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Mauran: I believe
American spirit is the defining characteristic of our World Cup chances
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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 No. 4 in the world and Germany, who is ranked No. 2 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.

The United States team has steadily improved since we qualified for the 1990 World Cup.

Since then, we have qualified for seven straight World Cups and have been dominant in our CONCACAF region (the World Cup starts with all nations, and is whittled down to what we watch now, the finals, through regions such as CONCACAF) in the recent past. Our world ranking in currently No. 13, and the roster is full of young players looking to make their mark on the world stage. The pundits give us a 0.5% 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 US men will display when they take the field. We will have to 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 Clint Dempsey and Josi 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 pull on the US 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 US 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.

That spirit is what will make us win; that spirit is what millions of fans will cry out in what has become fans' rallying call for this national team:


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!