The USA Continues on the Road to the World Cup

The USA advanced to the final round of qualifying for the 2014 (Men’s) World Cup last night with their 3-1 victory over Guatemala. The Yanks won their group, which was expected, though they put in several terrible performances along the way. The USA is still a favorite to grab one of the three automatic qualifying spots from the six-team final qualifying round, but it must be said that they go into the Hexagonal with poorer form than any of the other five teams aside from possibly Jamaica or Panama. The USA was able to skate through their first qualifying group with a makeshift roster (due in part to injuries and in part to head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s experimentation with different lineups) because of a lack of quality competition, but the level of play in the Hexagonal will be much more intense. The Yanks need to get their act together sooner rather than later.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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