Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24, 2009: Down goes Spain

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa - Wait ... you're leading with soccer?

Yah! The U.S. played today, and ...

Isn't the World Cup next year? Why are you leading with soccer?

Well, this is sort of a warm up tournament for the World Cup. And when something's a big upset, I always like to show it, even if it's a sport people don't care about.

See, that's the problem. Nobody cares about soccer. Why are you showing it, anyway? You said it was the Americans.

Yah. They beat Spain 2-0 in the semifinals.

Wait ... Spain? The United States beat Spain in soccer?


Isn't Spain good?

Yep. Number 1 in the world. They had a 35-match unbeaten streak, too. Until today, anyway.

Huh. This is men's soccer, right? 'Cause the U.S. women are actually good, if I recall.

The men's team apparently is now, too.

Huh. What tournament did you say this was again?

The Confederations Cup.

What the hell is the Confederations Cup?

It's a tournament for the champions of each continent. Spain was in because they won the European championship, and the U.S. won the North American championship.

So it's the World Cup, basically.

No. There are different standards of qualification. It's actually harder to qualify for the Confederations Cup than the World Cup.

So why haven't I heard about it before?

Becuase a lot of teams don't care about it as much. It's a fairly new tournament, so it hasn't caught on in prestige yet.

Is that what happened? The U.S. won because Spain didn't care?

I don't think so. Spain played all their regulars, just like the U.S. They might have taken the Americans lightly, but they were taking the tournament seriously.

OK, go with it. Sounds like a big deal. It still won't make America like soccer, though.

Who knows? It might. All America needs is proof that their team can beat anybody in the world, and that proof came today. This could have been the game that jump-starts American interest in soccer. It's actually perfect timing. The Americans are as good as they've ever been; they just needed that one big win to get noticed. Now that they have it, they could really take off.

Yah, yah. Whatever. It's still soccer. I didn't see the game, but I guarantee the score was 2-0.

Uh... yah. It was. How did you know?

Because every soccer game ends 1-0 or 2-0. Ridiculous. Just not enough scoring for me. Go ahead and lead with it. And if you say "nil" in the air, you're fired.

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