By Richard C. Harwood
June 17, 2014
As a huge soccer fan, I was ecstatic about the U.S. national team's 2-1 victory over Ghana Monday. As an American, I was struck even more by the words used by the players, commentators and others to describe the win: grittiness, grinding it out, gutsy, and resolve. Such words not only reflect the U.S. team's play, but our national character. It is this very character that we must now tap into in order to make progress on our challenges at home.
The national team's win is a perfect civic parable for our country at this time. Ghana beat the U.S. in the last two World Cups. In 2010, it was a heart-breaking overtime loss. This time, the U.S. came into the game as the clear underdog. But the team did not cower in the face of Ghana, nor did it sit back; it struck. A mere 34 seconds into the first half, forward Clint Dempsey scored to put the U.S. ahead.