After the match yesterday, someone said to me, “That was a very uninspiring game.” It was obvious the man lacked knowledge of the game, as most Americans do. I kindly smiled at the man and politely disagreed saying, “I could not have been more inspired.”
Yes, there were only two goals.
Yes, there wasn’t much threat from the American side in the second half as the English controlled the majority of possession.
And yes we did not win the game. So what is there to be excited about?
A lot actually.
We just tied England, one of the best teams in the world. They are full of talent. They have a world-class manager. And they have a rich football history. This is their sport, not ours. Many fans weren’t giving the United States much of a chance, saying we would get blown out of this game. To me that is just ignorance. This is a sport where anyone can beat or play with anyone on any given day. It’s as simple as that.
Over the past couple years I’ll admit that I was not very excited about the team being put together for this World Cup. I am used to seeing a bunch of kick and run and not much soccer sense on the pitch from the U.S side. Yesterday’s performance gave all Americans a reason to be excited about our team’s chance the remainder of the way.
For the majority of the first half, the U.S. was controlling the pace of the game. We knocked the ball around great for our standards. We didn’t panic like I did after an early first strike from Steven Gerrard. Our composure was brilliant.
We also managed to take one of the best strikers in the world in Wayne Rooney out of the game. He was nowhere to be seen. Our defenders did an excellent job marking him and an even better job of clearing the ball from our end in dangerous situations.
With that said, Tim Howard is the anchor of our team. He is one of the best keepers in the world and will keep us in every game. The guy plays with heart and purpose. He is aggressive and committed to every play. He came up huge yesterday and a strong goalie can take you a long way.
This was a great way to start the tournament and a huge confidence builder. The result is what matters most, and the Yanks gave fans a reason to be inspired the rest of the way.
Co-players of the game for the United States: Tim Howard and Steve Cherundolo
England’s man of the match: Glen Johnson
Next game: Slovenia 10AM eastern Friday morning. Support our team. Support our country. This game brings the world together.
It’s Christmas in June. Soccer fans throughout the world are holding their breaths just a bit today, ready to exhale for an entire month. I am, for lack of a better term, excited. But if you have a better term please send it in. My symptoms include dry mouth, perspiration, and a complete inability to work.
The World Cup is March Madness in June. That is if March Madness were an international affair pitting the top athletes in their sport against each other every four years. So yes, World Cup is better than March Madness. That should say something to those nay sayers out there. Especially since I used to loathe futbol.
But now I am part of the lucky few. I am aligned with those in this country that can witness and marinate in the greater picture that is soccer. I was once befuddled by those that could sit around and watch a game that had no score for an hour and a half. Now I know the answer to that question is easy. You sit and watch. Once you do so, you will never look back.
My arguments were the same as yours. The scoring is too low. Well that’s a very American thing to say. Sometimes the foreplay is just as tantalizing as the act itself. In soccer the build up of a potential goal is like an hour with a beautiful woman. Except if you’re me, you are drinking beer and the room probably smells like carnitas. I am talking about the game watching not the being with a woman…but the same for that too. Either way the passing and movements in open space are like poetry. That is of course if poetry was awesome.
What else? Oh yeah the flopping. I can’t help this. I hate it. You hate it. The players feel foolish doing it. Its a necessary evil that more people should just accept. Running around for ninety minutes is tiring. So if there are no timeouts in this sport, why not just fall down and say “Hold on a fucking second, I’m Super winded over here.” I can deal with that. I think I might employ this tactic in my daily life, perhaps after reaching the top of a flight of stairs.
Then there is the possibility of a game going to kicks. This is another acceptance that one has to make for a game that already takes from every player all they can muster. When running for 90 minutes does not give us a winner, the players will run for thirty more. If they still have none they can either run for a little more and make a complete mess of the field or they can just kick the ball and call it a day. I hate that this happens, but really there is no other way.
But in the arbitrariness of the free kick is the justice of it all. Both teams get a coin flip. The rest is left up to fate. I like that idea. Let’s let some magical mysticism decide the game. I guess. I’m sure I will still be pissed in the end. But here’s to the journey. That is all soccer is after all.
The US National Team’s World Cup prospects suffered another major setback with the knee injury suffered by Clint Dempsey over the weekend. The full extent of the damage won’t be known until the results from an MRI come back, but preliminary signs don’t look good.