In comparison to a lot of the nations in this year's tournament (and a lot more nations NOT in the tournament, and yes, France, I'm talking about Ireland (and maybe there is a God since your ticket was punched and your luggage was packed as quickly as all the other luckless, lunchless, first-round losers)) Team USA may have been more lucky than good but no one gets style points for how they get to the round of sixteen, just for winning once you get there.
Team USA played another first half as if they were still on the bus (but hoping to get to the match site soon) and this time the opponent scored in the first five minutes. I had barely settled my haunches down on the living room couch with my sparkling beverage and it was Ghana, one and USA, none. A lot of controversy in this tournament has been about the ball being used, the Jabulani world ball, but for TEAM USA, the major difficulty with it has been how often Tim Howard, the US keeper, was fishing it out of the back of his own net. Turned out, it was once too often.
But if experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted, my experience might include that Team USA has more talented players than just Jozy Altidore, Maurice Edu, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan-the players the media talked about almost non-stop for the last year. I might wonder why Feilhaber, in light of the liestung he showed in the Algeria match, didn't start against Ghana-especially as he sparked the surge that led to the equalizer yesterday, but in the end, my applause and congratulations are for Ghana for a great tournament, so far, and with disclaimers that I will develop AFTER the conclusion of the Germany-England match this morning, I wish you all the best for the rest of The Greatest Sports Event Americans Have Hardly Ever Heard Of. Wave Your Flag!!!