Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup odds and ends, and an odd end

Well, I waited all day for our soccer expert to post something here but, alas, you're stuck with me - someone who watches soccer only in support of the United States.

I even went to XL Soccer World in Raleigh to watch the U.S. match against Slovenia and I enjoyed the atmosphere. I might not know a lot about soccer but as soon as Slovenia scored first, I told the person next to me, "oh well, this is going to be another tie."

I admit that I thought it would be a 1-1 tie but it did end in a 2-2 tie, a scoring bonanza by World Cup soccer terms. And it should have been a 3-2 U.S. victory save for a referee who nullified the goal for no apparent reason. A Sporting News article posted at 11:15 p.m. says, "It's still unclear why (Referee Koman) Coulibaly disallowed Maurice Edu's 86th-minute strike, which could have given the U.S. a remarkable victory."

The official is likely to be barred from the rest of the World Cup, Yahoo Sports is reporting. Within the first 10 minutes of the game, my unknowledgeable self was spouting off about how that referee was terrible. Even I could tell. Unfortunately, it cost the U.S. team a victory. Of course the U.S. has got to stop getting behind early.

As for the events at XL Soccer World, I must say that the Cary-based Railhawks soccer team is really trying hard to promote itself. Dozens of kids in soccer camp and several of us big kids were treated to the Railhawks mascot and giveaways and an appearance by one of the key Railhawks players.

While I'm not really interested in the Railhawks, and I'm not real fond of the club's efforts to attract Spanish-speaking-only illegal aliens, I admire their enthusiasm and hard work. I wish them well in getting American citizens interested in their product. How the U.S. team does in the World Cup will undoubtedly affect the interest in the Railhawks and all soccer-related businesses in the area. And they know it.

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