Opinion

June 29, 2014

No surprise, soccer gaining popularity here

We’ve seen the sights of big crowds in Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and other places watching the United States men’s national soccer team in the World Cup.

That popularity and interest isn’t limited to just major metropolitans, though. Even people in Dalton are getting into the Americans’ run through the much-hyped “Group of Death.”

Inside the Chili’s off College Drive, people surrounded the bar June 23 to watch the United States nearly defeat Portugal — and have a win and group advancement snatched away in the closing seconds.

That’s just one example.

The Chattanooga chapter of the American Outlaws — the organized United States soccer fan club — filled Jeffersons Restaurant for all three group-stage matches. Others watched at different bars and restaurants in the area as the United States defeated Ghana, drew Portugal and lost close enough against Germany to advance.

The sport’s increasing popularity, locally and nationally, shouldn’t come as a surprise. People love a reason to show patriotism and cheer the United States — or whatever country holds their heritage — in any sport. Plus, soccer has become a consistent success for Murray and Whitfield counties, where seven of the eight high schools reached the boys state playoffs this past season. Dalton High School is a two-time Class 4A state champion and hasn’t lost a match since May of 2012.

The United States next faces Belgium in the second round Tuesday at 4 p.m. As the team continues to make on-the-field strides toward becoming a soccer power, we hope to see people filling the restaurants and bars once again chanting for the USA.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • "We’ve had a great ride"

    For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?

    Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.

    July 29, 2014

  • Letter: Children are not the enemy

    We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014