The World Cup group of Germany, Poland, Ghana and the United States has been characterized as the “Group of Death”. All things being equal, logic dictates that Germany and Portugal should emerge as the two teams that advance. But in soccer, the ball is round.
Portugal played pitifully against Germany and Ronaldo was missing in action. Germany looked like world class material and spanked Portugal 4-0 opening some space for the United States to advance.
In the 2006 and 2010 World Cup, Ghana had beaten America and forced them to return home prematurely. In the 2014 World Cup, Klinsman, the American coach and psychologist, convinced his players that 2014 was a new day and should produce a different outcome.
Like Usain Bolt, America was out of the blocks like a bolt of lightning and in thirty seconds, Dempsey netted to put America ahead. Ghana kept coming like waves of Chinese troops in the Korean War but Tim Howard, the American goalkeeper, kept his team in the game. The Americans were under siege but the Ghanaians did not attack with great imagination. Nonetheless, they did equalize in the latter stages of the second half. The game was deadlocked but in the eleventh hour, the American substitute, John Brooks, a central defender, scored on a corner to put America ahead 2-1. Americans in Brazil and outside of Brazil erupted with unbelievable joy.
America still has a steep mountain to climb. Portugal is wounded but still dangerous. The Americans must beat or draw with Portugal to have a chance to advance. The Gods are smiling on Jurgen Klinsman and the Americans. Twenty thousand Americans travelled to Brazil to cheer on the red, white and blue.
Hopefully, it will not be in vain but one thing is clear, soccer can no longer be marginalized as a sport in America. Donovan who was not selected by Klinsman in the 23 man squad was the American hero of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. There are already two heroes in Brazil 2014, Clint Dempsey and John Brooks. There are two more games to play and there will be more heroes in the making.
Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks