We’ll Care About Soccer–in Another Four Years
With certain regrets I say goodbye to the World Cup. I, like many Americans I sense, cared a lot about the World Cup because the U.S. was playing in it. The other games and teams, the ones without the stars and stripes on their uniforms, I found out the score, saw who advanced but didn’t really learn any of the players’ names or what their offensive strategy was. Speaking of which, is there some young, genius new coach out there who can somehow figure a way to put the ball in the back of the net more often than it rains in Lubbock in July? I mean seriously, when the U.S. and Belgium finished the first half scoreless, it was the 6th straight World Cup game to go scoreless in the first half. Six games in a row without a single goal at halftime. The rest of the world wonders why the game never really catches on in America. We’re a country built on winning, not tying. I’m convinced if Knute Rockne had put his mind towards soccer instead of football back in the 1920’s, the game would have evolved way beyond where it is today.
Let’s face it, the game had to have looked pretty much the same back in 1936, can’t someone figure out a way to score some goals? All of these terrific athletes running like deer, kicking the ball 70 yards like it was shot from a rocket, there is obvious skill being displayed but no one can score a goal? It’s like reading a really good mystery book and someone rips out the final 2 pages. You’re left feeling ripped off, unsatisfied. That in a nutshell is why the game will never be in the top four in the country.
Back to the U.S./ Belgium game, despite the scorelessness, Tim Howard was sensational. Belgium went at him like a Belgian kid goes after a waffle. Everything they threw at the goal he turned away. In all, Howard made 16 saves which is the most in a World Cup game since 1966. In the NHL that’s a good half, but I digress. Howard finally gave up a pair of goals in the overtime but only because his teammates couldn’t keep Belgium away from the American goal. There is only so much a goalie can do. If not for Howard,, I would have gotten all the goals I complain are never scored. Seriously, Belgium could have had 5 goals easy at the end of regulation if Howard wasn’t amazing.
The U.S. failed to make it into the quarterfinals, which would have been the first time since 2002, but it was a great tournament for the good guys. Lots of attention, places like Soldier Field in Chicago and AT&T Stadium in Arlington opened their doors for free to let fans watch the game on their big screens. But just as quickly as the sport captivated us, it will go back into hiding for another 4 years. Those same touk wearing, IPA beer drinking dudes who acted like they lived and breathed for World Cup, won’t step foot into an FC Dallas game next week, I promise you.
In this country, the World Cup is a fad–like planking and the Kardashians, before you know it, it will evaporate and we’ll all move on and wonder what the big deal was all about.