“I Believe That We Will Win!”
The Americans start their World Cup campaign today June 16, 2014 at 6:00pm ET versus Ghana in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The world is not expecting much from the Americans at all. Team USA is very fine with that view and they embrace the underdog role that seems to haunt them from soccer tournament to soccer tournament. Anything less would be unfitting because the country in which these lads represent was built from the same underdog mentality that was set many moons ago; and look at our nation now!
If the Americans want to set themselves up for a place in the knockout stages they will need to win and at worst tie their first game to set the tempo the rest of the way. In the World Cup, it is very imperative that you win your first match so it can alleviate the pressure the rest of the way. That way, by the second game you can clinch a spot in the knockout stages and the third game will merely be a formality.
The Americans will be facing a familiar foe in Ghana who has knocked the Americans out of the last two World Cups. Saying this group opener is personal is a vast understatement. The rivalry is officially established, the stage can’t be any bigger, and the Americans are buzzing with confidence. The Yanks will need to play fearless, yet tactful inspired football if they hope to beat Ghana and the other superb teams in the “Group of Death”.
Ironically, the United States also has a great deal of history with the other three teams in past World Cups. They upset Portugal in the 2002 group opener in Korea/Japan. In that same tournament they lost to Germany in a controversial quarterfinal. They also played Klinsmann and his Germany squad in France at the 1998 World Cup.
Last time the Americans finished last in the Group of Death was in 2006 and that included the feisty Ghanaians. The Americans have a peculiar habit of drawing skull and bones in the World Cup. This time around a new cast of characters have been added to the fray and have the mindset that winning each game is very obtainable.
The most glaring difference for the Americans this year in Brazil is the absence of American soccer poster boy and long time captain Landon Donovan. That is almost like the USA Basketball team omitting LeBron James from its roster in the 2016 Olympics, talk about a media uproar. Coach Juergen Klinsmann will be a hard man to argue against. Since he has taken over the reins he has produced exceptional results.
The team has played well over the past year and are ranked 13th out of 207 nations in the FIFA Coca-Cola World Ranking. Team USA’s campaign going into the World Cup is not just for the kicks and giggles. All 23 players firmly stand by the campaign “We Believe That We Will Win!” Soccer is not a huge thing in America but it is growing rapidly and the Yanks are ready to take on the challenge of aiding that growth.
Like the women’s US soccer team these young men are ready to grow into a soccer powerhouse and their efforts in Brazil can help achieve that. The stars in stripes that will need to make an imprint in Brazil are Captain Clint Dempsey, struggling yet talented forward Jozy Altidore, fervent midfielder Michael Bradley, and world class keeper Timmy Howard. All these players were at the last World Cup in South Africa and will need to mentor the lads that are new to the show.
Germany and Portugal are the other major obstacles that stand in the way of the Americans in the Group of Death (Group G), and tonight versus Ghana is crucial to set up the road ahead. So whatever you are doing today even if you hate soccer with a passion tune in this evening at 6pm and watch our brothers play for us! Every tackle, every breath, every mile and every goal will be for each one of us. Lets Support the Yanks as they embark on a journey to be the World’s best!
-BoSo Boakai Sonii¤