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Expectations Have Changed, but the American Are Still Strangers at the World Cup

The Americans have been well-received in Germany, a nation that remembers all too well how lucky it was to get passed the United States in the quarterfinals in 2002. Four years and a No. 5 FIFA world ranking later, the foreign press and the other nations competing in the tournament are curious to see the U.S. play but wouldn't be surprised if they were going home after the first two weeks. Yep, the Washington Post points out that the Americans are still strangers in the strange land of soccer. Today's crucial opener against the Czech Republic is likely to be over by the time you get a chance to read this, and the Americans are nervous but hopeful they can produce the kind of performance that will take them one step closer to the next round. Expectations have changed dramatically for the U.S. men's national team, along with the world's awareness, in the last decade or so, but one thing remains constant: no one save soccer fans will remember this tournament if the U.S. fails to do the unexpected, and get past the Czechs and then the Italians.

Read the whole story at Washington Post »

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