Emil Guillermo on the coincidence of the U.S/England World Cup match and Philippine Independence Day: A good day for beating back the colonizer!

What a coincidence the U.S. tied its former colonizer at the world’s game 1-1. Or as the NYTimes’ Nick Kristoff tweeted,  the U.S. “beat” England, 1-1….

Of course, the U.S. didn’t. But it’s acceptable underdog-speak. Reminiscent of the famous headline “Harvard beats Yale, 29-29,”  when the improbable tie must be acknowledged with something more than an “attaboy.”  

But I was with Alexi Lalas, the former MLS star, who was unwilling to be diplomatic and on the pregame on ABC forecasted a 2-1 victory.

Why not?

The U.S. can play now.  It’s not like the day of Kyle Rote Jr. and the old NASL.  U.S. players play with the top English clubs now.  Our independence from soccer inferiority  has already been declared.  

So U.S. ”beats” England didn’t come to mind immediately. In fact, the U.S. was lucky the Brit keeper had Teflon mits. Good for pols, bad for goaltenders.  The goal was like a gift from the soccer gods, as if some invisible foot (like Adam Smith’s hand?) nudged the ball to the net, an equalizer by providence.

But that’s it for karmic justice.

 On the day the U.S. faced its colonizer, the U.S. has some other significant imperial baggage of its own.

On June 12, 1898, the Philippines proclaimed its independence from Spain after the Spanish-American War’s battle of Manila Bay.

But the proclamation wasn’t recognized by Spain or the U.S.  

The Spanish took advantage of the communications  lag and before the announcement had ceded the Philippines to the U.S. in the Treaty of Paris 1898.  The U.S. had its own imperial designs and made Philippines its first colony. That was all news to the victorious Filipinos and General Emil Aguinaldo.  And with that, the U.S. -Philippine war was begun, and hundreds of thousands of lives, both American and Filipino,were lost.

So you can see how all these years later,  on this day, karma could only carry the U.S. so far.

But now that we’ve tied the Brits, maybe we can all feel better about bankrupting BP and destroying the English pension system!