Battered, bruised and bereft of energy, a hard scrapple Team USA survived the heat, humidity and heavyweight hitters in the highly competitive Group G , otherwise known as the Group of Death, in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Americans earned the opportunity to advance into the single elimination round of 16 against a very formidable Belgium side, winners of Group H.
Few international football fans expected the US Soccer Men’s National Team to emerge from a horribly disadvantageous draw in Group G that consisted of one of the tournament’s favorites in Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal and Ghana who ousted them in the two previous World Cups.
However, the US demonstrated that it may not be as talented or technical as Germany in yesterday’s rain soaked loss in Recife, but it came away with new found respect that the Yanks can compete against anyone on the pitch.
Credit the Americans’ relentless, rugged defense so far in the tournament and their unwillingness to back down from the sport’s strongest teams.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad has garnered immense respect for his side, and the US manager appears to be transforming soccer to unprecedented, welcome levels in the United States.
Long overlooked as a step-child to bigger, blue blooded siblings; i.e. American football, baseball and basketball, international football has posted significant strides in both United States traditional and digital media because of the red, white and blue’s performance in this year’s quadrennial event.
In addition to ESPN announcing record cable viewership for the sport with its comprehensive Brazilian coverage, digital world metrics have exploded as well.
According to Cynopsis Media, Twitter accounted for 3 million tweets alone in yesterday’s USA versus Germany match, while the WatchESPN digital platform witnessed a never-before-seen 1.4 million concurrent viewers tuned into the game.
Based on the growing popularity of the US squad’s success despite brutal weather conditions in this year’s World Cup against top tier opponents, expect soccer to continue to soar in the USA not only in the digital world, but in bar room conversations, workplace discussions and, most importantly, in parks, pitches and playgrounds across the United States.
The once overlooked step-child won’t be ignored any longer on the playing fields or in the digital world.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!