Thursday, July 8, 2010

Three's A Charm

Dutch fans have reason to rejoice! © Jon van Woerden

As you noticed by now, many of my blogs on current events are twisted into opportunities for me to share some of my favorite photographs, past, present and future. Thus, it was with this in mind that I was rooting for Germany to defeat Spain, advancing to the final and meeting the Netherlands in a rematch of the 1974 World Cup final in Munich. I've had the pleasure of being an acquaintance of two of the hero's of that match, being team photographer for both the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, when Gerd Mueller began his NASL years and later when Johan Neeskens starred for the Fort Lauderdale Sun in the short lived USL. Well as you know by now it won't be Germany in a rematch of that infamous '74 match, but a contest that will, one way or the other, add the name of only the 8th country to ever win it, to the bottom of the FIFA World Cup. Spain may be a formidable opponent, but for the Netherlands its.... well, shall we say.... "Third Time's A Charm" '74, '78, 2010 . As for Neeskens and Mueller below are the pics and if you missed ESPN's broadcast of "I Scored a Goal in a World Cup Final" check out this web site presenting awesome vignettes of both of these player's glorious moments along with goals of the other 32 living players who can make that claim. Hup Holland! After the final whistle blows and Holland brings home the Gold one might well retreat into Soccer withdrawl, do yourself a favor and after you've viewed as much Tivo as one can handle tune in to ESPN's repeat airing of "The Two Escobars" on Sept 18th.

Johan Neeskens with the USL's Fort Lauderdale Sun in 1985
© Jon van Woerden
Gerd Mueller in 1979 with the NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers
© Jon van Woerden

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Onward to the Semi-finals

Nestor Lorenzo battles Jurgen Klinsman in the

Italia 90 World Cup final ©Jon van Woerden

My good friend Mick Finn and I enjoyed watching the Netherlands advance to the semi-finals in a historic win over Brazil. Mick who had just recently returned to Atlanta with his wife Cindy after living in Den Hague is a devout fan of Oranje. Now comes tomorrows Argentina vs Germany match, which could become one of the classic meetings of this tournament, unlike their dreadful meeting in the Italia 90 final, that Germany won on a penalty kick in a game marred by two Argentine red card expulsions. The winner of this quarter final match-up may well be the Netherlands opponent in the final of South Africa 2010, provided both prevail in there semi final match-ups.

Today we are also reminded of one of soccer's tragic moments, as it is 16 years since Andrés Escobar was murdered in Columbia in retaliation for his inadvertent own goal in the 1994 World Cup game against the US which Columbia lost, contributing to their elimination from the tournament. It was in the quarter finals of these games that Brazil defeated the Netherlands 3:2 in Dallas on July 9th. and continued on to win in the final against Italy.

R.I.P Andrés Escobar

Photo ©Jon van Woerden