User comments on the World Cup - Derek, U.S.A.
schwatzgelb.com has asked users for their opinion on the upcoming World Cup in South Africa. Here we present you the view of Derek from the U.S. on the chances and the support of the American team and his favourites for the tournament. Please send us your personal outlook on World Cup 2010 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, let me thank the editors of "Schwatzgelb" for having the foresight and commitment to having an English-language website. Thanks to you, fans around the world, both in English-speaking countries and in countries where English is a commonly used foreign language, can follow BVB more closely from the perspective of the local Dortmund fans.
As American fans, we are not accustomed to success at the World Cup, as we failed to win a game in two of the last three World Cups. In 2002, however, ther team reached the quarterfinals (where we lost to Germany), and that achievement was rightly celebrated for a country that had only had a major professional league for a few years at the time.
Although the sport has not grown rapidly since 2002, it has enjoyed steady growth, even in the crowded field of American sports (still dominated by baseball and American football, as well as college sports,) and the attention surrounding the national team this year is far greater than I have observed in years past. The players are not household names, but a committed core of fans rabidly follows the exploits of the likes of Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard overseas, Landon Donovan domestically (and on loan with Everton -- as well as Bundesliga regulars such as Steve Cherundolo and Moenchengladbach's Michael Bradley, to a lesser extent.
American fans fully realize that winning the World Cup would be nothing short of miraculous. The Confederations Cup performance (in which the team held a 2-0 lead against Brazil at the half in the final) demonstrates that anything is possible, but the World Cup is orders of magnitude more difficult. No one will be disappointed unless the team fails to advance from the group stage. My own personal view is that even those expectations are unrealistically high, however. Obviously, England is expected to advance from the group, but Algeria and Slovenia are not pushovers, and the US will have a difficult time with both. The US team has talent, but is not deep, and suffers from numerous injuries throughout the roster. Realistically, as long as they win at least one group stage match, it would be difficult to call the tournament a failure.
In terms of players to watch, I would expect the US stars, wings Donovan and Dempsey, to have solid tournaments. Forward Jozy Altidore struggled mightily in the EPL, but plays very well with the national team. The defense is a worry, however, and giving up multiple goals against England is not out of the question, despite Howard's quality.
Beyond that, I will be interested in Germany's performance (despite the absence of Borussians,) as well as teams such as Paraguay that feature BVB stars. I think we all look forward to watching Barrios explode onto the international stage.
With regard to results, I predict (yet another) Brazil victory. They may not have the "star power" of years past (let alone a team like Argentina,) but they are solid throughout and have a fantastic backline. Look for Luis Fabiano to again pour in goals, and for more jaw-dropping performances from Maicon. I will also be interested to watch Spain progress, as they have been so good of late, they're taken for granted.
Here's hoping for some fantastic goals and well-played, well-officiated matches.
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