By Jon D. Gaede, BVN Sports –
The game familiar to most of the earth has once again focused the attention of the world as South Africa hosts the World Cup.
Brazil and ‘Pele’, the icon of the sport, can still boast the most goals and the most titles, but other parts of the world are catching up.
The Italians are defending the cup from the 32 countries who would love to take it home. They are not favored as Spain, England, Portugal and of course, Brazil seem to have a better chance.
In this country, soccer is still forming it’s base and thus, American teams continue to compete under the radar and are not expected to excel on the world stage. For American coach Bob Bradley, that may be a good place for the U.S. to be.
In group play, the U.S. played England in a highly anticipated first match. Loaded with Premier League talent, the UK was expected to roll over the Americans. The U.S. played them close all night and was very pleased with a 1-1 result.
Local players on the U.S. team include Maurice Edu (Etiwanda) and perennial player of the year Landon Donovan (Redlands East Valley).
In the UK match, the tying goal came from 25 yards out, off the foot of American Clint Dempsey. The skipping ground ball slipped through the hands of the English goal keeper and into the net. Analysts have labeled it a gift goal and the U.S. will gladly accept it.
After initial group or pool play, two teams emerge to the next level. It takes nearly a month to get to a champion. The U.S. team will face Slovenia on Friday.
A special note to BVN readers, ESPN X Game commentator Sal Masekela has produced a wonderful, must see documentary series ‘Umlando’ ‘Through my Father’s Eyes’. The ten part series is an intimate journey of land and culture as Sal travels with his father, legendary jazz musician Hugh Masekela. (Currently airing on ESPN.)
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