WATERCOOLER CHAT: US SOCCER CAPTURING WORLD’S ATTENTION

SOCCER

The greatest underdog story on the world stage came to an end Sunday.  The United States completely shocked the soccer community over the past few weeks in the Confederations Cup.  They not only advanced to the semi-finals (a shocker), but also upset #1 ranked Spain 2-0.  They successfully captured the world’s attention as they took on Brazil in the Championship game Sunday.

Landon DonovanWell, it seemed the underdog chain would just keep rolling, as the U.S. jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal from Clint Dempsey at the 9-minute mark.  Then, in an unbelievable display, the U.S. scored another goal on mighty Brazil in the first half (Landon Donovan) putting them up 2-nil.  This was absolutely amazing.  But… Brazil would not go away, and came surging back in the second half.  They got a goal from Luis Fabiano at the 46-minute mark, and then Luis Fabiano scored again 30 minutes later to tie the game.  A crushing blow to a U.S. team that thought they had it in the bag.  Then, with just 7 minutes to play in regulation, Brazil’s Lucio kicked the game winner, as Brazil rallied from 2 down to top the United States.

Brazil had a (seen-it-before) celebration ceremony, as the U.S. simply looked on disappointed.  But, the major news here, is that the U.S. gained a tremendous amount of respect from the international soccer society.  They are currently afterthoughts in the soccer world, but beating Spain and holding their own with Brazil certainly depicts that they are ready to compete.  Come the World Cup, every single country will be taking them seriously.

BASEBALL

Alexei Ramirez.JPGFinally, it was a rivalry weekend in baseball as interleague play (American League v. National League) has been on display the past few weeks.  One of the most exciting rivalries is from Chi-Town — the Chicago Cubs v. Chicago WhiteSox.  The teams have similar records, but this series is famous because these two teams have been around forever, and have only played 70 times.  Each team has exactly 35 wins.  And both games this weekend were nail-biters, determined by just a single run.  Well, Sunday was the tie-breaker.  And the hero for the WhiteSox was Alexei Ramirez.  He hit a 2-run blast homerun in the 3rd inning to set the tone for the game.  From then on, it was all WhiteSox, and they cruised to a shutout victory, giving them a 1-game lead in this historic rivalry.   Chicago White Sox 6, Chicago Cubs 0.

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