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Cruz: Excited for the World Cup

Dynamo players will be sharing their thoughts and perspective with HoustonDynamo.com readers throughout the World Cup. Check back at HoustonDynamo.com/WorldCup each afternoon during the tournament for a fresh take on that day’s action.

Hey, soccer fans, this is Danny Cruz from the Dynamo. During this year’s World Cup, I and several of my teammates will be posting our soccer thoughts about the tournament here on HoustonDynamo.com, and I’m honored to be the guy to start it all off.

First of all, I’m obviously excited for Saturday and the England-U.S. match at 1:30. I think it’s going to be a good game. My stepdad is actually from England, so I’ve got a bit of a rivalry going on there with him. Go U.S.!

  >>Watch U.S.-England on an enormous screen Saturday at Discovery Green from 12 noon-4 p.m.

But I’m excited for the whole thing. This will be the first World Cup that I tune into as a full soccer fan, because in 2006 I was still in high school in Arizona and wasn’t into soccer as much as I am now. The opening game is always special, and I’m really excited to see the atmosphere in that one, Mexico-South Africa, on Friday at 9 in the morning here in Houston. My odds are South Africa’s going to win that one at home, but we’ll see.

I actually got to go to South Africa last December as part of a Major League Soccer / Generation adidas tour, and the whole trip was amazing. We went to Soccer City in Johannesburg, and the stadium’s beautiful. The whole experience was great. The people in South Africa were great, and I think they’re going to put on a brilliant show. We also went to Cape Town, which is gorgeous, and I think it will be a perfect city to host games. Hopefully we get the chance to host World Cup matches in Houston some day!

I was thinking the other day about how there are 23 guys there representing the United States, and I know a few of them and have played with a few of them – including Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden, both teammates here in Houston last year. That’s pretty cool to say and something I take pride in. So I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing them get good minutes and represent our country well.

Finally, I’ve got to give you my picks for the tournament. I think Argentina is going to do really well. That’s who I have winning it in my bracket. Obviously, Spain is a good team, but I don’t think they’re going to do as well as everyone thinks. A lot of the big-name players have been hurt, but I’ve been looking forward to watching Wayne Rooney play for England. I really enjoy watching him play, with his tenacity, but hopefully he doesn’t do too well against us in that first game.

I guess that’s it for now. I can’t wait for the games to start, and I’ll check back with more thoughts later in the tournament. Go U.S.!