Twenty-five hours since the end of the USA v. Portugal game and I am just now getting my center of gravity back. What a stunning game. What a comeback. What a way to secure a point. What a kick in the gut. What a soccer hangover.
For most of this past day I have been in a bit of a stupor – still stunned by that moment of brilliance from Ronaldo. He was quiet for 94 minutes, frustrated by his injury and an sturdy American defense, but he eventually broke through and delivering that exceptional cross. I felt ill.
What I want to say is that this game, despite being heart retching, was absolutely amazing. I do not believe that is hyperbole. It was amazing.
The USMT played beautiful, inspired, and persistent attacking soccer. We went at Portugal and outplayed them for most of the match. We did not depend on counter-attacks or set pieces the way or teams did in the past. We measured up and took it to them.
My brother said it best in a mid-game tweet sent late last night – “I think that is the most dominant I have ever seen the US play. The first 9 minutes felt like an hour, but after that we killed it. I am proud of that soccer play.”
This form came at a perfect time – because last night ESPN saw a record number of televisions tuned in for a soccer game.
ESPN posts big 9.1 overnight rating for USA vs Portugal; is highest World Cup overnight on ESPN & ESPN2 ever
— Mike Humes (@MikeHumesESPN) June 23, 2014
This game was a stellar introduction to the game of soccer and to the USMNT for all of those new fans. Soccer is growing up in the USA and by the time the next World Cup comes around it won’t be a ‘hipster’ thing to be a soccer fan.
As for our next game vs Germany – I feel optimistic. We are in control of our own fate, a luxury at the World Cup. We will give Germany tough go and put up a performance to be proud of, like our team has done all tournament.
Best of luck USMNT.