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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Americans Abroad

I was just watching the Telemundo highlight show, and Andres Cantor interviewed Mexican international, Pavel Pardo, from Stuttgart, Germany. Last weekend, Mr. Cantor had a nice discussion with Jose Francisco "Kinkin" Fonseca from Lisbon. He plays for Benfica, which is a famous Portuguese club.

Many North Americans, such as Bobby Convey, Brian McBride, Brad Friedel, Tim Howard, Kasey Keller, Oguchi Onyewu, Claudio Reyna et al, already have achieved respect playing in European leagues. Actually, there is a great web site dedicated to them called Yanks Abroad.

While Mexico is our greatest rival, the fact that more of their talented players are arriving in Europe bodes well for our entire region. Historically, CONCACAF has been a weak footballing area. Mexico has lost the most games in the World Cup competition, and the USA did not qualify between 1954 and 1986. In recent years, our regional competitors such as Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago have made great strides.

Speaking of players from our hemisphere, David Suazo of Honduras has played many years in Italy for Cagliari. He is the captain of their team, and last year tied the legendary Gigi Riva for most goals scored in one campaign.

But whether they hail from the Honduras, Mexico, or the USA, they are all "Americans" competing at the highest levels.

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