Watching the US play against Italy yesterday, I learned about red cards. Elbow a guy in the face causing a bloody mess and you get a red card, meaning your team is short a player and you can't play in the next game (good thing Shaq doesn't play soccer). It's a harsh penalty, but I understood it. Then I saw a guy get a red card for a late slide tackle. A late slide tackle gets the same harsh penalty that a viscous elbow to the head gets? Interesting.
I also learned about the incredible healing powers of soccer players. Several times I saw injuries so devastating that stretchers were required to get the players off the field. As I was getting ready to write a Get Well card and wondering about how good the hospital care is in Germany, the injured player miraculously ran back on to the field!
This misinformed soccer fan thinks that a player who needed a stretcher to get off the field should be required to sit out for at least 5 minutes before being allowed back in the game.
Anyway, there is some very good soccer discussions by people who actually understand the game at The Swamp. Here's the thread on the US, Italy game.