[update] so much for that 🙁
In a country where soccer is a 2nd tier (if that) sport, the USA vs. Ghana game today represents more then just a knockout stage game. In this world, the United States has long dominated just about every sport, every event. Except soccer. The rest of the world does not want to see us succeed. Ever. Everyone hates us and this is the last bastion of sports that we don’t own. There has long been a disdain for the men’s team throughout the world, but not for the players, but for the country.
If the US can pull together it’s never-die play and win today, this is more then a win. It’s notice. It’s saying “we can do this, we belong here”. The more the US plays, the better they have gotten. And the further the US can go, the bigger the statement. It’s huge. It’s any explanation you can use. It’s the possibility of the impossible made true. It’s that big.
The game is that important. In the United States, the win can further propel the sport. It can legitimize the men and women in this country who love the game. It can open new avenues for the MLS and other leagues. It can push American born players into higher leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga, Series A, etc. More earning power means more interest.
When the interest of a nation turns to such a maligned and misunderstood beautiful game that is all about the team, all about playing together, we all win. Yeah, it’s just that important.
A loss today is a loss for all of American Soccer. We as a nation lose. A win, we are further propelled into the limelight. The time has come.