World Cup Q&A With Kevin Grimes

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June 29, 2010

BERKELEY - caught up with California head coach Kevin Grimes for another chat about the World Cup in South Africa. Should FIFA use replay or other technology to make sure that the correct calls are made on goalscoring plays?

Kevin Grimes: Definitely, that should be utilized. Looking at all the goals that should've counted or not counted will encourage FIFA to implement that system at the next World Cup or perhaps in World Cup qualifying. What are your thoughts on the USA-Ghana game?

KG: The U.S. looked like it took a half to get into the game with how much energy and emotion they put into the game before just three days prior. It's not surprising they didn't have their legs the first 30-35 minutes. That being said, they gave up an early goal as they had done most of World Cup and World Cup qualifying. But certainly the amount of energy they gave in the game against Algeria had an effect on them in the first half and in overtime against Ghana. The only time we were physically sharp was in the second half. Should the United States have gotten past the second round, or was losing to an African team on its own continent not a bad result?

KG: It wasn't a bad result. It was an overtime game, a close game. We probably had better changes in the second half. Ghana controlled the first half, but the second half was ours. Intermission of overtime seemed to give Ghana new life and perhaps caught us napping a little bit on their goal. It would've been nice to get that second goal in the second half when we had some chances to score. Paraguay defeated Japan in penalty kicks today, marking the first penalty shootout in this World Cup. Is there a better alternative than penalty kicks to decide a tied game after extra time?

KG: No, I think this is probably the best way to do it. You can't keep playing because you're going to run into fatigue issues that wouldn't be fair to the team that advances. They wouldn't have the energy and stamina to play the next game. If you can't score a deciding goal after 120 minutes, you should go to penalty kicks. Do you still think the Netherlands will win the World Cup?

KG: I do. They've got the hardest game coming up: They've got to play Brazil. If they end up losing to Brazil, I wouldn't be shocked. How did the Dutch look in Monday's win over Slovakia?

KG: They looked strong, with good possession and organized defending. They don't have any weaknesses on the field. They're a very good team. Spain edged Portugal, 1-0, today. Do you still like Spain to lose to the Netherlands in the final?

KG: Yes, Holland and Spain in the final. Diego Maradona has coached Argentina to an unblemished record in the World Cup so far. As one of the best players in history, what does he bring to the table despite his inexperience as a head coach?

KG: The fact that he played in four World Cups, he certainly knows something about player preparation and how to avoid distraction as well. That's definitely made an impact on their team. It could be in the smallest detail, but that's pretty good information to have as a coach, having played in the World Cup and going into the World Cup as a coach.

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