They were emotionally hyped and adored a surreal moment that believably seemed genuine, the glorious feel-good story that appeared mesmerizing at a time all populace jumped onto the bandwagon to embrace an infatuating portrait.
But now, a casual fan will return to the regularly scheduled programs by watching reruns of CSI or the Simpsons, as television ratings will drastically descend after the United States chase for the beautiful prize came to an end so miserably.
All over the nation, the locals in most cities crowded the sports bars and sat in front of the nearest television to witness the improbable that suddenly faded in a disappointing 2-1 loss to Ghana in the Round of 16 of the captivating World Cup. Because soccer is a foreign activity beloved worldwide but not nationwide, it won’t ever merit a mutual perception or a large portion of entertained fans.
As a nation, we cherish football more than we eulogize futbol, unless of course, the United States is riding a miraculous journey while on a mission to not only attain the unimaginable, but also popularize the diminishing sport of soccer. This time, in an every four year event, the U.S. was successful, galvanizing us to watch a languid event in America and was supposed to implode in the early stages of the tournament.
But it apparently was the most enjoyable drama since New Orleans threw a party on Bourbon Street to laud the Saints for winning its first ever Super Bowl in franchise history, after pulling off the unthinkable against the Indianapolis Colts.
This time, however, we may have witnessed the healthiest soccer tale in U.S. history, thrilled and proud of the historical goal that salvaged pride. In the greatest soccer story that was heartwarming to a large population in the States, the great people witnessed patriotism and persistence, different from four years ago when the United States were inexperience and unsuccessful.
It was merely a subpar team that fizzled in meeting standards, traditionally jeered for the harrowing insults following an agonizing loss. From all the helpless struggles, to the insulting stories, to the bad reputations, the United States devalued the excitement of soccer in a country where it’s unpopular and renounced.
The matches were beneficial and valuable for improving the growth of an unhealthy sport, and were dramatic to the causal supporters. It was only thrilling to watch with the presence of the Americans, seeing whether or not the U.S. could secure a miracle in South Africa.
Really after the Americans were eliminated and sent home by the last Africa team standing, the nation returns back to normalcy and prefers to observe a much-improved baseball season or patiently wait for football season. Few couldn’t care less about the World Cup here in the states, after the Americans were ousted in the Round of 16.
That bothers the growth of soccer in the United States, that defines the typical American as a casual fan, and that describes the average native as a minority in comparison to other countries. As it seems, we may never know if soccer will mount or largely produce a creation of passionate soccer stars in the United States, other than manufacture a quantity of amateurish players.
Greater than ever, the U.S. excited those from Seattle to Los Angeles to Dallas to Kansas City and to New York, boosting television ratings for a growing fan base witnessing a seminal moment in soccer. The game became a part of social life and inspired Americans to travel overseas, believing in a miracle, worldwide recognition and an indelible moment in U.S. history, a theory for eclipsing misconception.
By wrongly misunderstanding of what the sport offered and signified in other countries, the Americans taunted the U.S. for inferiority and insufficiencies in an every four year event, as the local tabloids ripped the United States of poor performances. Across the nation, it expanded realization for a nation satisfied with the U.S. prosperity, despite struggling to prevail past the Round of 16.
There was clear evidence that the Americans were talented and athletic, saving a heartfelt feeling of pride and spirit in a nation that hadn’t became attached, but now coach Bob Bradley has some answering because of his outlandish lineup moves.
Every way, that is, Ghana was the better opponent with explosiveness, assertiveness and ambition. It turns out the Americans were jingoistic, but weren’t durable enough to outlast Ghana. Beside the stereotypical chatter, there were periods in the game when the U.S. looked fatigued and sluggish, particularly in the beginning the Ghanaians exploded with the early stunner and took advantage of the United States porous defense.
The most compelling tournament came to an end, when an exhausted and slower Ghana terrified the U.S. in overtime. Three minutes in overtime, the sensational star of Ghana, Asamoah Gyan booted the game-winning goal, breaking the hearts of U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra.
“We tried to push and push,” Bocanegra said. “I don’t know if we just didn’t have anything left because we had been pushing so much the entire tournament.”
With a multitude of young people living in an era when all sports are regarded, it could have uplifted the image in a narrow-minded country that really wasn’t introduced or developed an aura in the unsought game of soccer.
Will soccer ever survive in America or will people unwelcome the sport? Not a bad question, considering that the country has stared at one of the world’s greatest athletes. Some will argue Landon Donovan is one of the greatest American sporting figures, remembered for the remarkable, game-winning goal during stoppage time in World Cup history against Algeria to qualify for the Round of 16.
He scored on a penalty kick that sent the game to overtime tied 1-1. He has a U.S. record of five goals at the World Cup, and 45 in international play alone. It was a heartbreaker, however, when Donovan exchanged jerseys with a Ghana player and walked off the field and sat on the bench and hung his head, literally disillusioned over the grieving defeat.
“If we’re a little less naïve tonight, we would have advanced,” said Donovan. “I said all along this was a young team and a relatively inexperienced team at this level.”
He’s a valuable player on the United States National team and the best American soccer player ever. If he wasn’t at his best, he wouldn’t have converted on the penalty kick or saved the U.S. with his mesmerizing goal. It’s a privilege to watch a 28-year old soccer assassin be the superior one in his prime and record incomparable milestones in the world-class event. But it wasn’t enough to knock off Ghana in the elimination rounds as the United States were defeated by the Ghanaians for the second straight World Cup, mourning another disappointing scenario after inspiring the nation with bravery and heroism.
“A stinging, tough defeat,” said Bradley, who has been criticized for his lineup changes.
But it was a sense of humanity for a country that pride itself on soccer, with former President Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger sitting in the stands, discovering a memorable moment in U.S. soccer history. But unfortunately, the soccer gimmick and phase may actually dematerialize with the Americans’ falling at the worse possible time and missing out on the semifinals, a round the U.S. hasn’t advanced to since the first World Cup in 1930.
The reality of this story is that the Americans lost, while having an extremely talented and experienced group. They had all the elements to win, surrounded by the heroics of Tim Howard, one of the best goalkeepers in the world and Clint Dempsey one of the greatest defenders. But none of it mattered once the U.S. suffered a loss, wasting a shot at reaching a pinnacle in a sport our country isn’t known for delivering glory.
It was possible, at least it seemed that way, until the Americans encountered Ghana in an elimination round. It’s hard to ignore and forget a seminal moment, but will soccer remain popular in this country? Judging patriotism, it’s hard to tell how an American visualizes sports.
It remains whether or not soccer will last permanently or temporarily.