USA Soccer Victory Doesn't Compare To What USA Hockey Did In The Olympics
I have started to appreciate the sport at the World Cup level. This is the second World Cup I have watched extensively. And it is interesting, although sometimes a tad bit overdramatic.
But I must admit, I didn't find the United States victory over Algeria Wednesday to be in anywhere near the same class as, say, the USA's hockey victory over Canada in the recent Olympic games.
And I wonder why.
On the world stage, it was probably bigger, right? I guess the reason is I don't identify the USA soccer players. Obviously, many of them are world-class players, but none are the class of the world.
The USA hockey team had Ryan Miller. He is the best goalie in the world. It was known before the tournament began. The USA has had many truly great hockey players in the past. Chris Chelios. Mike Modano. Waterford's Pat LaFrontaine. The list is long. How many true great soccer players has this country produced? Who is the greatest soccer player in the history of this nation? Is it Alexi Lalas?
With all due respect to Oakland County's very own, but that's like saying the best hockey player your country has ever produced is Mike Komisarek.
Maybe it's Landon Donovan, who scored the game-winner vs. Algeria, but it doesn't seem like he'd rank very high among the world's best players.
- Normally, I'm all for pushing top pitching prospects to the major leagues, but I'm not sure if the Tigers aren't rushing Andrew Oliver, their second-round pick in the 2009 draft. He will start Friday at Atlanta. By all accounts, Oliver has a great fastball, with good velocity and movement. But his breaking ball is suspect, and he hasn't dominated at Double-A Erie. The one good thing is that he has pitched better on the road than at home. Erie has a small ballpark. It could be a pressure-packed game for the Tigers - if they don't turn it around against the Mets. It could be putting a lot on a kid in a road game like that against a quality opponent.
- Good for Dino Ciccarelli. His selection the Hockey Hall of Fame was long overdue. Ditto for Jimmy Devellano.
My column in Wednesday's Oakland Press. Joe Dumars' legacy is at a crossroad entering Thursday's NBA Draft. http://tinyurl.com/2ca2phg