Interupting baseball talk for a quick diversion to the World Cup. I was out of town for the weekend, and aside from a couple of tweets, didn't have the chance to comment on the match between England and the US this past weekend, but was fortunate enough to see most of the match. Obviously, it would have been great to get the win, but a draw was very impressive just the same. The last time we played England in a friendly (exhibition soccer match, for the uninitiated), we lost to the Brits 2-0. So this is an improvement. Plus, England has a fairly talented team, and most British soccer fans see this as a loss. You might think that it was pure luck and that England's Keeper, Robert Green, had as much to do with the draw as anyone from the US, but that is simply not the case. All of the scoring took place before the half, so you had to expect that England was going to come out and pour it on in the 2nd half. Most of the half was spent with England attacking the US goal, but thankfully, Tim Howard was up to the task.
The US had no pressure in this game -- there would be no shame in losing 4-0 to England. That's not the case with the next two matches -- against Slovenia (6/18) and Algeria (6/23). These are matches where the US will be favored, and we must get maximum points if we want to make it out of the group stage. This US team has the talent to do just that, so hopefully they live up to their potential.
One more comment -- saw several of my fellow "Yank" Liverpool FC fans on Twitter and Facebook voice the opinion that they were rooting against the US because of the whole Hicks/Gillette ownership fiasco (Hicks/Gillette are American owners of the Liverpool football club, and in short, they have saddled the club with tons of debt and erased hope that LFC will contend for the Premier League title anytime soon). Honestly, cheer for who you want to -- and I realize soccer is a 2nd tier sport in the US. But I will say that the logic behind this is a bit flawed, as these gentlemen have NOTHING to do with the US National Team. I seriously doubt there are any British Soccer (of course, they'd say football) fans that are rooting against their national team because of what BP has done to the Gulf of Mexico. If you want to root for national teams featuring your favorite club players, then fine by me -- but pretending to be a soccer snob and rooting against your country's team because of two businessmen that own a club -- well, that's just another reason why soccer remains a 2nd tier sport over here.
Thanks for reading -- promise I'll try to keep the soccer talk to a minimum.