This Friday marks the beginning of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I am hopeful that the USA can rise above their less than stellar performance in 2006. Their first match is Saturday against England. I’m not sure if a win would be equal to the 1950 Miracle on Grass, but it would be darn close.

I absolutely love watching the World Cup. During the 2006 tournament I was able to see all or part of 58 matches (of 64). At one point I had two televisions setup in my office so that I could see the last games of the group round that ran simultaneously. This time around with three children and a long trip mid-way through the tournament I will be happy to catch the USA games and maybe a few of Italy, Brazil and of course the finals.

Soccer is an amazing sport. I play pickup games on Sundays. We know we are not good, but enjoy the game just the same. It is those moments where you create something, a little space, a beautiful pass, a nice defensive step that make it all feel worthwhile. It magnifies what the best in the world are able to routinely do and makes watching all the more fun, because you know the skill level required to accomplish some of their moves is in the stratosphere. Every World Cup the level of play picks up just a notch during pickup games with whoever I am playing with at the time. Everyone is watching the games and that alone is enough to educate and learn something new that you want to try out on the field. It just fuels the passion unlike any other sport. I can hardly wait for this weekend.