Making new friends with guys from Tehran, my thoughts on Qatar 0:2 Ecuador and all the news on the USMNT ahead of its showdown with Wales
Nice work giving your peers credit in the Q&A recap.
Morgan Freeman's appearance made me so angry, specifically his dialogue, where he basically asks, so we should not seek to impose our ways? What ways, Morgan? The ones where workers have the ability to change jobs and leave the country and actually get paid for their work? Yeah, I'm glad we imposed our ways. I was so disgusted I got up and walked away and did the dishes. I saw him making a solo speech later but didn't hear it. I saw some dancing and mascots that I would have thought were cool if I weren't in such a sour state. I have known for years that this World Cup is tainted, but not until I listened to that did I _feel_ ashamed to be a fan, to be watching.
I’m curious if you the topic of the protests in Iran came up in conversation with your Iranian friends, or if you chose not to bring it up. The great thing about meeting soccer fans in a foreign country, as I learned in Brazil, is they can be great ambassadors of their countries and offer great perspective.
Had been a free subscriber since you started this project. Took advantage of your pre WC annual discount and all I can say after 8 days is WOW. Really great content so far. And I'll echo the earlier comment about name checking the other US journos there.
Qatar clearly was the inferior in the first half and would've continued into the second half if Ecuador decided so. Yes, a fixed qualify did go through my mind. So, let's see how good Ecuador really is, when not against Qatar.
I'm all for a little bit of Qatari humiliation. It's not the first corruptly obtained world cup, they are not the most corrupt country in the world, homophobia and misogyny exists everywhere (including in NoMad). But this is overt, it's legitimized, it's blatant - "everybody pees in the pool, but not from the springboard".
Hanging out with Iranian fans makes the whole trip worth it, imo (especially if you ignore the pool reference from the previous paragraph). Please wish them well - happiness and freedom.
I think that this performance tells us very little about Ecuador, and more about Qatar, who wouldn't have qualified without being the hosts. Even sans-Mané, Senegal's roster is superior - Mendy, Koulibaly, Kouyaté, Idrissa "don't say" Gueye, and Ismaïla Sarr are a touch better than Ecuador with Estupiñán, Preciado and Valencia. It may be decided head to head. In the last group match the team that needs a draw has a huge advantage, and if it comes to GD, Ecuador's 2-0 might not be enough.
Thousands of Qatar fans leaving at halftime speaks volumes. Major disrespect to their team, which clearly was overwhelmed by their moment on the big stage.