u.s. soccer team beats spain
I missed the second half because I decided to try penalty kicks against my 14-year old and broke his retainer (he's leaving for camp tomorrow). But that didn't do much to diminish the U.S. team's accomplishment in beating Spain, the world's top-ranked team, in the Confederations Cup held in South Africa this week. The Confederations Cup isn't the World Cup, and soccer doesn't get the attention here that it does everywhere else in the world, and of course we haven't had a war against Spain since 1898: all reasons this will probably get less attention than (say) the hockey win over the Soviet Union in 1980, or Shakira's newest outfit. On the scale of improbability, though, it probably ranks even higher: a moment of justified pride for a team, and a sport, that have taken their collective lumps.
I've written before about soccer, and the difficulties it has in attracting a North American audience. Perhaps this victory, and a strong performance in the 2010 World Cup, will help to turn it around. The U.S. plays the winner of tomorrow's Brazil-South Africa match in Sunday's final.