Among the disappointed fans at Saturday's USA-Ghana match was Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who flew in the day of the game and was helicoptered to match in Rustenburg.
Against Ghana, the USA could have used an NBA athlete like Bryant, who spent seven years as a child in Italy. “All it takes is one player, someone 6-foot-5, 6-6, who can move and do some other things,” Bryant told the Times' William Rhoden. “Someone who can come into the community, come into the league, really take it over and really capture the imagination of people.”
Bryant, who is in South Africa to celebrate the completion of a Nike community training center to develop soccer talent and promote HIV/AIDS education, says many young Americans don't understand soccer.
“I don’t think kids really understand the creativity that you can have playing soccer,” he said. “I think they think you just kick a ball around, but if you watch clips of Ronaldinho and see some of the things he can do with that ball if you have imagination. ...”