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Slovenia ambassador, senator wager on World Cup

By Liz Clarke
Slovenia's U.S. ambassador Roman Kirn plans to join fellow Slovenes for a viewing party Friday at Dupont Circle's Buffalo Billiards, where he'll find out if he has to make good on the wager he made with U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Harkin, whose mother is from Slovenia, bet a bottle of Iowa's Templeton rye whiskey, while Kirn ventured a bottle of Bagueri, a Slovenian red wine.

"We all expect a win," Masa Siftar de Arzu, second secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, said in a telephone interview. "I know it's not going to be an easy game. But when our team played against Russia [to qualify for a spot in the 2010 World Cup] and won -- trust me, that wasn't an easy game, either!

"We have a young team -- maybe not very experienced, all of them -- but a very good team of friends. The feeling is one for all, and all for one. In such an atmosphere, everything is possible!"

Regardless of the outcome, Friday's match will amount to a huge victory for the tournament's smallest contender, less than 20 years old and often mistaken for Slovakia. "Never before has Slovenia had so much attention in the U.S." de Arzu said. "This is the first time that Slovenia will be broadcast into every home."

By Liz Clarke  |  June 17, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: 2010 World Cup, Slovenia, Tom Harkin, U.S. soccer team  
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Next: Friday World Cup kickaround


C'mon boys. A four-year cycle comes done to one game.

Posted by: BooThisMan | June 17, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

rye vs. wine? gotta go brown, 1 or 2 cubes.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 17, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

This match scares me more than the England match did. I never really expected to beat England. Here, the fact that we ought to win -- that we're not in the "nothing to lose" position -- makes it scarier, for me. Especially since our offense hasn't been very good at breaking down well-organized defenses since, well, *ever*. And that's what Slovenia are: a well-organized defense with the occasional counter.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | June 17, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I've loved the stuff on the US Soccer website, specifically the Studio 90 stuff, and today's interview with Michael Bradley was no different. He's always been the most, robotic/impersonal player on the team to me, so it was nice to see him in a different light.

Annnnd, I learned he's got his Dad's study skills. He named Italy's starting XI from the 2006 Final from memory.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 17, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Is Julie Andrews still the Queen of Slovenia, or has Anne Hathaway ascended the throne?

Posted by: OWNTF | June 17, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Or is that Slovakia?

Posted by: OWNTF | June 17, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps as a belated thank you to Ronald Reagan ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"), Slovenia will simply play for a tie.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | June 17, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't think anyone's linked to it yet, but some guy called Goff wrote an article saying their COULD be some changes in the US lineup tomorrow.

"The Americans are almost certain to employ more assertive tactics than they exhibited against technically superior England. To augment the attack, a lineup change or two might be in the works. Maurice Edu, a two-way central midfielder, and Jose Torres, a clever possession player who flourished in a friendly against Turkey on May 29, are prime candidates."

I'll keep my fingers crossed as I sleep tonight. Hopefully both teams don't feel a tie would be acceptable.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 17, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Visited Slovenia on a whim during our honeymoon 7 years ago this month, absolutely beautiful country -- highly recommend it as a vacation spot.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 17, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

"The feeling is one for all, and all for one."

Bad day to pick the French Musketeers slogan . .

Posted by: delantero | June 17, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Slovenian dude just hit the last 2 free throws of the game to clinch Game 7 and help the Lakers win the title.


I'm pretty sure that means Slovenia has EXHAUSTED it's shot-making capacity for the next 12 hours...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 17, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

What, no USA v Slovenia threads. . . . lineup predictions? It's less than 12 hours!! Bonesteel, wake up!




It's Bradley, he plays favorites. I would, however, expect him to make changes quickly if nothing changes . . . i.e: 0-0 at half.

Torres and Holden have to see the pitch.

Might even see Bornstein instead of Chuckie Blackmouth b.c of the former's pace.

Posted by: delantero | June 18, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

We don't need to win this we need to win it by a very convincing margin.

If we come in second to England it menas we will likely face Germany and then Argentina...if we come in first we could face Ghana and Mexico.

I don't think a 1-0 win will cut it.

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 18, 2010 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Ohhhh I don't know how I feel about this...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 18, 2010 5:54 AM | Report abuse

I have the yips already.

Posted by: ldmay | June 18, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Why are all of these politicians betting alcohol. If I brought alcohol into my gov't office, I could be fired.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 18, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

US Senator: One job where being black-out drunk may actually improve performance.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 18, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

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