Ghana, a nation of nearly 25 million people, is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. Though its GDP isn’t exactly huge, it is the second largest producer of cocoa in the entire world. Thus, I like to think of Ghana as sort of being like Willy Wonka’s factory. This is not a land of fat folks though (or Oompa Loompas). In fact, the country’s name means “Warrior King”, and its residents are a fit, proud pack.
The most sensational scribes in the southern California town known as Hollywood couldn’t have scripted a more dramatic ending to the US vs. Algeria game. By winning 1-0, the US fulfilled their nation’s expectations, and Landon Donovan forever etched his name in the history books as the greatest player ever born in the States. We are moving on in the World Cup ladies and gentleman. Thank the Lord.
Just like our last opponent, Slovenia, Algeria is located on the Mediterranean Sea, but it is obviously on the southern coast because it is the second largest African nation. Founded in the 11th Century, Algeria has overcome adversity to become one of the brightest lights for democracy on “The Dark Continent” (as they call it @ Busch Gardens in Tampa).
Though Algeria is relatively small in population (3.5 million), its soccer team packs an extremely powerful punch.
- LA Galaxy (1): Yes, they finally lost. It was inevitable, wasn’t it?
- Real Salt Lake (4): A win over the cream of the crop has RSL rising.
- Columbus Crew (3): You don’t play, you don’t move. STO tradition.
- Colorado Rapids (2): COL did play, but a draw drops them this week.
- N.Y. Red Bulls (5): NYRB isn’t going anywhere though. They didn’t play.
- Toronto FC (6): Neither did TOR, so Preki finally took some “me time”.
- S.J. Earthquakes (7): SJE didn’t play either. These Rules don’t make sense, huh?
First of all, let me say: “What a comeback.” For those of you out there who think soccer is boring, I encourage you to watch the US-Slovenia game. I think it would change your mind pretty easily. After all, how could it not be persuasive, what with its controversial calls, critical comeback and incessant drama. It was quite simply one of the most entertaining and exciting US soccer matches I have ever seen, and Nats’ fans know not to always expect exciting soccer.
Slovenia is nestled in the Alps near the Mediterranean Sea. If you have ever taken a dip in that body of water, you know the water is not exactly clear. You know it is actually somewhat dark with an odd smell. If you have ever been to Gilbraltar, you know it is downright smelly. It is not a relatively clean body of water, like for instance, the Gulf of Mexico until a couple months ago. Now though, I bet the Med smells like roses compare to the Gulf. C’est la vie.
My fellow Yanks, we like simple things.
Think about it. We prefer uncomplicated stuff, like durable pairs of blue jeans, delicious apple pies, and cheesy Hollywood action films (seriously, we have a market in the US to whom Brendan Fraser is appealing). Most US male sports’ fans like this Yank enjoy one undemanding thing above all the rest though:
An uninterrupted summer day with our sports and some suds.
But, just because we enjoy simplistic stuff, does that mean “we” (and I am speaking in the “royal we” now Americans, you know, the editorial) are simplistic people? I don’t think so.
First, read this:
Second, let me apologize for making you read that terrible attempt at humor. You see, Rick Reilly (who I hope runs unopposed for all those Sportswriter of the Year awards he keeps winning) has decided to write one post about soccer every four years to prove he knows that the World Cup (the biggest sports spectacle on Earth) is in full swing. Here is the problem.
The Hosts: Marcus Hahnemann & Cobi Jones, welcome to your surprise joint birthday party. And, yes Cobi, you – unlike Mr. Adu the other day – actually are getting a joint for your birthday. Don’t smoke this spliff until your real bday tomorrow, alright bud? Ah, I know you won’t wait! Classic Cobi! Anyways, gather round people, so everyone can hear. We came hungry to this IHOP and we expect to leave happy after celebrating Marcus (38) and Cobi’s (40) birthdays.
Tim Howard is a hero today. Rob Green?
Not so much.
Mr. Robert Green wil probably never be Sir Robert Green now that the keeper has made one of the most memorable goalie gaffes of his generation (which includes a guy nicknamed “Calamity James”). The Deuce’s weak shot from outside the 18 sputtered against Green’s torso, and then miraculously spun over him and eeked into the net.
It was one of those moments in life when you feel like the world has somehow gone into slow motion.