Sparkling Crosses and Golden Goals

by Ryan

Over the last few weeks I’ve written and talked about soccer more than any other sport. If I were a teenage girl, I would be crushing on it hard. Soccer would be my Edward and my Jacob, and I would be a relatively bland brunette with sub-par acting skills. However, I am not a teenage girl, and soccer cannot morph into a werewolf.

Still, it’s hard to put into words how much I’ve enjoyed the World Cup, especially the games the States were involved in. The end result of this World Cup run is most certainly a disappointment, but I’ve never been this emotionally involved in the sport since I was playing Dee Dee’s Dairy soccer as a goaltender and recorded a shutout on the red team. This “being a soccer fan” thing is a lot of fun, and I’m really glad things have accelerated like this over the past few weeks.

Since the United States was eliminated from the Round of 16 on Saturday, we’ve seen some pretty strong pieces recapping their World Cup run. Nick Mendola, Chris, and Nick all did a really nice job discussing the different angles of being a soccer fan, especially an American soccer fan. I would most certainly consider those three real soccer fans, and it was a lot of fun watching the World Cup with them. I really think that sense of community was a big reason I had so much fun.

With the Round of 16 over and the games themselves winding down, the sad truth that the World Cup is ending very soon. For the most part the end of the last World Cup meant the end of my soccer viewing, but what I liked about the three pieces I mentioned above is that they all have a great sense of hope attached to them. A hope for U.S. Soccer, but also for soccer fans as a whole.

I think it’s that hope that made bowing out against Ghana okay in some ways. Just because Donovan and Dempsey aren’t wearing the white or blue shirts doesn’t mean they stop playing for four years. Now is the time where I can really start loving soccer by watching the EPL, following other leagues and starting to understand what it’s all about. Maybe I’ll even catch an MLS or USMNT game live, or finally make it to an FC Buffalo game.

There will always be people who think soccer looks like this:

There will always be soccer haters but there are just as many hockey haters out there, if not more. No matter how much “progress” is made with fans and good press, you will never convince everyone your sport is worth watching. However, over the last few weeks I’ve been convinced, and I know I’m not alone. Chris already has an EPL team picked out, and Rich is one more hour on YouTube from picking Liverpool.

Looks like I’ve got some research to do.

3 Comments

  1. kyle schlaich

    hey man, another great read!
    im really glad you are going to follow the premier league. ive been looking to chat about english football for a long time!

    my grandfather was from newcastle, so naturally i was raised to support newcastle united. to be honest, foreign supporters (especially american) are not too welcome. i belong to a few nufc forums and i only receive respect because of my bloodline and because i told them i am from canada, which is kinda true since i still have relatives there. the other americans on there not so much.

    all i can say is do not pick one of the top 4 if you want any respect! plus all it does is make the local supporters of those teams hate you more, if you happen to run across a few. this is because it discredits their support. other teams in the prem joke that there are more l’pool fans than people in l’pool and if l’pool turned to shit, than the stadium would be empty (for example).

    anyways, i suggest fulham. they hold dempsey pretty high there. any other club you would need some more substantial reasons to be welcomed.

    sorry for the rant! good luck with the research!

  2. Kyle,

    That was actually exactly what I was looking for. I’m sure I’ll be talking to you about these things over the next few weeks. Thanks for reading, man…

  3. Peter-usrt

    Wolverhampton, aka “Wolves”….that’s my club….storied side that was one of the original founding clubs of the Football League in 1880′s. Had their glory days in the 50′s and 60′s before hitting the hard times in the early 80′s(like the Bills). They dropped from 1st division to 2nd to 3rd to 4th in successive years during that time and just now are heading into the Premiership for the second consecutive season.

    And yes, the USRT is making the trek to Wolverhampton for the first time this October along with a visit to Wembley for the annual NFL game.