Sunday, March 29, 2009

U.S. Salvages a Point in El Salvador

Well, that could have been uglier. For those of you that don't know, and I'm assuming you don't, the United States men's soccer team had a World Cup Qualifying match Saturday night in El Salvador. Basically, the U.S. is in a group with six other teams from the region, and after they play each other a few times, the top three teams will go to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The United States is all but guaranteed a spot, but still, you gotta play the games.

The game the U.S. played this weekend wasn't looking good at first, as they found themselves down to El Salvador 2-0 at the 76th minute mark. This definitely would have been a shocking loss, as America is currently ranked 17th in the world. But Uncle Sam came back, getting goals from Jozy Altidore at the 77th minute mark, and another one from Frankie Hejduk at the 88th minute mark. They had a few chances in extra time, including a beautiful bicycle kick from Brian Ching, but the end result was a 2-2 tie. A good tie though, if there is such a thing.

I somehow convinced the bartender to turn this game on after the basketball games were over for the day, and surprisingly nobody complained. When Ching nearly hit that shot that would have given the U.S. the lead, I predictably jumped up and down in excitement. There are few less embarrassing feelings than being the only guy cheering in a crowded bar, but what I can say, I love soccer (most of the time).

If you missed this game, don't you fret! The U.S. plays again on Wednesday at 6:30, hosting Trinidad & Tobago on ESPN2.


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