Thursday, October 15, 2009

The World is Watching-- World Cup Qualifying

I had a really new experience last evening.

Jeremy and I traveled to RFK Stadium in D.C. (and it was a travel--the usual 30 min trip took over 2 hours because of traffic!) to watch the U.S. Soccer Team play against Costa Rica in the final World Cup qualifying match. I had never watched a U.S. team play in international competition before.

Good news--the U.S. already clinched a World Cup berth by beating Honduras in Honduras on Saturday. So we didn't even need a win to get to South Africa.

Ok--here is the fun part. How many times have you watched a U.S. Team or individual play or participate in a sport on television and heard the chant U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A?

I know I have a whole lot.

Better than watching on TV, is to be in the crowd doing the chanting and believing that the louder the crowd chants, the better the U.S. team plays.

Down at field level was Sam's Army decked out in red-white, and blue cheering and when goals were scored celebrating enthusiastically with the best of all banners--the U.S. Flag! How can you not love being there.

And it seemed true last night as the U.S. Soccer Team overcame a two goal deficit to tie Costa Rica 2-2 in the final. The last goal being scored with just about 30 seconds of playing time left and the U.S. Team down a man due to a late injury and no substitutions left. It is the stuff movies are made of.

The rain was falling, the lights burned bright into the night and on the stage rabid supporters of two countries cheered their teams. Sam's Army was a sight to behold. After the game, the members of the U.S. team came over and celebrated with Sam's Army and that was another of the coolest things--they thanked the fans for their support, right on the field after the game.

It was fun! And somehow, we never doubted that the U.S. team would not lose! And they did not lose even when down by a man and with a lot less to play for than the Costa Ricans who needed a win to advance to the World Cup next year in South Africa! The Costa Ricans (a/k/a Ticos) are now playing a two-game playoff (or play-in) against Uruguay for the last spot.

So if you get a chance--go someplace with a lot of other Americans yelling
U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A

Enjoy yourself. It surely doesn't happen enough.

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