Wow, what a game, what a world cup. It is heart breaking to lose in extra time, but not as heart breaking as it would have been to Belgium if Wondo would have been able to finish that goal in stoppage time. And what a crazy set piece that sprung Clint, I still can’t believe we only got 1. With that said and the heart break we endured late in the Portugal game, I still feel like we can look back, even in this immediate hour and be proud of the growth we made as a nation.
Every World Cup we gain new fans, and those fans will go back away again, but the growth we’ve made in the last two World Cups is astounding. Let’s go in the way back machine all the way to 2006. USA was in the World Cup in Germany, on the last day of the group stage we had the opportunity to move on with a win against Ghana, so it was an important match. Italy was also playing that day and their result also mattered because USA would need them to win in order to have a chance to move on with a win against Ghana. People talk about this game, they talk about how Ghana knocked us out, but that wasn’t even the biggest deal. In Germany for the World Cup they had Fan Fests set up to show the games. In these places for the final day of the Group Stage they had 2 giant screens set up next to each other so both games could be shown. Now, I understand the game was in Europe and the second Game was Czech vs. Italy, but both of the screens at Fan Fests were showing the Czech vs. Italy game. All the bars were showing the Italy game. My sister and I had to walk around Munich all day until we found a random store that was playing the USA game on the radio and he told us it was over Ghana had won. That’s how little fan support USA had in 2006, you couldn’t even get someone to change the channel for you to watch the game, even with the winner of that game moving on to the next round.
In 2007, American Outlaws were created. Now ESPN shows an American Outlaws camera. People all over know USA chants that aren’t just repeating USA over and over. It’s amazing the movement that has come about. I love watching a game and seeing a cut away to the 13,000+ people at the Power and Light District in Kansas City watching the game. Skipping work to do so. And that’s just Kansas City, this is happening all over, it’s awesome. In Brazil we had more people buy tickets than any other nation other than Brazil. We unite behind our boys. It is really frustrating the difficulty it is getting tickets, but at the same time this is great that we have this problem.
Klinsmann has this team going in the right direction. The play on the field is great and there is truly a next man up attitude where anyone will step in and succeed. I, for one, am very hopeful for what’s to come in the next 4 years and beyond. So to all you new fans, stick around, enjoy the ride, it’s going to be fun. And for all you old fans, welcome those new fans, we are all for one team. There is a tendency with things to have a hipster attitude that you liked it first, but this isn’t your thing, it isn’t my thing, this is OUR thing. As one nation! United we stand! Watch out world, we are coming in 4 more years!