The 2014 United States Men’s National Soccer Team will need to wait another four years for the next opportunity to potentially hoist its first World Cup trophy.
Though eliminated yesterday in Salvatore, Brazil from this year’s competition, the Yanks still came away winners.
It may seem odd to assign a winner’s label to a wilted team that just posted an underwhelming 1 – 2 -1 record in the world’s single biggest sporting event.
However, the US squad’s performance was inervating to watch as well as overwhelmingly positive for the sport of soccer in America.
The Yanks may have not won on the pitch, but they were certainly victorious away from the field in gaining worldwide respect from international football fans as well as winning over tepid American sports fans who’ve traditionally eschewed soccer for American football, baseball, basketball and hockey.
The 2014 Jurgen Klinnsman managed bunch will be remembered for transforming soccer in the united States from an after thought to its new level of play and popularity.
Never before has FIFA witnessed such enormous acceptance in the United States across all ethnic, racial and socio-economic circles. Soccer’s emergence has not discriminated in luring its new, multi-faceted, multi-cultural fan base on American soil.
From POTUS – the President of the United States – to the NBA’s LeBron James, from fan requests for Clint Dempsey jerseys to kids coveting Jermaine Jones’ hairstyle, and from celebrity tweets to late night talk shows, the World Cup, and most notably, US Men’s Soccer, has monopolized sports media headlines and captured the souls of American sports fans.
ESPN posted its highest television ratings ever for soccer, while Twitter, Univision and WatchESPN also witnessed record soccer viewership.
But for the normally sure-footed Chris Wondolowski’s miscue with seconds remaining in yesterday’s 0 – 0 match against Belgium, the US team would still be playing. Known as a striker who just finds way to score, Wondo inexplicably missed a difficult volley from the corner of the goalie box that would have unquestionably fueled the flame of the burgeoning Beautiful Game in America.
However, the exiting American side will return to the United States as harbingers of their country’s next great sport and big winners in the court of public opinion.
Because of guys like Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson, Graham Susi, Jeff Cameron and others, a new wave of soaring soccer popularity has washed ashore all the way from Brazil.
And, contrary to crass columnist Ann Coulter, you don’t need to be an illegal immigrant, a newly sworn US citizen or the second generation offspring of a refugee who found safe haven on our shores to revel in the growing glory of soccer in the United States.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!