- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 3, 2014
- 0 Comments
I must admit, I was pretty darn disappointed in the result on Tuesday afternoon. In all honesty, I needed a day or two to really recover from the 2-1 loss to Belgium. I may not even be really over it as I write this post either.
Going into this World Cup, I had the United States escaping from the Group of Death to play Belgium. I also had them squeaking by the Red Devils in the Round of 16 to go on to battle Argentina in the quarterfinals. But it wasn’t meant to be on the night as the US fell in dramatic fashion.
The more I look at things, the more I know that this sport is slowly arriving in this country. My normal morning commute into work usually consists of listening to ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. Each day this week they’ve spent plenty of time discussing the loss, talking to players and reflecting on where things are going with this sport. To hear a big radio show like that discuss the game and the sport (along with mentions of Major League Soccer I might add) when in years past they wouldn’t after a loss like that shows the signs that the future is very bright.
I don’t want to discuss the ins and outs of that game, or any of the three group stage games for that matter. The results lined up almost identical to how I predicted them before the tournament. A win over Ghana. A tie with Portugal. A loss to Germany. That was always the plan. It worked.
I don’t really want to discuss what Jurgen Klinsmann did and didn’t do either. In short, I felt he did well with what he brought to Brazil. Losing Jozy Altidore early in the tournament was a big hit but he managed to get his team to respond as well as anyone could hope. The fact that he was able show exactly what he had been seeing out of Julian Green was remarkable. Plugging in the right players at key moments like John Anthony Brooks against Ghana and DeAndre Yedlin against Portugal and Belgium.
And I also don’t want to talk future rosters. We have good young players in development all around the world really but it seems silly to say this guy is a lock for 2018 while this guy isn’t. I’d be more interested in looking at rosters for next year’s Gold Cup more than anything.
All I know is that we’re in a better place as a country right now than we were before this tournament. We’re in a better place than we were in 2010. I look at 2018 with a lot of passion and energy knowing that we’re moving in the right direction. The players we have and will have will only continue to get better. The passion that our fans and country has for this team will only continue to improve.
This tournament was the dawn of a new era in sports for Americans. Non-soccer fans are starting to become soccer fans. People are wanting to talk about the sport and how to grow it. The future is indeed bright for this sport and I know deep down that our country is starting to embrace what we all already know – how damn beautiful it really is.