The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team makes its 2014 FIFA World Cup debut today at 6 p.m. ET. The Yanks face the Ghana Black Stars, which is sweet of lady luck—or FIFA, if match-fixing allegations are true—giving America the chance to find out if the third time really is the charm and get revenge for our knockout by Ghana in the last two World Cups. “Why can’t we beat them?” the Wall Street Journal asks with a tone of existential ennui.
Two defeats do not preclude eventual triumph, an optimistic principle Governor Romney might be aware of, and Ghana beat the USA because Americans played like Africans, and Ghanaians, being Africans, are better at playing like Africans than we are. We played rough; they played rougher. We played tough; they played tougher. We ran fast; they ran faster. We were physical and athletic and unflashy and had no finesse. They were more so, probably still are more so, and beat us. Not this year. This year we have a German coach who wants Americans to play like Americans and take it to the other team. Being German, I suppose Klinsmann knows what an aggressive American offense looks like. We’re still unflashy, but we might have some finesse now, and if the Swedish referees don’t get in the way the Yanks will have another shot at Ghana.