Wednesday, June 16, 2010

U.S. in the World Cup

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So against the expectations of many in this year’s World Cup, the American soccer (fútbol) team tied England at one goal a piece. Early in the game, the Brits scored, but the U.S. came through in the end. Now both teams have advanced to the top of their respective divisions in North American and Europe. The U.S. goes on to play Slovenia next and Algeria after that.

The U.S. has a particularly strong team this year and has already pushed ahead of other competing nations in the North American division, such as Mexico, Honduras, and others. Despite the U.S. preference for other sports such as baseball, basketball, and (American) football, this year American fans seem to be getting into this worldwide pastime with a little bit more fervor than usual. I’m a big baseball fan myself, but even I played soccer growing up, and just seeing sporting fans from across the globe partake in this year’s World Cup in South Africa makes me take a new, genuine interest in this truly universal competition.

Even though I’m of course rooting for my home country, other teams this year will be tough to beat. Japan and Korea have come off strong, and the Brazilians almost always end up as one of the top finalists. But there’s always hope and it should be a great series of games from all competing nations. My hope is that the U.S. team makes a strong enough finish to continue to expand the interest of budding fans in America, like myself. After all, even the President couldn’t keep away from this year’s American team, posing with them before shipping out for the World Cup in Johannesburg.