Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Previewing United States vs England in the World Cup
I am not sure when the last time United States played England in the World Cup. Maybe it was before I was born. Or maybe it was before I even started to care about such things. But it doesn't really matter. This year's renewal of the ole' Revolutionary Rivarly has a feel to it as if it were indeed 1776 and Paul Revere was riding into town yelling "the Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming!" At least that's how I feel, and frankly, I don't much care if you don't feel the same way. I mean, c'mon, when are we going to get another chance to show up our neighbors across the pond as billions around the globe look on? When cricket finally overtakes baseball as America's pastime? Please. Or how about in rugby? Yeah, I know we like to think we're tough, but have you ever wondered where the stereotype that the British have bad teeth came from? So, it's us vs. them, the Yankees vs. the Brits, with bragging rights on the line for potentially the next half decade. England is said to be vulnerable for the 2010 World Cup, with their longtime captain David Beckham to sit out the tournament. But that is not to say they are not dangerous. Their top player, striker Wayne Rooney, plays for English Premier League perennial power Manchester United, or Man U as they are known in soccer circles. And even though Becks is not playing, I am sure he at the very least will be on the sideline as an advisor. The US, on the other hand has several factors in its favor, starting with its youth. They should show no fear, as I am sure most of the players (like myself) don't know the last time these two teams played. In addition, being grouped with Algeria and Slovenia means that this is not necessarily a must win for team USA, so that should take some of the pressure off. Finally, playing in South Africa should provide a more neutral crowd for team USA than if ithe World Cup took place somewhere in Europe. If anything the Brits, as the favorite, have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Kinda reminds you of something else that happened between these two nations more than a couple of centuries ago, doesn't it?