Because of the amount of time I've had to spend watching little children at Carederock, I have not been able to catch as much of the World Cup as I would have liked. However, I have had a chance to see the US play twice. And, like most people, I was disappointed after the UNited States was demolished by the Czech Republic. But, what we are forgetting is how far the US has come in just 4 years. Remember the build up leading into the Japan/Korea World Cup? Oh yeah, that's right. The USA didn't catch onto that tournament until we beat Portugal. The attention the World Cup is getting here in America this time around is unprecedented. Four years ago, World Cup action would have gotten lost in the amount of big time sports going on right now. Despite there being the NBA Finals, NHL Finals, US Open in golf, and the Yankees coming into DC for the first time in 30 years, the headline of the Washington Post sports section was about USA soccer. Hell, the soccer team made the cover of Sports Illustrated a couple weeks ago. In the future, this type of exposure will surely lead some to pursue soccer instead of other sports, only leading to the game furthering itself in the States.
The only problem I have had with the World Cup is ESPN/ABC's coverage of it. First of all, they have Dave O'Brien doing the play-by-play for all of the US games. The guy is a Big 12 basketball announcer not a soccer guy. Marcelo Balboa was awful in the USA-Czech game. All we heard were comparisans to the 1990 US World Cup team that faced the Czchs. I hate to break it to you Marcelo, but comparing this years team with yours doesn't work. You and your team sucked balls. I could have laced up my cleats and run around for 90 minutes and gotten the same result. Then there was John Harkes doing analysis of the Brazil-Croatia. As I watched the game with Battey, I realized I had witnessed an on-air first. I never thought I would come to see the day where a broadcaster gave a live blowjob to someone. But well done John, you and Ronaldinho somehow did it. You've really done the RFK Wall of Fame in right field proud.