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This photo was brought ot you by AP/Bill Kostroun In my search to be more open to the world, I found Soccer, or what they call "Football". My nephew plays soccer and loves it, but my dad prohibited me from playing it, because he said it was too "Prissy". Well, that was his words. I don't think he ever saw a real Soccer match, where blood, sweat, testosterone, and tears were shed. I'm getting into the sport, partly to help me strike up conversations with the Irish.

Earlier today, I watched Uruguay and Northern Ireland battle it out on the Giants stadium in New Jersey. Sadly, Uruguay won, but Northern Ireland was missing eleven of its players due to injuries. I like soccer, but I need more time to learn all the rules, but I'm sure people will inform me when I get to Ireland. As I was watching the game, I was reminded of George Best, which was a famous Irish (Northern Ireland) soccer player throughout the world; in fact, my good friend Wayne Ordinary American wrote up a piece about Mr. Best.

Northern Ireland played without 11 regulars because of injuries and club commitments. Uruguay used a starting team of almost entirely foreign-based players because its local championship is still going on.

The game was played in intermittent rain before a crowd of 4,152 that overwhelmingly backed Uruguay. This was the first of two exhibitions in the United States for both teams — Uruguay plays Romania on Tuesday; Northern Ireland plays Romania in Chicago on Friday.

Estoyanoff's goal gave Oscar Tabarez a winning debut since being rehired as Uruguay's manager in March. Tabarez coached Uruguay in the 1990 World Cup and replaced interim Gustavo Ferrin, who took over for Jorge Fosatti after Uruguay lost a two-leg World Cup playoff with Australia.

Estoyanoff provided the only serious offense for either team in the first half, driving a shot inside the near post into the upper corner.

"It was important because we have a new coach, making his debut, and getting a goal in front of him gives you a lot of confidence," Estoyanoff said.

Northern Ireland's lineup featured two players making their international debut — Stephen Craigan and Jeff Hughes — and goalkeeper Michael Ingham making his first start.

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