Consider for a moment, if you will, the cumbersome plight of being the world’s best goalkeeper.
And just like that, another American dream ends painfully at the feet of Belgium. Years of preparation and tough decisions, not without controversy, went into the U.S. Men’s National Team’s run into the knockout stages, an arduous and heart-pounding journey from the depths of the Group of Death and through the Amazonian rain forest. Landon Donovan was nowhere to be found. Jozy Altidore became an ineffectual cheerleader, for all intents and purposes. Michael Bradley commanded the midfield with the force of a dead battery and held possession in a way which undoubtedly made several Spaniards blush, but who were they to judge?
Tim Howard was brilliant. Clint Dempsey embodied the American ethos, playing through a broken nose and exhaustion. Jermaine Jones struck every ball with passion and unparalleled intensity. Matt Besler fearlessly stood tall against some of the world’s best strikers. This team, for all its follies and missed opportunities, represented its country perhaps more closely than any other at this World Cup. This was truly an American team, despite (or because of, depending on your disposition) all the talk of German-Americans and under-the-table deals preceding Jurgen Klinsmann’s first major tournament on a world stage. Victory again eluded the U.S., but that wasn’t really the goal anyway.
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Songs crafted solely for the World Cup are nothing new. This has been happening since 1962 when Chile hosted the tournament. Official songs gave way to unofficial songs and then to a whole anthemic soundtrack that serves as half souvenir and half advertising campaign. This year is no different with FIFA officially sponsoring another soundtrack entitled The 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Album: One Love, One Rhythm. The cover art alone is a vibrant collage of people dancing, a soccer ball, and a toucan that converge to illustrate someone’s face. The album includes “banging pop tracks by artists from around the globe”, according to iTunes. That is why Pitbull is the first artist featured on this album.