Oh America, you made my weekend this Saturday. Because despite your performance in past years, persistent complaints that soccer is boring (because NASCAR is so interesting!) and marginal investment in MLS, and the presence of the World Cup has inspired this:
Yes. An upswell of national pride in Dupont circle for the US-England game. America flags, hats, picnics, large screen TVs and PEOPLE. So many people. Even Eddie Pope, the well-known DC United defender, showed up and spoke to the crowd. No, I did not watch the game there. Ironcityspy insisted on wearing his Benedict Arnold England kit, leaving us pariahs. It was also hot. VERY hot. And I dislike watching games I am emotionally invested in surrounded by people.
But what did I think of the game? I was happy with our draw. A couple comments:
- Tim Howard (our goalkeeper) was the player of the game. From Everton to Team USA, he is exceptionally talented, a true leader of our defense and a fighter. We all saw that cringe-inducing injury. Yikes.
- US needs to up its defensive game. Howard barked orders and unfortunately he often had to. Our defensive communication was mediocre. Maybe if we communicated better, we would have succeeded in pulling one England player offsides. Just ONE. Instead, we seemed to let every through ball go through to a perfectly non-offside striker (see UK goal), with some men not marked at all.
- Oh, Green. Poor bastard. The Queen’s countrymen do not forgive such rookie goalkeeper transgressions. Amateur soccer zings abounded, including one from my mom, who volunteered to bring orange slices at half time for England’s next game. Anyone who played youth soccer gets that joke. Kudos, madre!
- Man have our uniforms evolved. Okay it’s not a serious point, but our uniforms are NICE. Especially compared to what they used to be. Remember 1994? When we had this abomination of a uniform and “Striker” the USA dog mascot?!
Jesus. Nothing screams serious soccer more than acid-wash faux denim and a cartoon dog. We have come a long way America . Bravo!
(Oh and tear for my other motherland, Serbia. My Serb White Eagles lost to Ghana on a PK for a really blatant, stupid handball. They play Germany next, so here’s to hoping our offense can produce something and our defense lives up to the hype. Godspeed my brethren)