'You can't stop a train'
Drew Carey, comedian, actor, photographer
A household name in the USA thanks to his roles in Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show, 48-year-old comedian and actor Drew Carey also has a lesser-known job, one that truly is a labour of love.
It might be news to many, but Carey - a season ticket-holder at US Major League Soccer (MLS) club side Los Angeles Galaxy follows Bruce Arena's American national team as a press photographer, and sells his images via wire services under a pseudonym.
Indeed, it is in that role and to provide content for his new TV travel show Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures - that the veteran stand-up is currently in Germany for the FIFA World Cup, and the reason why he was to be seen snapping away at the recent Portugal-Mexico match.
Carey also found time to speak to FIFAworldcup.com, not only about the Mexicans' 2-1 defeat, but on what he considers to be the inexorable and inevitable rise of the US national team.
What did you think about the Mexico-Portugal game?
It was great. Mexico played well and they had chances, but they just didn't get the job done. The Portuguese played very well and their fans were very excited. It didn't matter too much anyway because Angola drew their match, so Mexico would have gone through whatever happened. I wish the games were on at different times so we could keep track and know what the situation is. But it was still a really entertaining game with a lot of action. Portugal certainly wanted to win and the game was a bit aggressive. Lots of the North American teams play aggressively anyway, especially Mexico. Mexico are known as a very physically aggressive team and I think the United States pick up a little bit of that because so many Mexican and Latin American players play in the MLS. Plus, we play those countries all the time in friendlies.
Was there a player who stood out for you today?
A lot of them. I actually just sent my pictures in. Portugal's number five, (Fernando) Meira was very good. So was Maniche. At least I got some good pictures of him. Figo was also OK. I thought Mexico's Ricardo Osorio played a good game, and Omar Bravo always plays well.
So what has been your favourite game so far?
The United States-Italy. That was the best game of the tournament that I have seen, either live or on TV. I thought the Americans, actually both teams, played their hearts out. I love seeing teams just give it their all and these guys really just went at each other.
Germany-Poland was also fantastic. I was there watching the game and, you know, the Germans are going crazy, the Poles are going crazy and the play is excellent; really great, smart play. And I thought to myself: this is what soccer is supposed to be like, all the time. The Germany-Poland match, the US-Italy game, if soccer was like that all the time - that hard-fought - there would be no stopping it in the US. I thought those two games were just the greatest.
Who do you think are the favourites for the tournament?
Right now, Germany are looking very good and Argentina look great. I know Mexico went through but I don't think they have much of a chance. I don't think Brazil are going to make it to the final either because I don't see them putting in a lot of effort.
England haven't impressed me too much, either. I thought they were OK, but now that Owen is out I think England should have beaten Sweden, but because they didn't I thought, well, maybe they are not that good as I first thought they were. But Germany and Argentina for sure.
I think England are underperforming and so are Brazil. But I'm just an American and I have only been a fan for a few years - what do I know? We are the last people you should ask about who is going to win the World Cup!
We will see how it goes. I think the Round of 16 is like a start-over for all the teams. It's like a whole separate tournament. Everybody turns a new page, they take a breathe, they are ready for a new start and teams that maybe weren't playing so great like England, they step it up and really bring it on.
Maybe Brazil and England are waiting for the Round of 16 and then they are going to pour it on. Hopefully Germany and Argentina especially Germany - haven't peaked too soon. I think the German players felt as though they had a lot to prove because so many people doubted them, so they wanted to come out strong. But can they keep it going the whole tournament? Well, we'll have to find out. My heart says its going to be Germany or Argentina (who win the Trophy).
I don't think it will be Brazil - I mean repeating a World Cup victory is so hard to do. Odds are, no matter how good the team is, they are not going to repeat a success like that. So I discount Brazil automatically.
If Germany gets into the final, I think that would be a surprise. I think it would surprise Germany. People were down on the coach, they were worried about whether the team was going to be good enough to make it all the way to Final. They thought they would do okay and get out of the group, but not win the final. I think Germany can go all the way and I think honestly that it would be great for the tournament if they did because this country would go bonkers, I'm telling you. I can't wait to be in the streets if Germany are in the final because there is going to be some amount of excitement, let me tell you.
Any final thoughts?
I'm happy the US played well against Italy so nobody thinks we are a totally terrible team. I knew they were going to come back. I think they are going to do well against Ghana and I hope that it gets better for us every World Cup. Professional soccer in the US is getting better every year and one of these days it's going to be the USA (winning the World Cup), I hate to tell you.
It might be eight years from now, it might be twelve years from now, but you can't stop a train, man. We are getting stronger all the time and I don't see it stopping. It's going to be pretty soon and think it will be really good for the sport all over the world.