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World Cup begins with U.S. versus England

June 11, 2010
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The World Cup begins today in South Africa, and of course, Europe is heavily represented, as 11 teams are from EU member states and 10 from countries in WEST’s area of study.  The World Cup is probably the greatest sporting event for Europeans, as the bars fill with enthusiastic fans to watch the matches and big screen TVs showing the games appear even in countries whose teams failed to qualify for the tournament.

For the U.S., the most important European team will be England, as the two teams will meet on Saturday during the group round robin.  A victory for either team will be an important first step in advancing to the “knock out stage” (single elimination tournament in American parlance).   These teams are the only two in the group ranked in the top 25 teams in the world with England ranked 8th and the U.S. currently 14th.

Recently, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis Susman, and the UK’s Ambassador to the U.S., Sir Nigel Sheinwald (who recently visited Indiana University), made a bet of dinner on the match.  While soccer (or football as the English call it) has been gaining popularity in the U.S. recently, perhaps the greatest American world cup game ever was against a very strong English squad in 1950, when the U.S. upset them 1-0.  English fans were so sure that the U.S. would lose that the bookies had placed the odds at 500 to 1 for an American victory and when the news of the English defeat reached the UK, fans thought that it was a typo and the score was actually England 10-U.S. 1!

For American soccer fans, the game will be broadcast on ABC tomorrow, starting at 1:30PM Eastern Time!  WEST will definitely be watching.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. eubeyer permalink
    June 14, 2010 8:04 am

    Due to a 1-1 tie between the U.S. and England, the two ambassadors have agreed to “go Dutch” when they dine to settle their bet on the game: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8737477.stm

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