Thursday, June 24, 2010


I don't know if anyone reading this (both of you) have been watching the World Cup, but for an American fan, it's been an absolutely, nail-bitingly, infuriatingly, exhileratingly terrific first round.  The US team has been robbed of at least two goals by the officials, had dozens of near-miss shots on goal, and took the third match down to nearly zero-time before a fantastic finish by Donovan to seal the win. 

Now, after Germany beat Ghana in Group D, we're in great position to advance to at least the semifinal round, if not the quarterfinals.  That would match the best result the USA has ever managed in World Cup play -- the quarterfinals in 1930.  Yes, it's been 80 years since we finished in the top four, and it's time to go back.

Not only do we get the easier of the two Group D teams (I'm not saying Ghana is going to be an easy test, but certainly not more challenging than Germany would be), but each day another "mighty" team falls.  Yesterday, last tournament's runner up, France, failed to move on.  Today, the winner from four years ago fell (Italy).  England looks beatable, and so does Germany. 

Better yet, our side of the knockout bracket looks a whole lot easier than the other side.  If we beat Ghana, we face the winner of Ukraine-Korea.  Win that, and we're in the Final Four!  Of course, at that point we'll probably be facing either Brazil, Spain or Portugal -- all of them extremely powerful and talented.  But even then, we've got a chance.  The US squad beat Spain last year at the Confederations Cup, and in the finals of that tourney, we led Brazil 2-0 at the half. 

It's been an amazing ride so far, and I think this US team's got a long ways to go before they bow out of it. 


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