US media reacts to 2010 World Cup Finals draw

In a change to the traditional World Cup Bafana Bafana look at the media in the UK, this morning I decided to investigate the US reaction to Friday’s World Cup 2010 draw. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before the 1 – 0 victory at the 1950 World Cup was wheeled out for another day in the sun.

ABC News leads with a picture of David Beckham adjusting his boot before regurgitating his spat with Landon Donovan. There’s also a link to “Sam's Army - the unofficial rabid fan club of the U.S. national soccer teams”. And a first mention of that 1950 thing.

“That [the 1 – 0 victory] was more than half a century ago”, says the New York Times, “but the current United States players seemed more excited than unnerved by the chance to play England”. The paper expects the US to make the knock out stages but is fearful of what might happen when the team plays at altitude.

Taking a minimalist line in reporting the draw is the Dubuque Telegraph Herald (from, I think, Iowa). Still at least they didn’t mention you know what.

England are the softest seeds and Algeria and Slovenia might as well not bother turning up next summer. That’s the only way possible interpretation of Jamie Trecker’s Fox Sports article which begins with the words “It's the proverbial tub of butter”. Find the words 1 – 0, 1950 World Cup and Belo Horizonte at your leisure.

Here’s some useful analysis from New Jersey Sports, which helpfully tells its readers what might lie ahead for the US once the group stage is over. Amazingly, there is no mention of 1950. Just kidding.

The sub-heading from this Chicago Tribune report doesn’t beat about the bush: “England will have chance to avenge historic 1950 upset”. I genuinely didn’t know a Haitian immigrant “scored the lone goal in one of international soccer's greatest upsets” (yadda yadda). His name: Joseph Edouard Gaetjens. You learn something new every day.

Here’s the goal (again) as recalled by team mate Walter Bahr. It didn’t end well for Gaetjens, according to the New York Daily News. Instead of being feted and posing for statues etc, the poor man was “murdered in 1964 by Papa Doc Duvalier's secret police in Haiti”.

For some reason the San Diego Union Tribune opts for boxing metaphors to describe the draw. England are heavyweights and Slovenia and Algeria junior flyweights. I don’t know why either. Perhaps this is just how they do things on the West Coast.

Talking of which, here’s another West Coast paper, this time taking issue with a certain UK tabloid’s assessment of the draw. E-A-S-Y it won’t be, says the LA Times before proceeding to quote the thoughts of Alex Lalas, an Algerian forward and an ex-Slovenian “star”. They are all hungry to take England on.

And finally, it’s the Houston Chronicle with a disappointing report which inexplicably fails to include any jokes from a famous son, the late great Bill Hicks. Talk about an opportunity missed.

So you know, the complete match schedule for World Cup 2010 is now available right here at World Cup Bafana Bafana 2010. Just look on the left hand sidebar for more details from the BBC. You can also catch up on the brief observations made after the draw on Friday evening.

Last but by no means least, I’m delighted to tell you about a new book from a World Cup Bafana Bafana subscriber.

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The author, Gerry FitzGerald from Massachusetts, USA, says “I've been told by many readers, who were surprised by the soccer content, that it's the best story they ever read having to do with kids’ soccer”. Find out for yourselves at http://www.booklocker.com/books/4269.html

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