A few folks have expressed an interest in learning who I will pull for should the U.S. National Team fail to advance in this year’s World Cup.
Well, I’m glad you asked. I’ve been giving that some thought since, I regret to announce, I believe the U.S. will not defeat Ghana today and that the Italians will most likely draw vs. the Czechs (I do hope I’m proven wrong, though). After due consideration, the following list represents the top five teams I will support should the Stars and Stripes fold and go home:
- England. This is one of those blood is thicker than water, Anglo-Saxon things. I’m figuring that most of my ancestors came from there and that the Brits have been staunch allies, at least from World War I on. I’m willing to put that taxation without representation business in the past if Rooney, Beckham and the rest of The Three Lions can charge on toward the final. But don’t go betting the country manor on that.
- Netherlands. This one is honor of Coach Paul Lassau, a Dutchman who lived in Huntsville for several years working for the Royal Dutch Air Force. He was an assistant coach for Number Three Son for three years and brought a large dose of Dutch precision and passion to the Kicks ’93 Red. He has since moved back to the Netherlands, and I know he and his son Wouter are decked out in de Oranje gear from head to toe. This one’s for you, Coach Paul.
- Korea. Are there any fans at this year’s World Cup with more passion and fire than the “Red Devils?” The Taeguk Warriors were surprise semifinalists in 2002 and have several exciting footballers who always seem to find a way to score when they need to. I also understand they make pretty good cars, although I haven’t tried one yet.
- Switzerland. The Swiss have played well, and I really hope France either loses to (not gonna happen) or ties (could happen without Zidane, but not likely) Togo so that both the Nati and Korea can play through. I must confess that I would be overflowing with schadenfreude should the French fail, once again, to advance. I never payed that much attention to the Swiss before, but my new blogging friend Brady is a huge fan and that’s reason enough to pull for them. Besides, what have the Swiss ever done to me?
- Argentina. I’m telling you, this team is red hot and has an excellent chance of going the distance. My colleague at work, Dr. Marco Ortega, is originally from that South American country and roots passionately for the Albicelestes. I must admit, though, as a Duke Blue Devil fan it feels almost sacreligious pulling for a team that wears white and sky blue.
When you get right down to it, my Plan B is pretty simple–anybody but Brazil. That whole “I’m so good you only have to call me by my first name and everybody knows who I am” act is getting old and they’re getting entirely too cocky. The world needs to unite and take them down a notch or two.
Update: Alas, it is finished, 2-1 Ghana. I have many thoughts swirling around in my head as to the how and why that I will try to post soon. Here’s a sneak preview: Bruce, you’re toast.