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Why You Should Root For Mexico (and 9 Other Teams) in the World Cup

The World Cup starts on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. EST (the first game will be broadcast on Fox) and the United States isn’t in it. Boo-hoo. We’ve had a good run: America is one of just thirteen teams to have qualified for six of the last seven tournaments so we’ve had a good run If we weren’t in the unusually non-competitive CONCACAF region, we likely would have qualified for even future World Cup finals so we’re pretty damn lucky. That we couldn’t beat Trinidad and Tobago (and Panama) is disappointing, sure, but the beauty of World Cup soccer has always been that the most powerful countries have no built-in advantage on the pitch.
Think about it: America has been eliminated from the World Cup twice by Ghana, a country ranked 85th in World GDP and where nearly 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. That’s not a disgrace—it’s testament to how great an equalizer soccer can be and how, in the World Cup, anything can happen.
In a way, America’s exclusion…
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