Ok. World Cup 2010 South Africa.
My Teams? France, Argentina, Brasil, Germany, USA and South Africa. Special team I've noticed, Uruguay.
France is out. They played awful this year. Argentina - In! Brasil - In! But not playing up to par, I must say. Germany - In. South Africa, host country - Out. Unfortunately, but they went out with a bang winning 2-1 to France. Uruguay - In. USA - In!!!!!
For all my inexperienced Sparkies out there. Get excited.
U.S. has done it. They have not only advanced to the next rounds, but they won in their group (Group C of England, Algeria and Slovenia). Outstanding. So what’s the big deal you ask? I must explain. :P
1. The U.S. teams have not been able to advance in the World Cup since 1930. That’s right. 19-THIRTY! 80 years of dying at the World Cup’s “Test #1”!!! It’s like Round 1 has been kryptonite for every U.S. team since, even with Cobi Jones the last two Cups. But no longer…
2. The U.S. has never ever been a real powerhouse in the World Cup, and this creates an opportunity for the team to prove itself for the very first time. Win the World Cup? Probably not, but dominate…let’s just hope. Latest update is that U.S. is ranked #15 on FIFA’s roster.
3. To look at the qualifying game itself against Algeria…there were so many missed opportunities. And then once again, the ref was against the U.S. as Dempsey had a misallowed goal. “WTH???? Again!!!?!!”
Drama, pins and needles, nail biting and hair wrenching-central. Translation? This was a tight game. All U.S. had to do to advance was score ONE, single, solitary goal and then keep Algeria from scoring too. If U.S. had scored a goal early on, cool. But they didn’t.
Instead, with the game nil-nil (that’s 0-0), the game went into stoppage time (or overtime for the more familiar). Our awesome goal keep, Tim Howard, blocked the last and final, bullet-laden goal from Algeria. Then Dempsey beelined with the ball down the field and shot the ball to goal. It didn’t go in! It was blocked by Algeria’s goal keep. But as fate would have it, that goal keep didn’t capture the ball. It bounced off of him. Then a heartbeat later, Donovan swooped in to rebound the ball in the net to score the one necessary goal to win the game. It was the 91st minute. It was amazing!!!! Just three, short minutes away from the team’s ultimate elimination from the World Cup. A very huge game… Probably the BIGGEST moment of the World Cup so far. A VERY, BIG DEAL! The U.S. is advancing.
"Advancing?," you ask unsurely.
Well, remember I was telling you that the World Cup was compromised of 32 nations? Well think of it just like any other tournament. There are 8 groups of 4 teams for those 32 national teams. Groups A thru H. Now the bottom two of every Group (based on a points system), has now been cut from the rosters to create only 16 remaining teams in the competition... and so on and so forth. So U.S. has finally progressed to this stage in the World Cups' second round, "Round of 16".
The kryptonite has been shattered. And this is the first time in a long time that we’ve had the opportunity to cheer them on at this point. So truly, I hope you’re getting excited. History is happening... Meantime, keep watching all the other teams too.
USA vs Ghana, this Saturday, 2pm EST. Be there...!
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With man, this is possible. With GOD, ALL things are possible.