USA Soccer: It's More Than Just a Game

James Gray IICorrespondent IJuly 19, 2008

Last night I was fortunate enough to catch a re-run of the United States versus Argentina in the last warm-up for World Cup qualifying. For those who don't know the Argentineans are ranked number one in the world compared to the United States who is ranked nineteenth.

I am going to be the first to admit I am a fan of soccer but not an avid follower, except for the World Cup. For all of you who stepped outside the box in 2006 and watched the World Cup surely felt let down by the United States highly anticipated performance.

Everyone expected an improved team that would hopefully surpass their 2002 performance which was ended by a controversial no call against Germany in the round of eight. The dull performance left people running back to the usual popular sports here in the States; basketball, baseball and football.

How can you blame them? You can't, in 06 it felt like the sport of soccer finally had earned a birth in the only country that doesn't watch it. The commercials were great, for once we could all cheer for the same team and get along, a sense of unity was definitely in the air.

With the spotlight on, our team failed and so did the idea of watching soccer again for most people. 

However, last night I put my grudge aside and watched my country battle it out against the world's best team. To my surprise they actually tied Argentina in front of a crowd of 78,682 at Giants Stadium.

For a sport that I thought people weren't interested in, I was proved wrong.  Those 78,682 people were a part of a record crowd to watch a soccer game at the Meadowlands.

Watching the game was a bad way to put it, if I didn't know this was an international friendly game I would've thought it was the 2010 World Cup Finals. 

Not one fan was sitting, unlike Giants and Jets' games I have attended. The last Jets game I went to I was yelled at for standing by a season ticket holder, then again no offense it is the Jets.

Not only did every fan stay through the pouring rain many were shirtless covering themselves with American flags. You could see the passion in the eyes of the players and fans, this was more than just an exhibition, it was an attempt to save the sport that they love and care about so much.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't moved by the chants screaming "USA," while Americans' proudly showed off their American flags and colors. This type of feeling is what sports should be about; passionate fans, unselfish players, sportsmanship, and most important a unity among Americans.

This time the players' did their job and without question the fans did theirs.  So if you’re tired of scandals, steroids, and selfish overpaid players, check out U.S. soccer I think you will be surprised.