Every Cup Team Gets A Slogan on the Bus

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Friday, June 23, 2006

The U.S. team bus is, rather famously, the only one of the 32 team buses that does not have its national flag prominently splashed across the side (it's a security precaution).

Happily, however, the American bus was not deprived of one of the 32 chirpy team slogans that were submitted and voted on by "football fans across the globe," according to the FIFA World Cup Web site. The Americans' big blue bus reads: "United we play, United we win."

The Netherlands' bus has "Orange on the road to gold" written across the side, which irked Coach Marco van Basten because he felt it made his team look overly confident and might provoke its opponents. (The Netherlands is known as the best soccer nation that has yet to win a World Cup. It is still alive in this one.)

But at least the Dutch are not the Swedes ("Fight! Show spirit! Come on! You have the support of everyone!"). Or the Portuguese ("With a flag in the window and a nation on the pitch. Forca Portugal"). Or the Costa Ricans ("Our army is the team, our weapon is the ball. Let's get to Germany and give it our all.").

And they should be especially thankful they are not the team from Switzerland: "2006, it's Swiss o'clock!"

The complete list can be found at http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com .

-- Camille Powell

Arena, Not Springsteen

On the eve of the U.S.-Ghana match, Coach Bruce Arena and some of the team's support staff headed into the old city center of Nuremberg for dinner and to watch Wednesday's late matches. Shortly after arriving, however, Arena was spotted by U.S. fans and serenaded with chants of "Bruuuuce! Bruuuuce!" Most of the group stayed; Arena headed back to the team hotel.

-- Steven Goff


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