Longform

Argentina, 1; U.S., 0

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In fact the members of the Argentine team, playing at the Orange Bowl, were doing the same thing their fellow countrymen do. That is, come here and get paid in U.S. dollars. They played three games in nine days (3-1 vs. Honduras in San Pedro Sula; 1-0 vs. Mexico in Los Angeles; and 1-0 vs. U.S. in Miami) and cashed in $600,000, a slightly lower harvest compared with the $1 million they got last November to play in Japan. The bigger fees have to do with the players involved. If you want to see the "hot" Argentine players who shine week after week in the European leagues, then you'd have to pay between $500,000 and $1 million, as will happen in April, when the best players go to Libya.

Coach Bielsa looked up only once at the postgame press conference to answer the one and only question not related to the way his team played. "I was greatly surprised with the number of Argentine fans that came to see the game, and not only that, I was surprised with the way they stimulated the team," he told New Times. Maybe he was referring to a new attitude on the parts of old fans. While both teams lined up for the cameras before the game, and the national anthems were being played, the whole stadium stood up to silently listen to the American anthem. It had not even finished when a big, clamorous round of applause began. This would be impossible in Argentina, where the U.S. national anthem would be booed unmercifully. Or maybe the Argentineans just knew they were going to kick our ass this time.

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Javier Andrade