Here is some local reaction to the US advancing in the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.
Now that the NHL’s Stanley Cup Championship has concluded, and the NBA has a new King of the Hardwood, the attention of the sports world has turned to the rain forest of Brazil for the World Cup international soccer tournament.
The multi-week event has moved to the second round, known as the “knock-out round”, featuring the remaining top sixteen countries on the globe. Defending champion Spain is out of the playoffs, and a strong Great Britain is also gone. But, to the surprise of many, the United States has advanced to the round of sixteen, after going 1-1-1 in the preliminary round, and the home team, Brazil, remains one of the favorites to win the Cup.
The U.S. will play Belgium Tuesday in a win or go-home scenario.
Here is some reaction to the U.S. success in the World Cup:
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Ira W. from the Smyrna area. “I’m not a huge soccer fan, but I am rooting for the USA to do well this week.
Tom D. from Odessa said he played soccer in high school and has followed the US for about two decades. “I’m happy we got out of the first round. We need to step up the offense, but I think we can advance if we can score more goals.”
Finally, Mary B., from the Smyrna-Clayton area, said her young children play soccer, and she has become a huge fan of the sport. “I really love watching my kids play soccer, and now my whole family gathers around the TV to watch the World Cup, and I like the time we have together,” she said.
William Schultz, Athletic Director at Smyrna High School, and former soccer player and coach, said he’s very happy with the US team’s success so far and the media coverage, “I’ve watched as many games as possible so far, and the television coverage has been great. Whether you are at home with your family, or at a bar or restaurant, it’s a great atmosphere to watch the games.”
Schultz said he’s optimistic about the US team’s chances against Belgium on Tuesday, “If the US gets their top player back and healthy, I think they have a chance to be successful. They can’t turn the ball over like they did in previous matches, and they need to apply more offensive pressure throughout the game,” he said. The US has played so far without their top scorer Jozy Altidore.
The US national team is coached by Jurgen Klinsmann from Germany. Formerly, he was the assistant coach of the German national team. The U.S. squad plays Belgium Tuesday at 4 p.m.
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP – U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler,
Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Brad Davis, Mix Diskerud,
Julian Green, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Aron Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski