little USA because of the 30,000+ Americans living there because of the nearby Ramstein Air Force Base. But what I was really proud of was the way our fans showed up in force for the game, and in loud voice.

Our seats were great: around 30 yard line and right behind all of the USA players’ families. At half time and after the game I went to talk to Clint Dempsey’s brother and sister to tell them how proud I was of their brother, being a Furman grad (Clint Dempsey went to Furman). I also met up with Landon Donovan’s girlfriend, Bobby Convey’s girlfriend, and former national team member Joe Max-Moore (the guy who scored the goal in qualifying to put us into the last World Cup). It was basically just like being in the USA for this match, and at times before the Czech- USA game,it seemed that way as well, but this was definitely a more dominant American presence. I can only hope that it came off like that on TV.