Thursday, June 24, 2010

World Cup Review: Gringo glory

World Cup group matches conclude on Friday and tomorrow we will have a more thorough review of how Latin American teams have excelled during that stage of the world's top soccer tournament. For now, here's a quick review of three World Cup-related stories that have caught my attention.

Lo Bueno (The Good)

I'm an ardent fan of the U.S. men's soccer team and as you might imagine I experienced a roller coaster of emotions imaginable during Wednesday's pivotal game against Algeria. (Including anger at blowhards who bash soccer in order to promote their petty political points). Simply put, the images speak for themselves:

Lo Malo (The Bad)

This World Cup may be continuing yet it isn't too early to start thinking about the next one to be played in four years in Brazil.

According to a study released today the 2014 World Cup will bring in $79 billion into the Brazilian economy with most of that coming from investing in "the production of goods and services." The report from the Getulio Vargas Foundation and Ernst & Young also concluded that the tournament would create 3.6 million new jobs nationwide.

The study comes as FIFA and local officials continue to hammer out critical details on staging the tournament. Despite being one of the world's most famous soccer venues Sao Paulo's Morumbi stadium was dropped from hosting games. The possibility that games may not be staged in such an important metropolis as Sao Paulo is a bad sign and comes weeks after FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said Brazil was "not walking along the right path."

Y Lo Feo (And the Ugly)

Wednesday's U.S. victory over Algeria came sixteen years and one day after another historic triumph, a 2-1 win over Colombia. Sadly, that game has been remembered most for Andres Escobar's unfortunate own goal and his subsequent murder. "The Two Escobars" aired this week as part of ESPN's 30 for 30 series and thoroughly examined the witches' brew in Colombia between soccer, society, and corruption. The below excerpt looks at Escobar's upbringing in the slums of Medellin and his determination on the soccer field:

Online Sources - Pitch Invasion, YouTube, USA TODAY, ESPN, MSNBC

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