One week out from the start of the 2010 World Cup, and we lose Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand in the same day. Black Friday has arrived.
Maybe the bigger question is: Why the f*&k are these guys playing in friendlies leading up to the real thing a week away? You telling me they're not in game condition after 50-plus domestic, cup and Champions League games? You telling me they're going to get some much-needed continuity playing Japan's scrubs in South Africa 4,000 miles away from anyone who gives a crap in either direction?
The U.S. plays Australia today and if Cliff Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Gooch or anyone else within a sniff of the U.S. Starting Eleven gets anywhere near the pitch, Bob Bradley should be fired on the spot. He's already got a balky Jozy Altidore and no Charlie Davies, we don't need no more anxiety. There's definitely some bad mojo in the air south of the equator-for sure.
As for the impact of today's dropping flies, Ferdinand and Drogba, well England got the better of that one. The English are in a much easier group and can get past the U.S., Algeria and Slovakia sans Rio. Beyond that, come see me in three weeks and we'll talk.
Drogba's injury, meanwhile, is a crusher. Ivory Coast needs a legit finisher in that group with Brazil and Portugal; boy you gotta figure there was a collective Yippee in the Queiroz house when it was learned Drogba had an owie in the elbow. Brazil and Portugal may have just gotten a free pass to the second round; now can Portugal win the group and avoid Spain in the second round? We'll see. Big difference between Spain and Switzerland, well at least that's what I hear.Subscribe to Starting Eleven