Compared to expectations, the U.S. performance was the poorest of any team in the World Cup soccer tournament. The Americans meekly scored only two goals in three games - and one was by an opponent into the wrong net. Talk about not having a chance, the U.S. never held the lead in any game.
When tiny Ghana beat the Americans, it brought home (still again) how far behind the rest of the planet we are when it comes to playing the worlds most popular sport - soccer.
After upsetting the Americans, the Cinderella Ghana squad has earned a spot in the second round of 16 teams. For a country that has little to be proud of internationally, you can bet there is bedlam in this African country about the size of Oregon with a population of only 22 million. Reportedly, Ghanaians were still recovering from their shocking win over the Czech Republic when the second eruption occurred - a toppling of the mighty U.S.A.
Instead of criticizing our U.S. soccer team, Americans should be asking the question, What is wrong with Ghana and other unassuming nations whipping us in major sporting events?
Being the richest country on top of one of the most populous nations, we Americans always expect to succeed, if not be the best. I, for one, like being the underdog for a change. It is nice to reaffirm that we can learn something from the rest of the world.
Speaking of international sports, northern Michigans own Phil Thiel just returned from playing professional rugby for a team just outside of Gloucester, England. The 21-year old former Traverse City West standout football player has accomplished the unthinkable for an American - holding his own against some of the top rugby players in the world.
Thiel is well known in area rugby circles as he came of age through the development system of the Traverse City Blues Rugby Football Club and was the teams most valuable player last year. For more information on the local rugby scene, call 231-342-9136 or log-on to www.tcrugby.com.
Dont get too excited about the streaking Detroit Tigers just yet.
Despite a surprising start that finds the Tigers with the best record in the league much of the season, they have yet to prove they can beat good teams. The Yankees, Red Sox, and White Sox have beaten the Tigers ten of thirteen games so far this year.
The best news is that Detroits young pitching staff could sustain this team for another decade if they live up to their performances so far through the first week in July. Adding crafty veteran pitcher Kenny Rogers for the short term to the strong, young arms already stockpiled was a stroke of genius by Tigers management.
I look forward to attending my first minor league baseball game sometime in the next couple of weeks. Congratulations to the Traverse City Beach Bums who seem to be a big hit in their inaugural season. The last time I checked, the team is actually playing good baseball - thriving in second place in their league.
I did take a tour of the Beach Bums field just before the season began. One thing was never in doubt - Wuerfel Park is a fantastic place to watch a baseball game. Ordering tickets early is recommended. Call 231-943-0100 or log-on to www.traversecitybeachbums.com.