The USA soccer team finds themselves in a corner after Portugal gained a last-minute tie in the two countries’ World Cup match Sunday.
A win would have put the Americans in the Cup’s knockout round for the second straight World Cup, which is something the USA has never accomplished before.
Now they have to beat or tie Germany Thursday and play with an eye on the Portugal-Ghana match, which will be going on at the same time the Americans are playing.
The outcome will also be important to ESPN which is responsible for televising the matches because the longer an American public is interested the better ratings ESPN will receive.
And there is a growing American interest in the sport mostly due to the rising growth in youth recreational activities the sport attracts.
Some used to say watching soccer was akin to watching paint dry. The game has stabilized into the American culture and continues to grow in that culture.
It was an interesting week for the Big Bend Bears’ summer baseball team highlighted by Nolan Haire's perfect game pitched Saturday in the Wiregrass Cardinals’ Tournament.
Nolan got the start against Leesburg Post 182 because scheduled starter JoJo Durden got to the park late due to a traffic snarl on Highway 231.
That was hardly the only strange happenings of the week.
On Wednesday, the Bears trailed the Tallahassee Baseball Club 10-1 in the fourth inning of a game before scoring 10 runs in the inning. They went on to get a 15-11 extra-inning lead before TBC came back to win 16-15.
In the Wiregrass tournament on Friday the Bears trailed Ozark 9-1 in the fourth and the Eagles had the bases loaded with two outs. Bears’ center fielder Josh Taylor ran down a long fly ball for the third out to keep the score at 9-1. Stephen Miller then led off the Bears’ fourth. After fouling off eight pitches and working the count to 3-2, Miller singled. Before the inning was over he and Brad Middleton both had two hits in the frame and the Bears had a 10-9 lead, which they held on to.
In Friday's second game, Walker Roberts pitched good enough to win, giving up only one unearned run. The Bears left the bases loaded twice in the game and were just one hit away from a Dothan sweep.