Well, now that the US is out of the World Cup, I can talk about it.
I'm a soccer fan. Growing up, I was surrounded by other soccer fans in my family, and none outside of them. In school, everyone liked other American sports, which was fine because we also liked American football and basketball. Not baseball, though. Something about that sport just rubbed us the wrong way. I always liked movies about baseball, but the sport itself was just strange and alien.
Every four years, the World Cup happens. To my family, it's a big deal. With my mom being from Spain, we always cheer for them. Us being from the US, we cheer for them too, but, it's sort of half-hearted. We don't deny them praise, but in our hearts we know they won't go far. It's a shame and a pity, because it's our country. We want them to do well, but we know they're outclassed.
This year, I was really enjoying watching the US play. Not because they were great, but because they were so resilient. I saw them lose not one, but TWO goals to bad calls, and get fouled left-and right. It's a shame for new soccer fans, but maybe it will get them angry enough to care. Maybe. Anyway, Saturday's game was heartbreaking. The US once again showed resilience, if not skill. Unfortunately, they've proven time and time again that ball possession and team-playing is not their greatest asset. They have some good individual players, but their defense is SEVERELY lacking, with the exception of one great goalie. But one goalie can't save a team, and neither can one striker. Donavan, you're good, but you're not that good.
The English have been shoving Rooney in our face for months, and what happened? The same thing. Except they were practically humiliated by Germany, and made it only as far as who? The US. So thank GOD they can stop gloating, because their "dream team" was destroyed.
Tuesday, Spain is playing Portugal at 2:30. I'm nervous and excited. This is a big deal, because Portugal has proven to be quite formidable, and Spain lost to, of all people, Switzerland. So I'm hoping that Spain will win, but despite how much I love them, I have my doubts. This is why I don't gamble.. I don't want to let my brain get clouded by hope. But Spain does have something the US needs to learn from; teamwork. If you watch Spain play, you'll see beautiful passing, from one man to another, in split second movements. It's really amazing to watch, to see how well they're in sync with one another. I'm proud of them for that, because they seem to embody the term, "The Beautiful Game".
So forgive me if I'm one of the people that you think might have been sucked into the soccer craze. The truth is, I'm not. I used to go to DC United games every month with my dad, and I still enjoy going to their games. I watch soccer on TV for the 3 years that the World Cup ISN'T playing, and I keep track of my favorite players.
And for those who HAVE been sucked into the soccer craze? I hope they stick around. I hope they prove that just because Americans seem to have this whole "Our shit is better than the world's shit!" mentality, they can put aside their assholish thinking and start to look at it on a global level.
I mean, come on.. isn't it cool to see countries pitted against one another? Fans from every corner of the world waving their flags, wearing ridiculous outfits, singing their national anthems in pride of their nations? That, to me, is what makes the World Cup so amazing.