America shocks the world Wednesday. But it's got nothing to do with Mark Sanford

By James Warren

The United States national soccer team stunned the soccer-loving planet by upsetting the best team in the World, Spain, and ending Spain's amazing streak of 35 consecutive games without a loss, including 15 straight wins.

No matter how convulsed some here may be by Mark Sanford's tale of his distinctly foreign adventure, nothing will match the horror in Madrid, Barcelona and other capitals around the world. The U.S. beat Spain?! For sure, it was in a tournament in South Africa without any real consequences. It wasn't like we won at the World Cup, the once-every-four years of soccer.

But it was a big stage, nevertheless, and came after we were abysmal in defeats to Italy and Brazil, only luckily qualifying for this game by defeating Egypt as Italy was demolished by Brazil.

I wrote here that we were boys among men after those first two games. I now happily eat red, white and blue crow. We may not have a single player good enough to start for Spain's team but we actually performed as a team and, on this South African night, were better. I'm sorry Mark Sanford didn't have nearly as good a day.

 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2009/06/america-shocks-the-world-wednesday-but-its-got-nothing-to-do-with-mark-sanford/20072/