Sometimes you have to lose to better understand just how much you care. In this case, a tie will suffice. USA soccer has been building momentum for years, and it’s clear that as a country we’ve arrived. Not just soccer talent, but fandom.
The USA did not lose yesterday. It just felt that way. I think it was like losing a football game on a hail mary. You know it can happen, you just never expect it to happen. When it does, you just want to crawl into a hole or find a time machine and undue this sports accident that ruined your day, possibly your year.
Best part was, the USA did not actually lose. They tied. And with a tie, they are very much alive to advance out of the group of death in the 2014 World Cup. That may still be a hard sell less than 24 hours later.
I knew many Americans cared about the World Cup even if they didn’t care about soccer. But by
losing tying I really found out how much they cared. It’s pretty awesome to see so many people decked out in Red, White, and Blue. It’s pretty cool to see the crowd reactions when the USA scores a goal. A collective oneness, a brotherhood, and a frenzied excitement cheering for our team.
I’d prefer to be writing or talking about an amazing win that put USA expectations into the knockout stage at a level they haven’t been in my lifetime. (I hope I can write and talk about that on Friday!)
Instead I am stuck coming up with something to make of a 2-2 tie that most knowledgeable fans probably would have signed up for before the match, no questions asked.
I’m not sure we care more about this soccer team than we do our own favorite sports teams, college or pro, and that’s okay. I just know yesterday more of us cared at the same about the same thing than we ever do.