Sunday, June 27, 2010
Proud Of Our Boys
Well, the USA took on Ghana yesterday in Rustenburg, South Africa and lost a heartbreaker, 2-1 in extra time. I took in the match at Professor Thom's, and it was without question one of the biggest crowds ever in the bar. There was a great atmosphere, and I saw some American flags, and some guy blowing a horn. (No, thankfully not a vuvuzella.)
They left it all out on the field. The U.S. allowed an early goal off a mistake by Ricardo Clark, and it remained 1-0 until the 62nd minute, when Landon Donovan nailed a penalty kick to tie it. (It actually hit the right goalpost first, but sailed in.)
Ghana scored early in the first extra time period. It was a full thirty minutes of extra time, as there is no sudden death in the World Cup knockout rounds. I wished the U.S. had attacked early to start the match, but they looked tentative to begin. There was some obvious nerves in such a high profile game.
But I am proud of the overall effort the Americans put out. They were beaten by a better Ghana side. Thankfully there were no obvious referee goofups, like goals taken away. (I can't imagine the reaction in England today, after the Germans pounded the English, 4-1. I am sure they are getting raked over the coals by the British tabloids.)
I have been a soccer fan since the late 1970s, and I enjoy the atmosphere of the World Cup, one of the "true" world championship sports on the planet. Listen, soccer will never match the four major team sports in America, as they have had a longer and more devoted following in this country. That's just the way it is here. Soccer has its following in the United States, and I believe it will continue as the years progress. I love how all the soccer-haters come out of the woodwork at World Cup time, as they feel so threatened by the planet's biggest sporting event.
Relax. Let soccer and its fans have their time. Ignore it if you don't like it. (That's what I do with MANY things in this life.) Soccer just wants to have its small niche here.
Anyway, I'm proud of the boys.
Let's hope for bigger and better things in Brazil in 2014.