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US Soccer’s Seven Deadly Sins: Greed

The Sin: According to Gordon Gekko (the fictional junk bond king played by Michael Douglas in Oliver Stone’s inimitable Wall Street), “Greed is good.” Well, according to the Bible (and common sense), it ain’t very good at all. In fact, Proverbs 15:27 states that “he that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house.” So, with apologies to Gekko, I say greed is not good. Like Michael Douglas in general, it’s bad. In fact, greed is one of the most devastating sins.  

The Sinners: I define “greed” as the desire to live excessively beyond one’s needs. It’s not only the love of money, it is the love of money above all else. How does greed affect soccer? Well, for any team to win, they must rely on the charity of their mates. US MNT players must put the team’s best interest before their own. Who needs to learn a lesson about selfless sacrifice? Clint Dempsey, for one. Without further ado, I’ll also throw Adu under the bus here again.  

The Saints: Dempsey’s recent performances have netted goals, but he’s hogged the ball, chucked up crappy shots from distance, and even made some insanely futile juke moves. He could learn a thing or two from Landon, who is as happy to notch an assist as he is a goal. Freddy Adu also left MLS and the playing time it guaranteed him to go across the pond and ride the pine. His wallet is fatter than Holden’s or Bornstein’s, but they look more assured of making it to 2010.

The Sermon: Greed will get you nowhere, at least not “long term”. In many ways, it typifies selfishness better than the six other sins. It is deadly because it is a hunger that can never be satiated. In fact, greed and the exorbitant wealth it can help one accrue both end up making people miserable, in my opinion. So, the US MNT players need to not only give their all, but they also need to expect nothing in return. They must shun praise to succeed in South Africa.

As for the movie character that best exemplifies “greed”, I wouldn’t pick Michael Douglas as Gekko in Wall Street. Nope, I would go with his dad, Kirk, in the appropriately named Michael J. Fox vehicle, Greedy. In my humble opinion, that flick (despite its cornball moments) is vastly underrated. I think the US MNT is too. I even think they could win it all in South Africa in 2010.

Well, let’s not be greedy… Ah cha cha cha cha…