Another 'Miracle' for U.S. sports?
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
Members of the United States squad celebrate after defeating Algeria 1-0 . (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
PRETORIA - Back in 1980, broadcaster Al Michaels called out the now immortal phrase "Do you believe in Miracles? ... Yes!" as the Cinderella U.S. hockey team became Olympic champions.
Thirty years later, will there be a similar call for the boys representing the good old red, white and blue with the U.S. World Cup soccer team?
Let's not get too carried away.
But the path to soccer glory is indeed an easier one on the American side of the bracket as the U.S. kicks off the Round of 16 Saturday against Ghana.
On the U.S. side, there are only two teams found in FIFA's top-10 world rankings - The Netherlands and Brazil. And the Americans, should they keep on rolling, would not face either of those teams until the semifinals.
On the other side of the bracket, England, Argentina, Portugal, Spain and Germany will be beating each other up. In fact, only three of those five teams are going to survive the Group of 16.
Of course, the Americans can't look too far ahead. Even without star Michael Essien, this is a Ghana side that can cause problems, especially with its speed.
"We've always said, 'Get out of our group and then go from there,'" said Landon Donovan, who has become the face of the American team. "Now we feel, like I've always said, that we can compete with and beat every team in the world.
"Saturday happens to be Ghana, and we're going to throw everything we can at them."
If they succeed, they get the winner of Uruguay-South Korea. Good teams, perhaps, but certainly not Germany or England.
Do you believe in miracles?