For those of you who understand and appreciate the beautiful game, this post is for you. For those of you who still lack the mental fortitude to understand and appreciate the sport of the world, quietly drown yourselves in a toilet. Cheers.
Growing up between the U.S. & France, the contrasts of my upbringing were always glaringly displayed on the pitch. Stateside, I never really had an issue hanging with the guys I played soccer with, be it organized or pick-up. Some guys were bigger and faster, others were a bit more technically proficient, but overall we were basically on the same level.
But then something weird happened. We started to win. Yeah, we didn't make the semis. The game we lost to Ghana could have gone either way. We beat England. Landon Donovan provided the single greatest moment in USMNT history. For not winning the whole thing, that was the best tournament I've ever watched aside from the 1999 Tournament of Lord Stanley. It changed my entire perception of American footy, from the amount of people who lived and died with every passing minute to the increased interest in MLS after the tournament. I have actual conversations with Americans about soccer now, something I never thought would happen. However, the Buffalonian in me felt that couldn't last. I figured we were like England: the last half decade produced the best crop of players the US has ever had, and we may never be as good as a national squad ever again. I felt like that until last night.