Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rooting for 'your country'

Am I supposed to root for the US team in to beat S. Africa just because they wear 'USA' on their uniforms? Truth is, the US team has a lot of players I can't stand. And, S. Africa?
Still, there's not a squad happier to take the field here nor more delighted to be playing at the level they are this week. "It is an awesome experience for each and every one of us," says Sean Campbell, who can't seem to erase the broad smile from his face. The lead South African coach has 30 years of experience playing and coaching on South African teams. "It's the pinnacle of our careers for the coaches and players alike to come here and live life like big leaguers for three weeks."
Watching the Canadian team last night, it was clear how much playing in and winning that game meant to most of the players. I'm not saying that the American team isn't proud to wear the 'USA', but they all know that this is just exhibition stuff. The money games start in April and the real goal is October.

For most of the players on other teams this represents the highlight of their careers. That's especially true for South Africa.