World Cup Tune-Up Roundup: Buddle, Gomez Lead USMNT, Robben Hurts Hamstring

Not quite a get-right game—the U.S. national team did beat Turkey last time out—today's 3-1 win over the Socceroos of Australia was at least a successful don't-get-hurt game for the USMNT. Edson Buddle scored two goals (you may hear brace, the term for a two-goal game, a few times in the next month) and Herculez Gomez added a third with a superb redirection of a seeing-eye ball from Landon Donovan.


Other national teams weren't so lucky.

The Netherlands sustained perhaps the biggest blow of a ruinous two weeks of injuries in World Cup warm-ups, as Arjen Robben limped off in the 85th minute of a 6-1 thrashing of Hungary with a hamstring injury. Why Robben was in a blowout at that stage is anyone's guess, but if the playmaker cannot go for the Oranje when the Cup begins, it's as damaging a loss as Didier Drogba's injury might be for the Ivory Coast.

Nigeria's John Obi Mikel will miss the Cup, too, and that's just the latest setback for African teams in the first World Cup staged on the African continent. Injuries to Drogba and Obi Mikel follow the final decision to rule Michael Essien out of Ghana's roster, and Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o is feuding with his coach. The only African teams not dealing with tumult at the moment are Algeria and host South Africa, and neither is considered a threat to escape from the group stage.

The recent rash of injuries has had many folks, including our own Dan Levy, hoping for bubble-wrapped players and a better tournament. But Dirty Tackle's Richard Whittall makes one of the best points of the discussion: Sometimes, injuries happen, and no amount of raging at the dying light will change it.


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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