Out Of Bounds
By Erik Lyslo
Lots of topics to touch on in this edition of Goal Lines, so let's get started:
U.S. National Team
Whoa! Was that a blip on the radar I detected or was the U.S. National soccer team the talk of the sporting world for a couple days earlier this month? That's what happens when you beat Egypt to advance to the second round, beat Spain and then take Brazil's best shot in the finals before falling, 3-2. When Jim Rome, ESPN and others lead their broadcasts with soccer talk, you know you've done something.
What was even more shocking was the fact the U.S. gave up six goals in the first three games and still advanced to the next round. Either way, something woke this group up and they began to play like a team this country could get behind.
We live in a country where soccer, at best, is the fifth or sixth sport people talk about. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf — these sports will always take precedence in our country. That doesn't even include college football or college basketball. But, as soon as you start beating the world powers, look out. It's like the old saying goes, "If you build it, they will come." Let's hope U.S. soccer has built something exciting here as the World Cup approaches next year. If they have, people will come and watch.
MLS in Portland
I think the Sounders/Timbers game earlier this month proved to everybody what a success MLS soccer will be here in Portland. The problem is, as always, will the city screw this deal up and embarrass us all yet again when it comes to obtaining a sports team? It's like offering Brandon Roy a four-year deal when he wants five. What are you thinking? Merritt Paulson and the city need to get this deal done as soon as possible before MLS pulls out and says, "Thanks, but no thanks," to Portland.
I don't think anybody is clear on what will happen with the Portland Beavers in the proposed deal. However, it looks as if nobody really cares right now. By the way, how many of you knew the Triple-A all-star game was played in Portland this year? That's what I thought. I'm a big baseball fan and have supported MLB to Portland for years. But the minor-league tag Portland has been given has really gotten old, especially when you are the only top-25 market in the nation with just one major-league sports franchise. You can thank the city of Portland for this. But hey, keep Portland weird.
What a great story here for the state of Oregon. If you don't know, the WSM International U18 Boys team won their bracket at Far West Regionals and advanced to Nationals, with their first game having been played yesterday (see usyouthsoccer.org for full schedules and results! This is a great step for the state of Oregon. Not since Ronald Reagan was in office has a team from Oregon won a Regional Championship. Hopefully, this gives other teams the confidence that it can be done. Let's hope it doesn't take a few more Presidents in office to accomplish this feat again for the state of Oregon. Congratulations to the Internationals!
Until next time, stay healthy.
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