Finally...a nod from the soccer gods
It took 91 minutes, but fortune finally befell the US side in South Africa with Landon Donvan's spirited run and finish to propel the American's into the round of 16 winning Group C, something no US World Cup squad had ever done. Now, can they avoid Germany for that Saturday match and give themselves a chance to reach the quarterfinals for just the third time ever in the World Cup. More importantly all of the casual sports fans got paid off for their investment in this World Cup that has been so hyped in the United States. It also saves FIFA and other soccer officials in the United States from having to hear about poor refereeing and how their sport won't be considered on par with football, baseball and basketball until they can keep from having such glaring gaffes that cost teams games. Fair or not, those arguments and conspiracy theories would be plenty from the casual sports fan who has been skeptical of soccer anyway.
It's just nice to hear the excitement and chatter around our building today about who the US will face next and how far they can go. Look, just like the US Hockey team's run to the gold medal game is not going to put the NHL ahead of the NBA and MLB in TV ratings next season, the US Soccer team will not immediately translate to double digit MLS ratings. However, if the next generation of athletes is inspired by what they have seen and takes a more vested interest in following the team and the players, that will be the ultimate payoff for soccer in the United States in 15 to 20 years.
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