Monday, June 29, 2009

USA Soccer...improving?

Don't call me un-American for saying this, but Team USA's performance in the Confederations Cup, while brilliant, was not a sign of things to come. Team USA is not a major force in soccer in the world. Sure, they upended the world's top ranked team, Spain, but the proof was in the pudding against Brazil.

Teams that are top contenders to be among the best in the world do not surrender 2-0 leads after halftime.

Brazil was on their heels in the opening 45 minutes. The U.S. carried the play, passed well, obviously notched a pair of tallies, and looked like they belonged. Brazil came out in the 2nd half, and got on the board early--almost a tidal wave of offense pouring at the Americans. Team USA never had a chance.

Soccer may be the world's most popular game, but that doesn't ring true in America. The U.S. can become a world power, but right now, the game is a virtual punchline. Don't get me wrong, I love soccer. I sat and watched the Confed Final, and I used to watch games with my father back in Chicago. The broadcasts were in Spanish, and I couldn't understand what was being said, but watching soccer with my Dad was something I'll always cherish. Incidentally, none of those games I watched with Dad involved the U.S.

I don't profess to have a solution, as there are loads of quality youth soccer programs in not just this country, but right here in North Carolina. American soccer is far better off now, than it was, say 10 years ago. Still, it's not at the level of a Brazil, Spain, England, Germany, and so on.

Joey Logano picked up his first career Sprint Cup Series win on Sunday in New Hampshire, a race shortened by rain. Logano has long been considered the future of NASCAR, so picking a victory in his first season bodes well for him. Series flips the calendar, beginning their return visits to tracks, starting this weekend in Daytona.

Author Brett Friedlander on the program on Monday, and Winston-Salem Dash Manager Joe McEwing stops by on Wednesday. Check it out!

Mike Solarte

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