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Eye On Gambling (EOG.com): USA Embraces The Other Football

(PRWEB) May 24, 2006 -- It was only a matter of time before the United States became a world soccer
Distinguish yourself as a soccer player! EduKick Soccer Schools Schools & Camps...call us toll-free today to discuss at 1-866-338-5425!
 power. Between the millions of immigrants from traditional soccer
Distinguish yourself as a soccer player! EduKick Soccer Schools Schools & Camps...call us toll-free today to discuss at 1-866-338-5425!
-playing countries and the millions of soccer
Distinguish yourself as a soccer player! EduKick Soccer Schools Schools & Camps...call us toll-free today to discuss at 1-866-338-5425!
 moms populating America’s roadways, the Beautiful Game has spread like a nasty virus in the very country that prides itself in ridiculing the sport.

The boot is on the other foot now. The U.S. is ranked No. 4 in the world by FIFA, soccer’s governing body. Only Brazil, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands are considered stronger. Yes, that’s right, America’s national team is ranked higher than famous superpowers Italy, Germany, Spain, France and even Argentina. So why is Team USA getting +6600 odds on the futures market to win the World Cup – especially when a German team widely considered second-tier at best is pegged at +700?

It’s certainly going to take a while for people to adjust to the idea of the United States as a soccer country. Aside from a third-place finish in 1930’s inaugural event and a brief cup of coffee in 1934 and 1950, the U.S. was an international joke on the soccer pitch – no surprise, considering the rise of the American brand of football during the 20th Century. When the U.S. was named host of the 1994 World Cup, it caused outrage within the global soccer community. However, the States has qualified for every single World Cup since 1990 inclusive, improving enough to reach the quarterfinals in 2002.

Everywhere you look, there’s an American playing soccer for the top teams in the world. The national team assembled by coach Bruce Arena includes seven players from English teams, two from Germany’s Bundesliga, two from Holland and one (defender Oguchi Onyewu) plying his trade in Belgium. The remaining 11 play professionally in the United States, where Major League Soccer has survived its growing pains and expects to be profitable by 2010. But soccer remains a niche sport in American culture, and with the best players making their money overseas, Team USA’s anonymity goes a long way toward explaining these ridiculously long World Cup odds.

There’s also the matter of the U.S. having to advance out of Group E, which includes the very strong Czech side along with Italy and Ghana. On paper, both the Czechs and Americans should advance to the Round of 16. That would leave the Italians on the outside looking in, which is a very difficult concept to grasp for most soccer fans. Italy has won three World Cups and came within a penalty shootout of beating Brazil in 1994 for a fourth title. This year’s version of the Azzurri (ranked 14th in the world) simply doesn’t measure up, especially at +900 on the Cup odds list. Ghana (ranked 50th) is a token outsider at +20000.

Adding to the team’s low profile, the U.S. loses points in the unforgiving international eye for playing its qualifying games in the CONCACAF region, which covers most of the Western hemisphere except for the strong South American teams. Mexico and Costa Rica are the only teams of note from this region; they’re joined in 2006 by a Trinidad and Tobago side that is ranked 47th in the world. The concern is that Team USA simply hasn’t played against top competition enough to be considered a real threat at the World Cup.

The threat is very real. The 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners are loaded with talent and experience, especially between the pipes. You may recall Tim Howard from his meteoric rise through the ranks all the way up to Manchester United, where he replaced 1998 World Cup hero Fabien Barthez in goal. Howard was the first American to ever play for the historic club, and the first American to play on an FA Cup winner when he led Man Utd to the venerated title in 2004. But he’s not even the best goalkeeper on his own national team – that honor goes to Kasey Keller of Gladbach in the Bundesliga. Keller and midfielder Claudio Reyna will be appearing in their fourth World Cups.

It’s a bit of a surprise that MLS sensation Taylor Twellman wasn’t named to the Cup squad (he’ll be an alternate), but that just illustrates the quality of talent Arena had to choose from. Familiar names such as Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Brian McBride will lead the States directly into the fire against the Czech side on June 12 in their opening match. The world is due for a wake-up call.

For further information on this wagering option or any other sports betting or casino opportunities, please visit Eye On Gambling (http://www.eog.com) and the EOG Forums (http://www.eog.com/forums/).

Eye of Gambling (www.eog.com)

About Eye On Gambling:
EOG is a gambling information portal providing current news and editorial on a wide range of sports betting and poker topics. Segments include Industry News, Sports News, Poker Insights, quantitative and qualitative sports data, Live Odds, Live Scoring, Free and Paid Picks, online Poker, and a Posting Forum community. EOG.com features distinguished sports gambling writers such as Doyle Brunson, Russ Culver, Dave Cokin, Stephen Nover, Reed Holmes, Buzz Daly, Ken Weitzner, Mike Murray, Glaken Centaine and many more.


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