• Team USA soccer

    For the first time in World Cup history the USA will be in the round of 16 for back to back World Cups, by finishing 2nd in Group G, the so called group of death in which a team like the Americans was supposed to be eaten alive by teams like Germany, Ghana and Portugal.

    The exact opposite happened as they knocked off Ghana, tied Portugal and held their own vs the #2 FIFA ranked Germans battling hard in a 1-0 loss in their final group match this past Thursday.

    In many sports the US is a team that people can’t wait to see go down quickly. The World Cup is different. Team USA is almost always made up of some of the toughest players in the sport with guys such as Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley.

    Dempesy, in the Americans first game against Ghana had his nose broken by an accidental kick to the face from Ghana’s John Boye. It looked like it hurt quite a bit as blood surrounded his nose and he looked a little dazed but he stayed in the game.

    In a sport in which so many players embellish small injuries to get a call and yell at the refs when they do not get it, Dempsey did the exact opposite of all that and soldiered on with no complaints.

    Dempsey like many of the members of Team USA currently play in MLS, a league long seen as third tier and a joke to the rest of the football world. A team made up primarily of players from MLS or who got their start in MLS have outlasted such nations as Spain, USA, and Italy.

    They are the ultimate underdog which makes this team even more likeable, out of all the nations in the round of 16 the US is the only one in which their players are not known by all in their nation. America is still very much a nation of Basketball, Gridiron Football and Baseball.

    Even with soccer not being the #1 sport in the nation the World Cup has been able to bring this nation together, on Friday in Las Vegas and was able to catch the final 10 minutes of the second half of the Germany-USA game, at a restaurant at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and as far as the eye could see the TVs were showing the match and there were fans rocking team USA jerseys.

    If you told an alien that was visiting earth for the very first time that America was not a soccer nation they would be very surprised with the way that the hotel exploded in oohs and ahhs as the Red, White and Blue fought to equalize the the game in the final few minutes.

    USA’s head coach Jurgen Klinsmann took a ton of flak for leaving off Landon Donovan from the squad, I was one of them that was floored by the decision but it is looking like a move that may pay off in the end, the offensive production on this squad has been coming from a number of sources in this tournament.

    It has not just been Clint Dempsey who’s scored, this team has seen timely goals come from Jermaine Jones, Jozy Altidore and for the first time ever an American substitute in the form of John Brooks who scored against Ghana.

    Aside from the World Cup, the sport has taken tremendous leaps and bounds in the past few years in America and MLS commissioner Don Garber is growing the league in a way that has kept not just kept all of it’s franchises sustainable (the only one that has had trouble in the past few seasons, Chivas USA is now league owned and will be re branded by new ownership for 2015) but made them very relevant in many of the cities that they are in.

    Seeing North American teams do well in a tournament that’s dominated by European and South American teams is something that I find really cool. Canadians have even taken to jumping on the US bandwagon, something that in hockey, or baseball you’d never ever see. The run that the Americans are having is something that I know I’d love to see happen one day if Canada’s men’s team is ever able to make it to the World Cup again.

    Everyone slept on the US and now they are making the world take notice.

    On Tuesday, the USA takes on Belgium in their round of 16 match with the winner moving on to face either Argentina or Switzerland.

    4 more wins separates the US from their first ever World Cup title, is it the road going to be easy? Heck no they will be in a fight vs Belgium but I believe this squad will find a way to get the victory. Even if this team falls to Argentina or the Swiss it will show once again that the squad with the bald eagle for it’s national bird is not a team that you’ll be able to take lightly anymore against the rest of the world.