American Soccer (Football) Is Here To Stay

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    Updated: July 2, 2014
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    The United States Men’s National Soccer Team was eliminated from the 2014 World Cup tournament on Tuesday after their 2-1 loss to Belgium. It was a great run by our boys and in many ways soccer in the United States has been solidified as a growing force and is surely here to stay. The MLS may still be struggling to make it’s mark on the American public, and it will probably never reach the level of overseas soccer, but the international competition for America has been a different story. When it comes to the World Cup, there is a certain sense of patriotism that Americans enjoy.

    A feeling where we’re not watching for entertainment, we’re watching for pride, joy and extreme ecstasy. Whether it was in Kansas City, Chicago or any other city in America, millions had their eyes glued to their television sets and were pouring their hearts out for this year’s men’s national team. They made news early and often, regardless if it was U.S.A coach making headlines saying it’s unrealistic that they would win the World Cup, or the late removal of America’s beloved star Landon Donovan from the U.S.A roster. The USMNT made waves and kept them coming consistently.

    America’s team opened up with a strong victorious 2-1 performance against a strong Ghana team. Entering into their second game of group play against Portugal and one of the two best players in the world Cristiano Ronaldo, the U.S. had a chance to clinch their advancement into the round of 16 with a victory. With 30 seconds left in stoppage time and a 2-1 lead over Portugal, it looked like they were cruising to their round of 16 appearance. Unfortunately Ronaldo decided to have a say about it and sent a great service ball cross pass spot on onto Silvestre Varela’s head and into the back of the net. With that last-minute score Portugal finished the game in a draw and left the U.S.’s advancement in limbo.

    Then in a slightly confusing turn of events the U.S. lost to Germany in their third game, but advanced into the round of 16 due to Portugal’s victory and late goal against Ghana. Just like that, America advanced out of the Group of Death and into the elimination rounds. I’ll admit that even I got carried away and was looking forward to America’s match against Argentina in the round of 8 after thinking they would easily discard a very talented Belgium. Mine was a quarterfinals prophecy that never played out. In Tuesday’s match versus Belgium, both teams went scoreless for the first 90 minutes. Then in extra time Belgium went up 2 goals to nil in a sudden burst.

    A late 107th minute goal by U.S.A’s Julian Green pulled them near it but proved to be not enough. The time ran out, Belgium won and just like that the dream was over. But in many ways a dream was born for soccer players all over the United States. No longer do American soccer players seem as if they don’t belong, they actually appeared quite formidable and competitive. The players and coaches are not the only ones that should be proud of this year’s World Cup, the fans should hold their heads high also. Never before in history have I seen or heard of extreme support for the U.S.A soccer team as I witnessed in this year’s World Cup.

    Fans were flooding the streets. They were sprinting to get the best seat in the house to watch the games. Roars for scored goals and gasps for close calls. I have never seen a group of American’s cheer for an NFL game with as much passion, let alone soccer. At this point I think I should start referring to this worldwide sport that players play with their feet… Football. Times are changing. Things are looking good for all young soccer players in this country. Although international tournaments such as the World Cup have nothing to do with professional soccer in America, I can’t help but assume we will have a soccer hangover once the tournament is over. Therefore I believe the MLS might pick up some steam from all the soccer, excuse me, Football craze recently.

    The Seattle Sounders from MLS are already extremely successful and I expect other teams to start prospering as well. Also I believe that Americans won’t stop watching the tournament because of U.S.A’s elimination. We love the game so much that we will be watching the rest of the games and cheering for teams and players we recognize from all over the world. Whether it’s FC Barcelona’s Neymar Jr. who plays for the Brazil national team or Barcelona’s other superstar Lionel Messi who plays for Argentina, there is no lack of greatness in this tournament.

    There is a whole lot of football left and a whole lot of Americans dying to watch it. As for the United States winning a World Cup, seemed like the coach Jurgen Klinsmann had it right, it was unrealistic for them to win this year’s tournament. But I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say that they will win a World Cup eventually. The sport is growing and the amount of kids playing it is growing. Now with my nationalism and patriotism is put aside with the U.S.A being eliminated, I can sit back and enjoy the rest of the tournament of this beautiful game. But I will never forget what our boys did in Brazil. Love those guys. 

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