The Conversation: U.S. Secret Soccer Weapon

John Berman explores the importance of goalies in World Cup soccer matches

June 17, 2010— -- Friday morning the U.S. World Cup soccer team hits the field again for its second game in the World Cup, this time against Slovenia.

After last Saturday's 1 -1 tie against England many in the United States realized just how talented and valuable our goalie was. Tim Howard blocked five points from England, allowing only one goal into his net. On the other side of the field England's goalie Robert Green had a tougher time, the single goal that rolled past Green made him a target of outrage in his home country. Since England was a higher-ranked team than the U.S., the tie game was an unexpected blow to many British soccer fans.

As the drama unfolded last Saturday U.S. goalie Howard took a painful kick to his ribs. After a shot of pain medicine, Howard was back on the field and played the rest of the game. He is also expected to play in tomorrow's game against Slovenia.

Today on The Conversation ABC's John Berman realizes just how hard it is to protect a goal from a flying soccer ball. Reporting from South Africa, Berman talks to Jürgen Klinsmann, a former German soccer player, about why the position of goalie is so important. They also chat about why it is that American goalies are so good at protecting goals.

It doesn't take long for John Berman to learn it can be stressful to be the final line of defense on a soccer field, even without eyes from all across the globe looking at you.

All this and more in today's Conversation.

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