This summer’s hottest event is not to be missed - the second game of the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup is today (Wednesday, July 7th). If you’ve seen any of the games thus far (especially the US games), you’ve probably already gotten hooked. If not, tune in today to see what all the hype is all about. Soccer might not be the first thing you think of in the summer heat, but this year, have an open mind. Take a break from grilling and give soccer a try.
Don’t worry if you’re not at home today and you don’t have a DVR (you’re missing out on one of the great inventions of all time) you can catch all the games On Demand (Top Picks > 2010 World Cup) at your convenience or online at www.espn3.com. If you are one of those people that went out and bought a new 3D TV, all of the games will be on the ESPN 3D channel (full schedule available at http://www.comcast.net/worldcup/fixtures.asp. Check your local listings for channel #). If you haven’t checked out the new 3D TVs yet, do! The close-ups on the set pieces and corner kicks are amazing!
I haven’t played soccer since I was in fifth grade, but got reacquainted with the game back around the time of the 2002 World Cup. Since then I would consider myself a fan of the game, not a diehard fan (like those in Sam’s Army – thanks to all of you for your dedication), but a more so than the typical American (North American that is) fan. I was as excited about the US performance in 2002 as I was crushed by their performance in 2006. 2010 was our chance to finally break through, but after the gut wrenching games in the qualifying rounds, it looked like the US team just ran out of steam. Don’t stop watching though! The teams that are still playing are what the US team could someday be.
Hopefully this World Cup will serve as the start of something bigger for US Soccer going forward. The US v. Ghana game was the most highly watched soccer game in US history (not that that was hard to accomplish), but with the millions of kids out there on soccer fields and their parents (including me) on the sidelines, we need to use this World Cup to show kids what soccer is about. The talent that will be on display (Fernando Torres, David Villa, and Miroslav Klose to name a few) should serve as an example of what is possible for kids when they are dedicated to the sport.
But I digress.
So, back to the 2010 World Cup. The first game of the semi-finals had some amazing goals (if you missed it, watch it today On Demand) from both teams. The Netherlands have advanced to their first World Cup Final since 1978. Spain is looking better and better with every game and if Fernando Torres can connect with David Villa (who has been on fire), watch out. No team that lost its first game (as Spain did to Switzerland) has ever won the Cup. This could change.
This year’s final will be the first time a European team will take the Cup home from a non-European event. If Spain does advance, there will be a new Nation represented on the trophy as neither Spain nor the Netherlands has ever won.
Hopefully, someday (maybe 2018 or 2022 - when the World Cup might be played in the US again (if you want to see the World Cup played here in the US go to http://gousabid.com/onemillion and sign the petition)), we will be talking about the US team in the same breath as winning the Cup.