Tuesday, June 21, 2016

United By Team! Driven By Passion!

Fans raising "Perilous Fight" scarves in support at the Men's FIFA World Cup
Soccer (English). Fútbol (Spanish). Fußball (German). Футбольный (Russian). 축구 (Korean). Each of these words, in each different language, all share one thing in common. They all describe a game that anyone in the world can play together, regardless of the language barrier. Regardless of familiarity with one another. Soccer, though different in pronunciation and spelling depending on the person, is constant. It is THE world sport. Every country has multiple soccer teams, and one international team. In North America, we are proudly represented by our United States Men's and Women's National Teams. Today in soccer news the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) will be competing in the semi-finals for the Copa America Centenario (Centennial American Cup). This is an international tournament hosted on American soil where 16 international teams come to compete against one another for the beautiful Tournament Cup.
U.S Women's National Team: FIFA World Cup Champions 2015
     The pride each country has in their team is immeasurable. The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup was the most watched sporting event in American history, doubling the amount of viewers who watched the NBA Finals which is the second most viewed in American history. In that particular World Cup performance they added the third star to their team crest signifying the three FIFA World Cup Championship titles they have won (champions in 1991, 1999, and 2015). In essence, the American international soccer teams are so popular because they have the unique ability to represent "the American Way" and the "American Dream" on the international stage. Tonight, the USMNT will take the field and compete against Argentina in the semi-finals of the Copa America Centenario. America has not been to this stage of the tournament since 1995. Tonight, Americans everywhere will raise their flags, wear their jerseys, and scream our team's chant, "I Believe That We Will Win!"
U.S Men's Team Celebrate 2-1 World Cup Victory over Ghana
U.S. Women's Team respecting the National Anthem before the game
      As America continues to fight through adversity on the field, and off, it is important to remember how things came to be this way. As the Fourth of July approaches, I challenge you to reflect on your service to America. Many serve in a United States Military uniform. Some serve in the classroom as an educator, and many of you reading this serve as students committed to advancing this great nation of ours through scholastic achievement. Some Americans serve as mothers, and fathers. No matter how you serve, it's important that you serve. As America cheers on its USMNT for its first semi-finals in decades, I hope you will remember every challenge you've ever overcome that has kept you fighting for the goal. Every missed opportunity, every unfair call, and every triumphant victory despite the odds that has brought you to where you are today. You ARE America. Cheers to you for never giving up just like our National teams who both have continued to model this statute for years. Cheers to the strong willed American citizens who have continued to keep this nation alive and strong despite all the challenges we have faced, together.

Fans take over miles and miles of their town to watch the FIFA World Cup on screen together!
     Show your patriotism and pride in your country by watching the USMNT play in the semi-finals tonight, and also make sure you stop by the Simon Schwob Memorial Library and get an early start on celebrating Independence Day by educating yourself on American History. There are countless books on military campaigns, government history, and even local history. Be sure to ask a librarian about the different databases that can be used to locate academic journals and more on America! Enjoy your summer, and long live the Red, White, and Blue!

With Hope,
Branden Printup

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