Thursday, June 3, 2010
Two US National team members have something in common, a ball. American Goalkeeper, Marcus Hahnemann has seen his share of balls over the years and he does not like one ball in particular. American Midfielder, Clint Dempsey has also seen his fair share of balls over his career and likes one ball in particular. It is a ball that both will be seeing a lot of in the next month or so, the 2010 World Cup ball from Adidas.
Adidas claims 2010 official ball called the Jabulani is perfectly round and its 8 folded panels will provide a very accurate flight. However, the Wovlerhampton Goalie says "if you get no spin on the ball, it's supposed to knuckle. If you get spin on it, it's supposed to bend. This ball you don't know what's going to happen with it," "It's a nightmare for us."
Dempsey says of the ball, "If you just hit it solid, you can get a good knuckle on the ball, and I think that causes problems for the goalie. I enjoy the ball, and I look forward to, you know, getting some shots on goal with it."
USA Coach Bob Bradley thought that Hahnemann's comments were "overly dramatic." Bradley also added "Besides, goalkeepers complain about the World Cup ball every, oh, four years. I think there'll be a goal or two on headers in this World Cup, This ball is new. It takes some getting used to. It also needs to be said that whenever you play at altitude, regardless of the ball, when you begin training, it takes a couple of days just to get used to the way the ball flies. The ball certainly takes off more."
It is the old tale of every sport, offense vs. defense. Only the games played in South Africa will decide the true legacy of the Jabulani Ball.