Saturday, June 17, 2006

U-S-A....CON GANAS!!! -- Gana Ghana con Ganas! -- Minnows step up

Hopefully the "average Joe" sports fans casually tuning in to today's USA-Italy Soccer game got the feeling of watching something special. So no one won...a tie! the soccer-haters grumble. But even a non-fan, cheering if only for national pride, could see the level of intensity and tension in this game. That was a display of balls by the US players attacking a world class soccer power when they were down to 9 men, against Italy's 10. And the last 10 mintues fighting to preseve a tie was beyond gutsy. People around the world got it, , France Presse called the US's defense as "heroic", the Latin American sportscasters were pumped up and full of praise. Hundreds of millions of soccer fans know the quality and storied history of the Italian side, understand the difficulties of playing a man down, and appreciate attacking play - particularly by an underdog team. You can bet people were rooting for the U.S. - or at least against Italy - in some unexpected corners of the world. It is nice being the underdog sometimes.

And props to Ghana for showing that it could be done - by going directly at a top European side without fear, and trying to score goals instead of doing the safe thing.

The minnows really put a bite today.