Thursday, June 22, 2006

No thanks, I'm American

The US played Ghana and the Czech Republic played Italy this afternoon. Every team needed to win to have any chance to go through to the knockout round of the World Cup (and for some sides - their chances depended on the outcome of the other game). So each and every minute mattered - these were bound to be hard fought, exciting games. And I missed it. I was speaking at a conference - and couldn't get away. This event wasn't even held in a hotel, where I could sneak off to the bar for a quick check.

On the train home, I wondered if I should avoid all news and try to catch a re-airing. But as soon as I got to my own neighborhood, I knew there was no need to keep myself in the dark - this is what I saw when I left Tooting Station:

Ghana celebrates

Ghana wins

Yeah, baby

In case you couldn't figure it out, that flag they're flying is Ghana's. They were screaming and shouting in such a way, that it meant that not only did they win but that Ghana went through.

Their jubilation was infectious. I walked over for a closer look and one enterprising lad tried to sell me a Ghana head band. "No thanks," I said. "I'm American." But I congratulated them on their win. This is Ghana's first World Cup appearance, and I'm happy for them. They were curious about my sportsmanlike attitude - and asked if I liked football. I told them I loved football, but that even though I was American I supported England. I was told "We're gonna beat England, too."

I corrected them on their wrong assertion and took my leave.


Although I'm pleased that Ghana's so happy, I wish the US had won and I am sorry for my die-hard soccer-loving compatriots - all six of you. Commiserations, too, to the Texan - who supports the Czech Republic.

T-tags: soccer, Football, World Cup 2006, germany, USA, World Cup, Ghana, Italy, Czech+Republic


Big Ear Creations said...

I lived in Ghana for 7 months a while back and this will be HUGE there!

Gandalf Mantooth said...

I'm pretty happy for Ghana, actually. As far as the US goes, we needed this wake up. Stop holding back stars from going abroad, get rid of Arena, step up efforts to recruit more actual atheletes like Gooch.

With Japan out, I will be rooting for England, as my best friend was born there, and I'll be at his wedding during the semis.

Vol Abroad said...

I don't really know enough about the US team. But what's this about about holding them back from European clubs?

jen said...

ugh. you didn't miss much. it was bad bad bad. most unfair game i've seen so far.

Gandalf Mantooth said...

Well, you may know that the MLS was owned by one person, that one person had a close association with the US federation. Many higher ups thought that it benefited US football to have their stars stay at home, for the good of MLS and for the good of the national team. I get this from my fuzzy memory of an old piece on the national team.

Now, the MLS is staring to break up and teams are being bought by other individuals. That may increase competition within MLS teams, though perhaps not overseas.