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Chabala: That's why I watch Maicon

Dynamo players will be sharing their thoughts and perspective with HoustonDynamo.com readers throughout the World Cup. Check back at HoustonDynamo.com/WorldCup each afternoon during the tournament for a fresh take on that day’s action.

This is my first chance to blog about the World Cup, and I've got to say I'm surprised by how conservative some teams have come out. Teams weren't as free-flowing as I would like, and they've been afraid to make mistakes. The Chile-Honduras game this morning was the first game I've seen where it went from side to side, with nobody holding back, leading to chance after chance. Even then, it was still a 1-0 game.

That shows that at the highest levels, there's not a big gap (other than the 4-0 blowout by Germany), because teams are all so good, and players are so talented. Not a lot separates teams anymore. You're seeing 0-0 at halftime of most games. Brazil only beat North Korea 2-1; you would've thought Brazil would work over North Korea more than that, but North Korea applied compact, organized, defensive pressure.

In that game, though, I really enjoyed seeing Maicon - a right back - score the first goal for Brazil. I wasn't surprised by his performance, because he's scored so many goals for Inter Milan, but it put a stamp on this: I need to model my game after this guy. I've already tried to do that, actually.

Before the Dallas game on Opening Day, I was watching video of Maicon for nine minutes, making those overlapping runs outside and inside - dedicated runs getting forward. Then I was fortunate enough to score a goal on an overlapping inside run - my first career goal - so that was a pretty special day.

It was the same thing on Tuesday: I was watching Maicon get service or create opportunities, and he had the most shots on goal of anybody at one point. For me, that's why I watch him out of all players, because it's inspiring. That's how you overlap, and that's what's expected of me when I step on the field.

That Brazil game was my favorite game I've watched so far, because I watched it at a local bar with a lot of Brazilian people. Make that by far my favorite game, not just because Brazilians are great people and it’s a great culture, but because their fans are true fans. They were talking about the Dynamo and MLS and club teams from around the world. Seeing and hearing knowledgable fans watching and talking about this great event was a cool way to experience the game.

Looking at the tournament as a whole, I have to admit I thought Spain was going to do really well, but I may have to change that after the Switzerland game today. I'll definitely post on here again in a couple of days with more thoughts on the tournament. Enjoy the games, and don't forget to come see us play for a good cause, the Horizon Relief Corporation, Saturday night at 8 p.m. in the Dynamo Charities Cup.