Friday, February 11, 2005


Greece turned its World Cup qualifying dreams around 180 degrees on Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over fellow one-time European champions Denmark, giving the team its second victory and a row and catapulting the Greeks to second place in their group. The Greek national team, which since its miraculous outing in Portugal last summer has turned in an absolutely uninspired season and a half of football, with not a win to their name in the qualifiers for Germany 2006 until their victory over Kazakhstan late last year. Now, with an important second win under their belt - and against the Danes, no slackers when it comes to soccer - King Otto and his indefatigable Greeks have got Hellas believing in the impossible again.

Meanwhile over on this side of the Atlantic, the U.S. Men's National Team is on a four-year undefeated streak in its division, making it a bonafide international soccer powerhouse after years of being the laughingstock of the Americas. It'll be interesting to see how far us Yanks will get in the World Cup next year, as American progress up through the ranks always seems to be accompanied with a certain amount of horror from both traditionalists overseas (who can't bear the thought of their "Beautiful Game" spoiled by the red, white, and blue) and nativists here in the United States, who must invariably rail against the sport of soccer and all it stands for lest it somehow turn them gay - or worse, European.

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