Fred said it: US performance in the World Cup

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A few closing thoughts on the U.S. team's performance in the World Cup:

Riveting. My wife and I were glued to the matches over vacation, and not just the ones involving the Americans. Brazil's Neymar, Ronaldo of Portugal, Argentina's Lionel Messi - stars, each and every one. Coming up huge on what is, without argument, the biggest athletic stage on the planet.

But, American goalkeeper Tim Howard belongs right there.

Howard had a brilliant tournament, having not given up a single soft goal in the tournament. And, what he did against Belgium was unworldly. He turned aside 11 shots on goal in regulation to maintain a scoreless match through regulation time. Howard recorded 16 saves in the match, a number not reached in 50 years. He wasn't solved until the match went to extra time, but without the amazing play of the 35-year-old New Jersey native, the American goose would have been cooked long before.

Thanks to Howard, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, DeMarcus Beasley, 19-year-old Julian Green and the rest, soccer now has my full attention.

Better late than never, right?

P. S. Jurgen Klinsmann is not a bad coach. Not too bad at all.

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