Friday, August 04, 2006

The USA Wins the Mini World Cup!!! (7.30.06)


Team USA - 2006 Seoul Mini World Cup Champions! Posted by Picasa

With an election stealing, military service dodging, warmongering president who is responsible for turning our country’s largest surplus into its biggest deficit, while eliminating health care for the poor and causing unemployment rates to skyrocket to the highest rates ever, AND causing the unnecessary deaths of 100’s of thousands of US Americans, Iraqis and Afghanis through unjust wars, I am not your typical flag-waving US American.

Yes, it seems that the US government values profit and money more than human life. Nonetheless, I love my country for the lofty ideals on which it was founded and the potential it has to become a true democracy. The fact that the founding fathers wrote “All men are created equal,” while owning slaves illustrates that they were hypocrites. Still, the possibility exists for US citizens to make US government more responsible. I have chosen to live outside of the country while it is being run by a fraudulent president whose corporate-run militaristic government is bent on empire expansion. I don’t want to contribute to an economy which values war profiteering more than global human welfare. I’ll go back when I no longer have to shake my head in disapproval at the mention of the US president… Nope, I’m not usually the proud US American.

But I was a proud US American Sunday night! Team USA emerged as the champions of the Mini World Cup held here in Korea!

There are tons of soccer playing expats from all over the world who play soccer in the Super Sunday Football League here in Seoul. Most of the 15 teams in the league are made up of players from various countries. Last Sunday we left our league teams to play for national pride. There were 10 teams vying for the trophy: 2 teams from Korea, 1 from Malaysia, 1 representing Mongolia, 1 from the Ivory Coast, a Latino team (mostly Central and South Americans), a Common Wealth team (mostly Canadians and Brits), a French team, a USA team, and a “The Rest of the World” team. In the end, it was the rag-tag team of scrappy US players who outplayed teams who had uniforms made for the occasion.

My Korean expat team, Lokomotiv Goyang Football Club was well represented on the US side, which was the only team to finish the tournament undefeated! Sean Nix, of Loko, scored 2 goals in the USA's drive toward the final. And the defense, anchored by Loko's MVP defender, yours truly playing sweeper, held opposing teams to 2 goals in 6 games.

The Mini World Cup was a 1-day tournament which took place from 9:30am to 9:30pm on the training pitches near Suwon World Cup Stadium on a very hot and humid day (90 degrees, 80% humidity?). We won hard fought games over Malaysia, France and the Latin Lovers, and tied one of the Korea teams in the first round. But I was truly most proud of the squad as we overcame dehydration and cramps to defeat the Common Wealth and France in the semi-final and final, respectively.

In a time during which it is easy to “hate” the US it was cool to hear spectators chanting “U-S-A!” during the championship game. They weren’t US citizens cheering for us. They were players who had participated in the tournament, and were applauding our grit and determination.

People can talk all the smack they want about the US not being a soccer power, but the international soccer heads in South Korea have to give props to the US expats who are the undisputed champions of the July 30, 2006 Mini World Cup in Seoul!

Other highlights of the tournament included 1.) a spectacular play which ended with Aisha, 1 of 2 women in the tournament, scoring a header for the Common Wealth from a chipped heel pass inside the box, and 2.) hearing the crowd boo and jeer a player for diving inside the box.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Stephen Bess said...

Congrats on that win! Btw, I really like your spirit about education and learning. Keep up the excellent work.

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zik,

Hey man, this is Shannon. I just googled your name for some reason and found a plethora of information...even a video of you from the peace corps back in the day!! (looks like somewhere in Africa, but not sure) Damn you were a young buck in the vid!! Here's the link below, I was trying to find a way to embed and post it, but not technically skilled enough.

http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whatlike.videofaqs.workandcareer.video&vd=chandler&bw=whb

One last thing, do you still have those Hanguel characters hanging around, and if so, do you still need them? It's time I made a little effort to learn the language. Let me know

Shannon

p.s. don't be too hard on me on the soccer thing, don't want to get overly committed to a sport that I marginally like, but definitely loving the Thursday thing.

12:07 AM  

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