The United States Men’s Soccer Team has had a sorted recent past. A downright spotty, shady, suffer-in-the-backdrop kind of recent past. A past that may not support any reason to rally behind professional soccer in this country, some might say (I can’t help but think of our dreadful presence at the 2006 World Cup). Rarely does football ever grace the front page of paper or website of the New York Times (I look every day) or even the New York Times Sports section (and every Sunday). Heaven forbid that international football mega-sites like Sky Sports or the BBC, those sites with a more natural-born inclination to the popular sport, would ever put our Yanks’ mugs on their homepages. So today when the U.S. Men’s team got to the semi-final of the FIFA Confederations Cup against Spain, the world’s best team for the world’s most beloved sport, most folks weren’t expecting much of us. For that matter, most folks haven’t even heard of the Confederations Cup! Then what happens when the U.S. makes one of their best appearances and has, undoubtedly, their best upset in U.S. Men’s soccer recent history? You have a proper match on your hands, and people start taking notice:
Granted, I realize there are several far more pressing and important political news items than the U.S.’s defeat of Spain in a thrilling 2-0 match. I have a heart. But, as an avid football fan, I am proud. We made the daily news! And importantly, for the sport and the home team here in the United States, we have secured with this win our best chance to date for a more manageable start to next year’s World Cup in South Africa. The higher ranked you enter the competition, the less grueling the first two tiers of competition are.
The play today was fierce, we were extremely lucky and incredibly hardworking, and we capitalized on our goal opportunities. That’s good football. Selfishly, the win today means a little something extra for me as I (as well as two other of our Matterful contributors) will be going to World Cup next year and I know we need all the help we can get. Good win, boys!
Here are a few links that might get you up to speed on our boys from the U. S. of A.:
To read a summary of the match in ‘total football’ terms, visit the BBC.
To read an Americanized version where the author has to resort to basketball analogies for their uninitiated sports audience, visit the New York Times.
Posted by: Autumn.