Football fever hits USA ahead of final
In a nation where people know football as a game played with an oval ball, the USA has certainly been bitten by soccer fever following their team's dramatic performance in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
With their historic victory over Spain in the semi-final, the USA have booked their place to play against Brazil for the title of ‘champions of champions', and if the reaction of the American public is anything to go by, the country will be glued to their television screens come kick-off time of the final.
"It's so fantastic, I was speaking to people at JFK airport when the game was on and all the television sets were tuned to the game. When we (USA) scored that second goal against Spain in the semi-final people just went crazy," said the President of the US Soccer Federation, Sunil Gulati.
Having already purchased 93,300 tickets for next years 2010 FIFA World Cup™, which is the highest number of tickets purchased by a single country outside of South Africa, it is obvious that the sport of football - or as they would say, ‘soccer' - is rapidly growing in popularity in the USA.
"This follows the new outlook we have in the USA of ‘yes we can'. Everyone is very proud of the team and I am proud of the country," continued Gulati.
In what many have hailed as a fairytale, the USA were a surprise entry into the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup. But for Gulati it was no surprise at all, as he jokingly spoke of the tactics to reach the final, "We tried to lull the European teams into a false sense of security at the beginning of the tournament," he said in a reference to the 1-3 defeat at the hands of Italy in their opening game.