Anyway, been following the mls and world soccer ever since it started being televised more in the US in the late 90s (Prem on Sat/Sun). And then in 2002 the US almost made it past Germany which would have put them into the semis against South Korea who we beat in the group stage, but a hand ball on the line from defender Torsten Frings spoiled the party....terrible way to go out. That world cup was eye opening and gave a lot of US soccer fans hope and faith that the MLS could be a vehicle to produce some of the best soccer players in the world (McBride, Howard, Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Beasley etc.). Fast forward 10 years later and the league is almost a legit 20 team league that produces sell out crowds and is backed by an increasingly more stable "minor league" system.
This years world cup is incredibly challenging, almost impossible. We drew the "Group of Death" as they say. Germany, easily a favorite to win. Portugal, a highly skilled & pacey team with arguably the best goal scorer in the world, Ronaldo. And Ghana, the team that has knocked us out in the past two tourneys. Add to that a shakey-at-best back line, US coach Jurgen's antics about the US not winning and leaving Donovan off the roster; and well, it really does not look good for us.
Always fun to watch though!