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U.S. Team Hit by Few Swift Kicks

OK, so what does the U.S. press think about the U.S. soccer team so far?

Wrote John Eisenberg of the Baltimore Sun:

“Here is a complete list of the good news resulting from the United States’ 5-1 loss to Czechoslovakia Sunday in the World Cup:

“1. The game is over.

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“2. It could have been 9-1.

“3. My house in Italy was paid for in advance.

“4. It did not set soccer back as a spectator sport in the United States (FYI: It can’t be set back any farther than it is).

“5. Democracy did not seem to bother the Czechs.

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“6. The Americans scored their first Cup goal in 40 years. (Footnote: This was their first Cup game since 1950).

“7. The band played only half of the Czech national anthem but all of the U.S. anthem, proving again that, despite the score, we’re still No. 1.”

Bart Wright, McClatchy News Service:

“This was a complete, resounding undressing of the nation’s soccer system, viewed by one of the largest global TV audiences in history.”

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William Gildea, Washington Post:

“Can it get any worse for the Americans? Put it this way: They have tickets to Rome to play Italy Thursday.”

Trivia time: In which season did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar win his first NBA title, and who was the star guard on his team?

Bargain golf: With the British Open coming up next month at famed St. Andrews in Scotland, a story by Sports Editor Jack Moss of the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette seems appropriate.

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“I went to St. Andrews June 30, 1951,” Moss recalled the other day. “The greens fees were $1.40 for 18 holes. I rented a set of clubs to play. That cost around $1.

“Then I bought three golf balls and remarked to the man in the pro shop that I wasn’t sure, the course being as tough as it was, if three would be enough to last me the round. So he handed me three more and told me if I didn’t need them, to just bring them back; if I did, just pay for them later.”

Call it a bad month: The June issue of Tennis magazine had, among its feature articles:

--A story on longtime tennis celebrity Ted Tinling, who died after the magazine had gone to press.

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--An advance story on the French Open and the players to watch, including the names of 13 contenders for the men’s singles title. Not mentioned, of course, was Andres Gomez of Ecuador, who won.

Trivia answer: The season was 1970-71 and the star guard was Oscar Robertson. Both were playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Quotebook: The Chicago Cubs’ Andre Dawson, 36, who has had surgery twice on his left knee, four times on his right knee and once was found to have an alarmingly high white-cell blood count that later was traced to all the medication he takes for his aching knees: “I can tell the weather real well.”


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