I’ve been a big fan of World Cup Soccer (or what the rest of the world calls football) since 1986, when ESPN first carried the event live from wire to wire. Needless to say, it’s gotten to be a much bigger event since then, especially with seven consecutive entries into the finals by the United States. Each time we do poorly seems to be followed by a time we (the US) do well.
You all know what happened yesterday. The US seems poised for an unthinkable qualification into the single-elimination round of 16 leading Portugal 2-1 in the waning moments. But Portugal got that goal on the final kick that kept their hopes alive with a 2-2 tie, and sent the Americans looking for a win or tie against Germany in the final game on Thursday.
Soccer is going to be a very big thing in this country before too long. I see the athletes being born now or recently gravitating to it once they figure out the dangers of the NFL. In fact, I predict the US will win the World Cup in 20 years, if not sooner. It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.
As for the here and now, a win or a tie against Germany advances the US to the single-elimination phase. There are scenarios where even a loss to Germany by a goal advances them, depending on what happens in the Ghana/Portugal game. The experts will say that the Yanks have long odds against a sharp German squad.
But I say: it’s always the darkest before the dawn. The US team can still shock the world yet.