I believe I can speak for most, if not all, USA Soccer fans when I say that I have a strong disliking of the Ghanaian Men’s National Soccer Team. This all dates back to 2006 in Germany where they beat the USA 2-1 in the final game of the group stage to eliminate them from the tournament. Jump ahead to 2010 where the USA had won its group for the first time ever only to come up against Ghana in the Round of 16 and lose, again 2-1 in extra time.
2014 would not be the same. At least, we all hoped.
Usually in a World Cup history repeats itself (France beats Brazil, England loses on penalties etc) so the thought of losing to Ghana again just really made me sick.
Thank God for John Brooks.
I was dressed to the 9’s in my USA gear: sunglasses, bandana, flag, jersey, and American flag socks in for my first World Cup game and it was beautiful. The result and the stadium. I cannot begin to describe my emotions during that game. Utter shock and jubilation after Clint Dempsey scored within the first 30 seconds, feeling devastated by the equalizing goal by Ghana which really was a great goal (technically speaking) and then madness and tears of joy after John Brooks heads the ball into the back of the net off a Graham Zusi ball delivered from the corner. I cried a bit and then hugged every single USA fan in my row and screamed until my lungs got sore.
I really don’t know what else to say about this game so I will just end it with a few photos from my experience.
OK, so I know that I promised more content – but I wasn’t prepared for the spotty WiFi situation here in Brazil. Now that I have had a few days to acclimate to things here I am ready to report on my first few days during this, the world’s greatest sporting event.
It’s humid. I don’t know what else to say beyond that it is quite humid here. I am not used to that sort of weather. When it’s hot, it’s dry and when it’s wet it’s cold. Not here. I’d like to think I’m accepting this weather change but then again I have no idea since everything is so sticky.
During my first day and a half in Brazil it rained. And I mean IT RAINED. Apparently Natal has around 300 days of sunshine a year and it seems like we’re getting all of their rain right now. It’s raining right now outside of my window. It’s not a downpour, but it’s raining enough to make me sit inside and actually write – so maybe it’s a good thing.
I’ve met some awesome people here and everyone is really genuinely nice and accommodating because, hey, it’s the World Cup!
Up Next: My view/reaction of USA v Ghana
It’s been a long long — long while sine I last wrote anything and I just let it slip away from me, nothing more. I forgot to continue on with my stories from my time in Australia. Those stories will continue later.
But first, I am going to shift focus for a few weeks – starting Friday June 13th (yes Friday the 13th, someone warn Jason Voorhees for me please) – as I make my way to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
This won’t be just any old trip. This is a trip with purpose. I will be following the United States of America, my home country, as they navigate the “Group of Death”, Group G. In between these games I will do some exploring around my home base of Natal and possibly take in some other matches that are going on there as well.
So, starting this Friday, be on the lookout for new stuff as I make my way from Los Angeles to Houston, Texas to Natal and beyond.