belgium-united states


Time for the stupidest post of every World Cup: the list of great names. Stupid, because the list always looks like it was chosen by a 12-year-old boy. Stupid, because its assumptions are U.S.-centric. But I do it, anyway.

The criteria for making the list? Well, I like names that don’t seem to fit the country. I don’t really know this, of course … that criteria is based on my ignorance about the world. I also like names that seem funny to my ears … this is the stupidest of all, really, people don’t choose their name based on what sounds right to someone from the USA (I know that “Steven Rubio” sounds silly to someone out there). I usually find the U.S. roster interesting in the way the names suggest the diversity the country pretends it honors. And this time, I’ve even tossed in a reference to The Waltons!


Belgium: Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard

Brazil: Hulk, Fred, Jô

Costa Rica: Joel Campbell, Waylon Francis, Roy Miller

Croatia: Gordon Schildenfeld, Eduardo

Ecuador: Adrián Bone

England: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Germany: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira

Ghana: John Boye

Greece: Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Honduras: Jerry Bengston, Carlo Costly

Italy: Ciro Immobile

Mexico: Gio, Memo, Chicharito, Gringo Ponce, Marco Jhonfai Fabián de la Mora

Netherlands: Daley Blind, Jeremain Lens

Switzerland: Tranquillo Barnetta, Xherdan Shaqiri, Diego Benaglio

Russia: Yuri Zhirkov

South Korea: Kim Chang-soo, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Bo-kyung, Kim Shin-wook, Kim Seung-gyu

United States: Omar Gonzalez, DaMarcus Beasley, Aron Jóhannsson, Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya, Chris Wondolowski, Graham Zusi, Fabian Johnson