There was probably a lot of head-shaking and muttering of “milagro,” Spanish for miracle, yesterday when the U.S. men’s national soccer team humbled Spain—the best team in the world. The Yanks scored a 2-0 victory on the field in South Africa.
This is a big achievement. It’s the first time Spain has been beaten since they were trumped by the Romanians back in 2006.
Except for dedicated fans, many Americans won’t even have noticed this stunning achievement. Soccer still isn’t a big draw for sports fans in many parts of this country, at least not on a par with football, baseball, basketball and, even, golf (a boring sport). Why this should be is beyond me.
In my neck of the woods, football (American version) is THE SPORT. Personally, I’ve always considered it BORING. I mean, how can you get excited about big guys bumping into one another? If they run 30 feet it’s an achievement. And then they call a time out so officials can measure how far the ball rolled. See what I mean? Boring.
I was introduced to soccer when I went to Asia. Now here, I thought, is a sport worth watching. It’s fast, it takes individual and team skill to maneuver the ball and it’s exciting. Did you notice, they’re not all padded up either.
I was thrilled to see interest in the sport growing in recent years. I can even see it on TV now. Two of my grandsons played one season in youth leagues, then they moved on to baseball and basketball. Nothing wrong with those sports. But, I have to admit, there was some disappointment on my part that they didn’t want to stick with soccer longer.
I’m the only one in my circle of family and friends who cares about soccer. I get mystified stares when I mention Altidore, Dempsey or Bocanegra. That’s okay. I’ll keep hoping for another milagro Sunday when the U.S. goes up against Brazil in the finals.