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For Smaller Countries, a Silver Lining in U.S. Loss

So the U.S. were outplayed and outcoached yesterday in the 3-0 drubbing it received at the hands of Tomas Rosicky and the Czech Republic. The headline from Soccernet said it all: "Class Dismissed." Even so, for many in the American press, the progress made by the United States team in the last 16 years has not fallen on deaf ears. At this point, it's highly unlikely this team will repeat its sparkling 2002 performance, but perhaps, says one Baltimore Sun columnist, keeping the spotlight off America might be a good thing, given the uneasy climate of world politics. And Brendan Lowe means no disrespect to American soccer or the World Cup when he says that it might be a good thing that the majority of Americans could care less about what happens in these four weeks if the U.S. isn't in it. The World Cup, many feel, is one of the last great democratic events. The U.S. is a long shot to win (80-1 for most bookmakers), and China, Russia and India aren't even in it. The tournament has one superpower, Brazil, who despite its standing is by no means guaranteed to win. So, for the next month, littler guys like Togo, Trinidad & Tobago and Ivory Coast get to steal a moment of the world's attention. And what a great thing it is indeed if Angolan radio tells its people they can achieve if they work as hard as the national team did against Portugal last week.

Read the whole story at Baltimore Sun »

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