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 World Cup 2002
 Journals from the UNITED crew
 Days 8-10

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dhedrick Posted - 04/01/2003 : 15:37:45
Amid numerous reports of anti-American sentiment, the hours before the Korea game were fairly tense. However, a good portion of the thousand or so United States backers seemed unfazed by the circling helicopters, fighter jets and presence of thousands of riot police. Every fan entrance to the stadium is equipped with a metal detector and a search crew, security measures never previously taken at every World Cup venue.

Minus some individual hostilities, mostly by other foreigners, the red-clad Korean fans were, again, very hospitable. The 'Red Devils', as the Korean supports group has dubbed themselves, belted out song after song for the entire game except for about five minutes following Mathis' goal. Very few, if any, people sat during the tense game. The result was a good one for the US, considering the environment and host country opponent. Our chances of advancing are very good. A tie or win against a seemingly broken Poland team would ensure our place in the second round. Even a loss to Poland, combined with a Korea win, would get us through. However, we are a better team than Poland and our speed and quickness should provide more scoring opportunities than we had against an almost equally speedy Korean team.

Following the game, the Koreans were a bit dissappointed in the result, forcing a needed win or draw against Portugal to advance to the round of 16. However, this dissapointment did not cultivate any anti-American actions or signs of disdain.

A day following the 15th year anniversity of the June 10 pro-democracy uprising in 1987, over 250,000 Koreans took to the streets of Seoul yesterday. The 1987 uprising against the ruling dictatorship was the last time in post-war Korea that people took to the steets in droves to chant and sing. Then, only tens of thousands were reported, a small fraction of the number of soccer supporters that showed up yesterday. The fever in this country keeps rising. A win against Portugal and the Korean people might even rebel against tidying the streets after the greatest celebration in their soccer history.

The country seems a bit hungover today, but very optimistic about their chances against Portugal.

We are going to the city park to sit in the shade and watch the two 3:30 Group A games: France v Denmark and Senegal v Uruguay. Tomorrow we are headed for Deajeon, with hopes of attending the South Africa v Spain game. On Friday, the US plays Poland in Deajon. We still have an extra ticket if anybody is interested.

Enjoy the games.

Matt, Tom and Jaime
Matt Dacey
Ast. Director of Coaching and Player Development
Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club

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