Argentina and Germany will play for the World Cup trophy today at noon. The game will be shown on ABC (pregame coverage began at 10), and Sounders FC is holding a viewing party, with gates opening at 11 a.m.
Earlier this week, we asked Sounders coach Sigi Schmid about the pairing:
"It's going to be a lot closer game than maybe some people are thinking now because of (Germany's 7-1) win over Brazil," he said. "Argentina is a lot better organized defensively, I think is a little more uncompromising in their defensive endeavor than the Brazilians were. With Germany, if everybody's healthy -- I think that's one of the reasons he took Hummels out, to make sure he's ready to go in this game -- if they keep Lahm at right back, and if that midfield trio can continue to play as they did, I think their chances are good. But Messi is always that X-factor that if he's in the mood and it strikes him right and he's ready to give it a real maximum go, he's a handful."
Germany, of course, advanced to the final with its stunner over Brazil. Schmid was born in Germany and certainly enjoyed it -- "after four I couldn't even celebrate anymore," he said. But we also asked him as a coach if that game is just a reminder that once any match begins, some pretty unpredictable-seeming things can play out.
"It’s just a reminder for everybody out there that soccer is a strange game," he said. "Anything can happen and even the best-laid plans can end up going south. What really happens is you can talk all the tactics you want in the locker room before the game, you can have all the preparation, you can show them all the video. Now you get into the game and you take a goal where a guy loses a player, then you take a second goal, and all of a sudden a couple of guys on the field decide that they’re going to change the game themselves – they’re going to get the game back. So now they want to push up and do other things besides their job, and then they lost the whole game at that point. I always say to our players, if we’re struggling as a team in a game, go back and do your job. If everybody does their job then we’ll get the game back into our grips. But … we can’t call time out. In basketball you can call time out, you can have a huddle and you can tell everybody that and get them focused. In soccer unfortunately you can’t. … It’s a difficult thing. Once a game starts a game takes on its own life."