Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010



It was without doubt the most exciting moment of soccer I have ever witnessed. With only a handful of seconds left in a scoreless tie, it seemed the US team would once again be coming home early. With them would come the dream. The dream that someday, average American sports fans, like myself, would come to love the sport, thereby uniting the world in a TV commercial endorsement nirvana. But at the moment, it was Nil to Nil. I was watching a defensive quagmire until LANDON DONOVAN made US soccer history by scoring the winning goal!

Let's face it: The US may rule the world militarily, but in soccer we stink. This is only the eighth time the US has made it to the world cup. Our best finish (third place) was in the inaugural World Cup, way back in 1930. (So that doesn't count!) The next appearance, in 1950, featured the "Miracle on Grass" when the Yanks upset England 1-0. But we still didn't make the knockout round. Forty years would pass before another US World Cup appearance. And since 1990, the Americans haven't missed the tournament. Unfortunately, we've only mustered a miserable 4-12-2 record in six cups, reaching the quarterfinals only once. In summary, the US is a third-world soccer power. Yet that is all about to change. With Donovan's goal, the US WON Group C and now faces puny GHANA on Saturday. The US is the 2010 World Cup's 'Cinderella Story.'

Meanwhile, the 2010 World Cup's most pathetic team is...without question...FRANCE. Les Blues were a penalty kick away from the last championship, and did the ultimate in 1998 by winning the title AND hosting the tournament in the same year. But in 2010, the team didn't just lose, they crashed and burned. Not only did they lose to both Mexico and South Africa, but they experienced a barrage of negative in-fighting as both coach and players vented to a tabloid-hungry media. Striker Nicolas Anelfa was sent home, players refused to practice and the coach Raymond Domenech got fired. All within a week!

How is Paris handling this? Not well. France winger Florent Malouda apologized to his nation. "It's a complete disaster that we chose to express ourselves like this," he said. "We're really sorry for the French population and the French fans. That's not what we want to show." Star striker Thierry Henry will meet President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday to discuss the debacle. The sport-themed newspaper L'Equipe summed it up best, calling it "THE END OF THE WORLD." Que horrible! Stay tuned, readers, we've got plenty more WORLD CUP blogs ahead!

This just in: Algerian player slaps female reporter in the face after match:

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