The World Cup 2014 reminds us that we can be both nationalistic and fellow citizens of the soccer world.
As for the USA team, we played at the confidence level and pace of the best teams in the world. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann deserves credit for this, and so do our players, who left it all the field. Now it's time to score the big goals that will define the breakthrough of the USA in the future. Striker Clint Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard were the leaders we needed, but goals win games.
As to the the one world soccer vibe, the outdoor-watch-the-game-together fellowship is a hopeful sign for humanity. At last, there's something in mainstream world culture that trumps the economy and war. But there's an emerging etiquette, as I learned, don't talk over the action!
The final between Argentina and eventual winner Germany had the feel of a NHL hockey game, a lot of rough stuff and a little too much clogging up the midfield, especially during the waning minutes of regulation time and the two 15 minute overtimes.
My heart goes out to the Netherlands and its team. It trounces the defending champs, Spain, beats Australia, comes from behind in tha last minutes to defeat Mexico, outlasts Costa Rica on penalties, and then "loses" to Argentina on penalities after 120 minutes of regular play.
We get the drama and time efficiency of going to penalties.
But why doesn't FIFA go in the direction of the NHL, at least for the semis and finals, by dropping one man per team for each 15 minutes of overtime period, with the third, and any later overtime, being sudden death gol de oro?
This would be even more dramatic than penalties, and perhaps as efficient too.
Anyway, most of us soccer nationalists and world citizens are now looking back at the World Cup 2014 thinking "more futbol please."
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...