June 15, 2010

US Football! Or...Soccer. That World Cup thing..!

The United States were able to take down their (really) long time for England in the opening round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


Okay, it was a tie. And I know all of you non-soccer (football, fussball, futbol, etc) types out there are screaming for a more exciting game, or maybe even for penalty kicks to make sure there aren't ties.

But think about it this way:
In the current format, there is no worse scenario for the US side than a draw. In fact, a loss would have been hundreds of times more devastating than a win would have been up-lifting. Yes, it would have been absolutely incredible for ONE more opportunity to have panned out, but a loss (like last World Cup's opening game loss to Ghana) could have spelled disaster for the US's chances. Winning is the same as drawing against England, it prevents England from getting 3 points leaving the US with 0. One point for each side is perfect.

Okay, now that you soccer-haters sort of understand what happened this afternoon, I'm sure why the hell does it matter at all? What does soccer have to do with the US? Isn't it just orange slices and juice boxes?

It's so much more than that.
Here's some perspective: Baseball and softball were taken out of the Olympics because, besides the US and a few Asian countries, no one plays it. Basketball is growing, but only as something to do while soccer isn't being played. Two other world sports (other than soccer) Rugby and Cricket aren't even taught at any level in the US. In fact just recently had their FIRST EVER nationally-televised rugby match.

For the US to come out and pull out a draw against England - the side who mocked our thoughts of even pulling off a draw - is outstanding. One of the top strikers in the world, Wayne Rooney, was all but silenced (4 shots, 0 on goal). The US came within inches of scoring not one, but three MORE goals. The resolve to come back and have those opportunities, as well as capitalizing on one of them (SHOTS CREATE GOALS!!!) shows the US is a LOT stronger than anyone - especially the dirty dirt Brits - give them credit for.

Listen, I know soccer will never take over American football, baseball, basketball, and probably not even extreme sports...but for one month every four years, take PRIDE in your country and root on the Yanks!

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