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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Extra Points: FIFA

The draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was completed on Friday. The draw determines which countries are in which groups, and who plays when.

And the draw gods were smiling on the United States on Friday. The other members of Group C (in addition to the United States) are England, Algeria, and Slovenia.

Soccer in America is traditionally dismissed as unimportant. But everyone takes notice when the World Cup comes around. People who haven’t played soccer since their days of minivans and orange slices will pay attention to the games and the results.

Thus, the World Cup has always been seen as an opportunity for soccer in the USA to gain popularity. And this year, the Yanks have got a real chance of making people take notice.

‘ The best-case scenario for the US. Algeria and Slovenia are’hellip;well have you heard of their soccer prowess? Neither has anyone else.

This leaves England, our old colonial rivals. Soccer is as much a part of England as tea, crumpets, and the Queen, if not in fact then certainly in the perception of Americans. Thus an upset victory over the English-and it would be an upset-would be huge in proving the legitimacy of American soccer. And it will be fun to watch a certain guy named David Beckham wear the opposite color from Landon Donovan after their early-summer row.

The best part is that the game with England should be the only time the USA drops points in the group stage, taking the pressure off. The top two teams in each group progress, and if the United States takes care of business with Algeria and Slovenia (and England does as well) the outcome shouldn’t matter.

And to the English that think it will be a walk-over? Remember our 2-nil victory over the World Cup-favorites Spain in the Confederation’s Cup in June. Cheers, mates. See you on the pitch on June 12th.

Closer to home’hellip;

* I know. Students don’t care about sports on campus. But you can’t help but notice our men’s basketball team. At 6-2, this is one of its best starts in many years. The Seawolves only lost to St. John’s by eight points, a slim margin considering St. John’s competes in a Big East that has seven teams in the national top 25. And they are coming off a hard-fought win over Columbia.

Even better, the team is young and has even better years ahead of them. Coach Pikiell has done a fantastic job instilling a work ethic in the team, and it makes men’s basketball a real contender for yet another Stony Brook conference crown this year. So come out to a game, you just might be entertained. I’ll be there.

* Also, to the game operations staff’hellip;Empire State of Mind, while a great song, does not replace the fight song and alma mater after a game. Play it after, but not before.
* With the budget crisis in the SUNY system, there has been discussion as to the value of an athletics program. Hofstra, scared to face an improving Stony Brook athletics program, cut their football program in an effort to save money for academics. But the sports here are invaluable. Our school already ranks among the least happy, and to cut athletics program will only make it so that there is (somehow) less to do here and will discourage students, even those focused on academics, from attending. Sure, people go to Duke because it’s a great school. But somewhere deep down, they just want to be a Cameron Crazy.

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