Feb 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group C – England 0 USA 2

FT//47 comments • 1,373 views

The biggest match of the first round of group games? Two pop behemoths face off – England managed by Bec, USA by Europop 2008 victor Pete Baran. (So that’s England managed by an American and the US managed by a Brit, yes.) A pulsating pop derby as an old rivalry is renewed – or will the pressure of expectations put a damper on play? Let’s find out!

As ever, anyone can vote. This match will end at midnight on Sunday 21st February.

ENGLAND: Joe Cocker – “Change In Louise” (4Mb) The manager says: “‘Joe Cocker throws his wild blues passion into an aching, fierce chorus. As he’s supported by a glorious squad of backup singers, he’s confident he’ll ride by. The fun and funky Hammond organ encourage the fans to sing along!”

USA: Yeasayer – “O.N.E.” (12Mb) The manager says: “The USA has a proud pop heritage, and I am pleased to be able to manage this team heading into the Pop World Cup 2010. After my success with the undisciplined but committed Swiss, I am excited to be in charge of a team with almost the opposite problem. Overdogs with an almost limitless pop of music to pick from, I know that the Pop World Cup voters will be against us from the start – though I would be the first to admit that England will have a similar problem. That said I have decided to limit my picks to new releases, nothing from that illustrious history, and nothing that I think will be a massive hit. And mumbly bumbly Yeasayer fit into that category perfectly. Can a band get more American than this inward gazing artpop trio with visions of a global worldpop that sound nothing like any real worldpop? Don’t know, don’t care, I just know that this is an infectious slice of something that sounds NEW to play against an England who i reckon will be relying on old glories.”

Group C Match 1: Which track did you like better?

  • USA: Yeasayer 68%
  • England: Joe Cocker 32%

Total Voters: 74

Poll closes: 21 Feb 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis: “Blood and thunder play from England: you can’t fault them for guts and commitment but the game has moved on since the 60s and I wonder if effort will be enough. As for the Americans, hours of beach football and hacky-sack have given their play some real fluidity, but flicks and tricks won’t get the ball into the net on their own.”

Coming Up! Our other Group C match tomorrow pits Algeria v Slovenia in an educational contest for the neutral. Then on Thursday we’re into Group D and Germany v Australia, another big, big game.

RESULTS: South Africa 2 Mexico 1 (41 votes to 27) – South Africa held on to win despite constant second half pressure from a spirited Mexican side. “There’s a strong shared quirky energy in both sides making for an entertaining game.” “A bright and sturdy start [for SA], encouraging for their tournament prospects” “The pre-match hype had made me think the Mexicans would be playing it hard, dirty and snarling in the tackle but they have a lot of positivity and flair there as well.” “The horn fanfare on the “Pidipidi” chorus is what clinched it: this sounds like World Cup stuff whether or no.”


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  1. 31
    swanstep on 15 Feb 2010 #

    @,Lex 30. I like the cut of your jib there, but what’s ‘KMT’? Kill My T-Rex? [update: ok Kiss My t… has possibiilities, never mind.]

  2. 32
    Tom on 15 Feb 2010 #

    Lex you actually managed the USA at the last pop world cup and went out in the group stage!

  3. 33
    Birdseed on 15 Feb 2010 #

    Second listen, voting time: I’ve decided that the sub-par Van Morrison imitator with the song about pimping trumps the unfunk with the thin, squelchy synth sound.

  4. 34
    Pete on 15 Feb 2010 #

    #30 shows the real actual reason I picked this track. My job is done here win, lose or draw…

  5. 35
    Bec on 16 Feb 2010 #

    Thanks Tom – I knew I might get flack for pretty much anything (I didn’t think The Lex would get *quite* so angry…ah well :) I am enjoying this and hearing lots of new tunes and that’s the point, amirite? :D

  6. 36
    Jonathan Bogart on 16 Feb 2010 #

    Neither team is as woeful as I had feared from the early reports, but it doesn’t seem as though the managers are fielding their best players right out the gate. (My guess is they’re saving them for the long slog of spring, perhaps unwisely.) The UK side are playing in a very traditionally American style, all muscle with a very sturdy striker who handles the ball without finesse, just barreling through his opponents regardless. (Where is the ref on these plays? There should be yellow cards all over the field.) But then it may not matter: the American side are so pleased with themselves at their intricately choreographed passing plays that it seems that half the time they don’t even notice they’ve lost the ball.

    My judgment is that England barely takes it in a very unsatisfying game; this should rightly be a draw.

  7. 37
    jeff w on 16 Feb 2010 #

    I actually rather like the Joe Cocker track. Anglos be having such high expectations of their national team.

  8. 38
    Steve Mannion on 16 Feb 2010 #

    I think the reaction against the choice may be as much to do with the age of the track (and maybe the relative popularity or ‘obviousness’ of the performer) than its quality tho. It’s a serious old game Saint.

  9. 39
    weej on 18 Feb 2010 #

    England playing a solid game here, but something fresher is needed to combat the USA’s dazzling high-octane skills.

  10. 40
    Matt DC on 22 Feb 2010 #

    Ouch, that’s the first thrashing of the tournament there.

  11. 41
    Steve Mannion on 22 Feb 2010 #

    Well I think the US had a lucky penalty here but then perhaps England did too. Can’t argue with the result after the Americans dominated the game and outplayed their opponents. A harsh lesson for the three lions?

  12. 42
    lex on 22 Feb 2010 #

    Not to defend the ENG performance but it really is not as if USA were anything other than lamentable either.

  13. 43
    jeff w on 22 Feb 2010 #

    Yes. I’m not sure how the ref scored this as 1-3 on the other thread. 0-1 would make more sense based on the fans’ comments above.

  14. 44
    Tom on 22 Feb 2010 #

    It should’ve been 0-2 – huge margin but at least one lucky goal. I may amend the scoreline. Or I may not, since they bear no relation to any outcome!

  15. 45
    koganbot on 23 Feb 2010 #

    England helped the U.S. by scoring an own goal, and the U.S. returned the favor, but also scored two on their own merits. Hence 1-3.

  16. 46
    Steve Mannion on 25 Feb 2010 #

    So is it definitely 0-2 now then? Controversy!

  17. 47
    Tom on 20 Mar 2010 #

    Just had an enjoyable time explaining the PWC to my hairdresser! He thought it was a great idea though was astonished Joe Cocker had not won.

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