COLUMN: High standards for goalkeepers

[MY VIEW] Some readers are appalled that keeper Tim Howard received a grade of 7 for his performance against England. In our system, a 7 is a very good grade, and 8s and 9s are rare, especially for goalkeepers unless they pull off  at least one incredible save or several extremely good ones. While Howard made several important saves, none of them were especially difficult. He also took a kick to the ribs and played on.

For comparison, Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama staved off Argentina with several remarkable saves of balls that seemed certain to hit the net. We didn’t rate that game, but if we had, Enyeama – in spite of Nigeria’s 1-0 loss – would have been at least an 8 and possibly a 9. High standards? Yes, indeed.

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On TV, at least, the strident, honking vuvuzelas sound something like the plastic horns Mexican fans blow at Azteca Stadium, but in that locale, the pitch of the horns seems higher and so the sound is like that of a giant beehive. Horns are also heard at a few MLS stadiums, most notably RFK Stadium, where bleating and honking accompany the play at D.C. United matches and many international games.

(Incidentally, in addition to his myriad reporting and writing merits, which are considerable, Washington Post soccer scribe Steven Goff does an excellent imitation of the horns he's been hearing for more than a decade at RFK. By now he must have the vuvuzela down pat.)

3 comments about "COLUMN: High standards for goalkeepers".
  1. Alex G. Sicre, June 14, 2010 at 1:32 a.m.

    Vuvuzelas are a nuisance and should be banned.

  2. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis, June 14, 2010 at 7:15 a.m.

    Vuvuzelas are a hoot. I wouldn't want to sit next to one, or in front of one, but watching on TV they make the dull matches seem more exciting. Stadium officials should issue one to every ticket holder.

  3. Aldo Baietti, June 14, 2010 at 8:01 a.m.

    they should only be allow after goals.

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