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World Cup 2010

World Cup Allegiance – USA

USA

Won't make me popular on the streets this month, but I'm for the USA!

Hoping to find other USA supporters in Toronto!

There’s no question that a strong showing from the US team would be the best thing for the game in North America. Many of the players on the US roster are currently playing in the MLS or have played previously in the league. It also would be nice to think that last summer’s incredible performance at the Confederations Cup wasn’t a fluke. Many people think there isn’t a chance in hell the US will be able to beat Spain or test the Brazilians at the World Cup this month.

We may never get to see this possibility play out anyway. The US team will first have to out-perform the members of Group C: England, Slovenia and Algeria. I’ll leave predictions up to the better informed or more opinionated. I will say, however, that my aspirations for the US are just to make it out of group play and into the Round of 16. That would be a great performance by this team. Cracking the Quarters or Semis would be huge.

Hell, I’d be happy with just one win – over England! This Saturday’s match-up couldn’t be a better start to the World Cup. Both sides are coming into the game looking to make a statement. England needs to establish itself with a strength of purpose. The US would gain a huge boost from the upset. I can’t wait.

I expect to take a lot of grief for wearing US colours on the streets of Toronto. It won’t matter which community I face, none will be generous toward the Gringos. I’m also expecting it to be fun to cheer for the underdog everyone else loves to hate. It’s sort of like cheering for the Flyers to win Stanley (not that I am). For most fans of this sport, the notion of the US becoming dominant in the game is totally appalling and upsetting. I understand that point, football is the world’s game and it’s been a domain the Yanks couldn’t conquer.

I carry a US passport, though, so I owe some allegiance there. I also think it’s time that real efforts are made to expand the sport and the fan base outside of its traditional power-centres in Europe and South America. It’s fantastic that Africa is hosting the event. It’s high time for the USA to show up and represent.

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