Obviously, we're cheering for America to win today's match against Ghana because, U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! But in a tiny corner of our red-blooded hearts we know that Ghana—Africa's last hope!—is cosmically favored for a win. What to do?
Don't you hate when your inborn American sense of patriotism clashes with your inborn American sense of fairness? Because goddamnit if it doesn't feel like a just universe would align in such away that Ghana wins today. It's Africa's first World Cup! It's all but certain that the majority of global viewers will be rooting for the Black Stars to keep the continent's dreams alive.
But, sorry, America's going to crush them. Here's why you should root for America:
The last time the U.S. and Ghana met was during the 2006 World Cup's elimination round. The U.S. lost 2-1 and thus got booted from the tournament. Except the winning goal was scored on a penalty kick that was granted when Ghanaian forward Steven Appiah took a ludicrous dive in the box and was, for some reason, rewarded with a foul. The Daily Mail wrote of the match, according to the New York Times:
Their diving and feigning injury put a total of 9 minutes' stoppage time onto the regulation 90 and took much of the gloss off what they have achieved here in their first World Cup finals.
America's Team Is Just A Bunch of Normal Dudes
Maybe, like us, you feel a tiny bit guilty rooting against Ghana because America is a rich superpower and Ghana is a stable, but poor, African country. This perception is bolstered by the fact that soccer in America is often portrayed as the domain of a bunch of privileged suburbanites with money to burn on nuturing the perfect aristocratic left fullback. Seems unfair! But, according to Andrew Guest of the great soccer blog Pitch Invasion, the American team is very much a picture of socioeconomic openness. He created this chart, and concluded that "Whether looking at social class, education, or racial/ethnic heritage, Team USA looks remarkably like the diverse nation it represents."
A U.S. Victory Would Help Our Economy
Last week, sales of World Cup merchandise in the U.S. totaled $7 million, according to the Washington Post, a figure boosted by America's nail-biting victory against Algeria. If we win this match, sales of cheap World Cup paraphernalia should skyrocket, helping not only our economy, but the southeast Asian country's where all this shit is made. And cause of globalization or something, Ghana would probably get some of that money too!
U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!