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Posted: June 17, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Mauran: I believe that we will win

So at this year’s World Cup, the United States is in the dreaded “group of death.” We will play Ghana, who has knocked the U.S. out of the last two World Cups, Portugal, who is ranked fourth in the world and Germany, who is ranked second in the world.

Worried? I think not. That is not how Americans roll. This country was founded by great men that refused to take no for an answer. I expect much of the same from our men’s national team when they take the field against Ghana on Monday, June 16th.

The United States team has steadily improved since qualifying for the 1990 World Cup. Since then, they have qualified for seven straight World Cups and have been dominant in the CONCACAF region in the recent past. Our world ranking in currently 13th. The roster is full of young players looking to make their mark on the world stage. The pundits give us a 0.5 percent chance to win the World Cup and many don’t think we will make it out of the group stage. Again, I am not worried and I’ll tell you why.

Citizens of the United States are ingrained with something called the “American Spirit.” You may think that sounds corny, but it’s true. Americans love to be the underdog.

We look forward to proving people wrong. We will not back down. We will fight until the very end and never say die. I cannot wait to see teams walk off the field shaking their heads after our keeper, Tim Howard, makes spectacular saves to deny scoring chances.

Americans are brave. We will take risks. These are qualities that the U.S. men will display when they take the field. We will have to compete against the likes of world powers Germany and Portugal. We cannot be satisfied with defending and hoping for the best. We must take the game to them. We will need players like Dempsey and Altidore to take chances and play quickly to break down their defenses.

Americans are proud. We love our country. I cannot imagine how it must feel to put on the U.S. jersey and represent the best country on the face of the earth. Nothing is more unifying than the stars and stripes and our boys will be working together as one at the World Cup. Players like Michael Bradley will be working for you, me and every other American cheering them on over the next couple of weeks.

So, as you hear the talking heads saying that the U.S. has no chance, just remember what we Americans are made of. We love our country. We are brave. We will not back down. Our spirit will not be broken. We are the United States of America.

I.
I believe.
I believe that.
I believe that we.
I believe that we will.
I believe that we will win!
I believe that we will win!
I believe that we will win!

Rafe Mauran is the director of coaching at the Rockdale Youth Soccer Association. Mauran is a native of Conyers, Georgia.

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