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Posts Tagged ‘Asamoah Gyan’

2010 FIFA World Cup Proves Americans Can Love Soccer

2010 FIFA World Cup Proves Americans Can Love Soccer

By the time this piece is posted and read, many United States soccer fans will have already moved on from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. American soccer fans around the world had their hearts broken in an instant when Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan buried the fatal shot three minutes into extra time of the USA Ghana match, a brilliant goal that sent Team USA home. The 2010 men’s national soccer team did not go down in vein. There is much that we, American soccer fans or just sports fans in America, can take from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Most importantly, that we actually cared.

I’m not talking about record breaking ratings or millions of dollars in advertising working like a charm. Once the United States managed to tie England in the team’s first World Cup match, the bandwagon was filled ten times over. Were you out during the US Algeria match or the US Ghana match? Were you and your friends among the hundreds or even thousands of USA fans (depending on where you were at the time) wearing red, white and blue soccer jerseys and/or flags, screaming at the top of your lungs when Landon Donovan hit one of the most golden goals you’ll ever see? What started out as pure nationalism and the typical “US versus them” mentality you see every Olympics, World Cup or similar international competition turned into a love affair with a club that, for a couple of weeks, captivated a nation.

People gathered together in bars, homes and around company computers in order to watch full soccer matches. Not because they were blowing off a few hours of work, wanted to get hammered or just like screaming at television sets. Americans who, a month prior couldn’t name three players on Team USA, were sporting Tim Howard jerseys and asking each other why the hell Ricardo Clark was starting even before Clark’s horrific miscue in the USA Ghana game. American sports fans were watching every match of the World Cup to get a look at potential future opponents. For about one week in 2010, soccer was the most popular sport in the United States.

Perhaps most stunning was the impact of Team USA’s defeat. People weren’t mad or disappointed when Ghana eliminated the United States from the World Cup. They were defeated. Crushed. In the no more room in the inn bar I was at, fans wiped away tears with their American flags. The entire town fell into stunned silence for hours.

USA Hockey captivated sports fans in this country in February, especially during the gold medal match. No sane person shed a tear when Sidney Crosby snatched gold away from the Americans, though. We didn’t feel the same connection to that Team USA as we did to this Team USA. Why is that? Was it the dramatic comebacks? The fact that the World Cup is the greatest sporting event on the planet? Americans actually getting swept off their collective feet by the beautiful game? Probably a little of each.

USA Soccer and American soccer fans both are extremely disappointed by the one and done elimination round World Cup exit. The love affair doesn’t have to end with Asamoah Gyan’s shot sailing past Tim Howard. Team USA hosts Brazil at the new Meadowlands (Giants) Stadium in August. It’s up to you to show up or watch on TV and support this team that, admittedly, broke your hearts this June.

Both USA Soccer and USA soccer fans need to start preparing for 2014 right now. Oh, how I want Ghana in round one. Ghana Game Time and Preview for the Round of 16 World Cup MatchThe USA vs. Ghana Round of 16 World Cup 2010 game is coming up this Saturday, June 26. Check out the USA vs.

Netherlands v Uruguay Preview

Netherlands v Uruguay Preview

Both teams reached this semi final after coming from behind in their quarter final matches. The Netherlands did it against Brazil and Uruguay broke African hearts by winning a penalty shoot out against Ghana. Now they meet on Tuesday 6 July 2010 at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.

Netherlands So Far in the FIFA World CupThe Netherlands came from a goal behind to the mighty Brazil in the quarter finals to win 2 1, and a deserved victory it was. The first half was a tightly fought affair with only Robinho’s goal to separate them. Felipe Melo had played a perfectly weighted pass to Robinho who took advantage of a strangely absent central defence to put the ball in the net.

The Dutch equaliser early in the second half was an odd goal. Wesley Sneijder’s cross into the box looked like it would be easy pickings for goalkeeper Julio Cesar until Melo got in his way. The ball flicked off Melo’s head into his own net. Sneijder headed in the winner with just over twenty minutes to go during which time’s Melo’s afternoon got worse when he was sent off for stomping on Arjen Robben.

The bad news for the Dutch was that the yellow cards picked up by Gregory van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong mean they will miss the semi final.

The Dutch had an easier Round of 16 match when they beat Slovakia 2 1 and were the first team to qualify from the group stage when they won their first two matches. Adding a third win gave them a 100 per cent record.

Uruguay So Far in the FIFA World CupThe phrase “the drama of the World Cup” was made for games such as Uruguay’s quarter final victory over Ghana. Ghana were the last African team left in the World Cup and took a deserved lead just before half time with a wonder strike from Sulley Muntari. Diego Forlan equalised from a free kick shortly into the second half and the score stayed 1 1 until the last minute of extra time.

Ghana were pressing and as the clock ran down the ball was whizzing around the penalty area until substitute Dominic Adiyah headed the ball goalwards. Luis Suarez stopped it going in the net with his hand giving Ghana a last second penalty and earning himself a sending off that means he misses this semi final. Asamoah Gyan stepped up to take it and smashed it against the crossbar. The game was over and a penalty shoot out followed.

The courage it must have taken for Asamoah Gyan to wipe the tears from his eyes and take the first penalty in the shoot out is not measurable, but he did and scored but sadly some of his colleagues didn’t and Uruguay won the shoot out 4 2. The yellow card that Jorge Fucile picked up in this game means he will also miss the semi final.

Luis Suarez was also the Uruguay hero in the Round of 16, scoring twice to give them a 2 1 win over South Korea. Uruguay got to the knockout stage as group winners with victories against Mexico and South Africa following a nervous goalless draw with France.

Football Betting Odds For Netherlands vs UruguayFootball betting tips: The bookmakers have made Netherlands favourites to win this semi final with 7/10 the best on offer though 4/6 and 8/13 are more popular for a victory within ninety minutes. The most common odds for Uruguay to do the same are 9/2 though 5/1 is available from a couple of bookies. The odds for a draw include 5/2 and 12/5 but 13/5 can be found for those who shop around.