Team USA – We’re Off to See The Wizard

28 May

To imagine how the USA is going to fare in the World Cup Finals, we could look down the yellow brick road, and dream of bringing the trophy home to Kansas.  But who should lead the team – the straw man with his brain, the tin man with his heart or the lion with his courage?

If the straw man leads, the players will be on the plane home after round one. Leave the thinking to the old masters of football. If the lion appears, there may be room for some valiant moment but courage may not be enough. That leaves the tin man – squeaky, like an old Ford, and requiring gulfs of oil to keep the whole thing running. It’s the combustible gasoline of the heart that the national team needs if the World Cup drive is to be long and thrilling. American soccer is on a new popular highway, right through the heartland, all the way home.

In the Korea/Japan World Cup in 2002, the heart was at the pump. What bookmaker would have taken odds on the USA opening up a three goal lead against top drawer Portugal in their opening game, then knocking a violent Mexican side out in the Round of 16, only to be defeated by an over thinking German soccer machine aided by a referee who one suspected read by Braille. How could he have missed the blatant German handball on the goal line, a penalty that would have given the USA the momentum to win the tie?

But in Germany 2006, the USA game shifted. The soccer gear had moved from the heart to the brain, and the USA imagined itself to be an equal partner by moving up the FIFA rankings, keen to be taken seriously by the game’s old masters. The play was measured, and self-conscious, and the paint was soon stripped from the body. Eliminated in the first round, the wheels spinning off, the tank was empty – there was no heart.

American bark should frighten people. But it doesn’t on the soccer field. We are the underdog. And the team must remember this on June 12 when the English bulldog snarls at them in the most anticipated game in US soccer history for sixty years. The English are the old masters. They will bring their brains and their courage but will be saving their heart for later in the tournament when they may need it against their mortal soccer enemies, Germany and Argentina. So play from the heart, USA. Remember the tin man. But no tears. We don’t need rust on the road to glory.


5 Responses to “Team USA – We’re Off to See The Wizard”

  1. June 13, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    All the World Cup 2010 Games in South Africa will be streamed live at 21:38

  2. June 17, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    All the World Cup 2010 Games in South Africa will be streamed live at 21:35

  3. June 19, 2010 at 3:19 am #

    All the World Cup 2010 Games in South Africa will be streamed live at 22:13

  4. June 20, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    All the World Cup 2010 Games in South Africa will be streamed live at 18:14

  5. Randall Helling June 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    lol…love the Kansas comments! Well, we’re just excited to have the World Cup qualifier at our LiveStrong Stadium! Looking forward to it! 😉

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