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   I love the World Cup. And it’s not because I’m a big soccer fan.     I love the World Cup because it turns...

   I love the World Cup. And it’s not because I’m a big soccer fan. 

   I love the World Cup because it turns me — and millions of other fair weather futbol Americans — into soccer fans. All-consuming soccer fans. Even if just for a few summer fortnights.

   It’s a testament to the all-encompassing power of sports. And competition. And drama. And good ol’ red-blooded patriotism. But mostly, it’s sports. 

   Sports unifies in spectacular ways. And it always has. It’s why I’m writing this column in a standing-room-only eating establishment at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday watching Team USA play Belgium — during an VERY extended “lunch break.”

   It’s why the decibel level of our watching venue may have reached its peak when Chris Wondolowski — a De La Salle-Concord graduate and San Jose Earthquakes star —  entered the game with approximately 20 minutes left in regulation.

   The unification of sports trickles down to the high school level too. It’s why a 18,000-seat high school football stadium was built in Allen, Texas, just a couple years ago. For the price of just $60 million. A high school stadium. High school.

   It’s why “When The Game Stands Tall,” a movie based on the De La Salle football program and its coach Bob Ladouceur, is one of the most anticipated movies in the Bay Area since … wait for it … “Moneyball,” which was based on the Oakland A’s — currently the best team in baseball, by the way. 

   It’s why we here at SportStars have created things like the SportStars Cup and the Bay Area 75, because it unifies our readers and creates conversation and debate. 

   Sports bring people together. 

   As many — I’d imagine nearly all of you — know, the Americans lost the match. It was another first-round exit after a promising effort in group play. But Julian Green scored our lone goal, and he’s only 19 years-old. DeAndre Yedlin played over 70 minutes in the match, and he’s only 20. 

   There’s a bright future for the U.S. Men’s Soccer team, and there are a lot more fans who will be following that future. And let’s not forget that the U.S. Women’s Team has the chance to bring us all together once again. The Women’s World Cup begins in less than a year and will be on North American soil. 

   Until then, we’ll remember this World Cup fondly as another moment in which sports transfixed us and made us care more than we wanted to. It’ll never get old.   

   Also, Tim Howard is our hero.

First Pitch by Chace Byson

Have a question for Chace? Contact him at 

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