The first thing I learned while watching the United States versus Portugal World Cup soccer match Sunday is that it’s much more enjoyable to score in the first minute than to give up a silly goal early on.

The second thing I learned was the grit and determination of the 2014 United States Men’s National Team is something all Americans should be proud of.

And, despite allowing the tying goal with about 20 seconds left in the match, the Americans remain in great position to advance to the knockout round of the tournament.

All that stands in their way is a German team ranked second in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association World Rankings, and the U.S. only needs a draw in their final match in the group round Thursday and can advance even with a loss if Portugal and Ghana play to a draw in their match Thursday.

By the way, the American team is ranked No. 13 by FIFA, and they just came seconds from beating the No. 4 ranked team in Portugal.

I’m excited that Thursday’s match against Germany is early enough that I’ll be able to watch it before work.

Michelle Wie wins U.S. Women’s Open

In keeping with the patriotic spirit of the day, it was great to see Michelle Wie win her first major when she captured the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2 golf course in Pinehurst, N.C., holding off several challenges with an even par 70.

Things were looking a bit shaky when she took a double-bogey on the 16th hole, cutting her three-stroke lead to a single stroke, but she followed by sinking a 25-foot birdie putt on the next hole.

Wie, 24, has been making news on the national golf scene since becoming the youngest player to qualify for a United States Golf Association amateur championship at 10 years old.

She was also the youngest to qualify for an LPGA Tour event.

Wie was criticized for accepting an invitation to play in the Sony Open, a PGA Tour event in her home state of Hawaii because critics said she hadn’t yet won on the women’s tour.

In the meantime, Wie attended Stanford University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications.

Wie breaks a string of three consecutive wins by South Korean golfers and the first American to win the tournament since Paula Creamer in 2010.

Adam Yanelli is a copy editor at The Daily News. Contact him at 409-683-5227 or

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