Before I was even in the den, while I was cooking the rice and slicing the onions and peppers, for a dinner of burrito’s, Clint Dempsey put it away. Screaming ensued, social media roared, and the family text chain went wild, wooing and hollering. Could they hold on for 95 more minutes, though, when the headlines were practically already written claiming victory for Ghana? And did my neighbors realize nobody was killed in a brutal attack inside my house, but just excited about soccer?
Then the injuries began. What appeared to be a torn hamstring that I could feel rip down my own leg. Striker Jozy Altidore was laying on the field feeling like I did when I was having Jake and the epidural didn’t work. He was down, and so was my family. Then Dempsey took a leg to the nose. Again, I could feel the pain on my own face. But Forget it, he was having none of it. They stuffed some stuff up his nostrils, and he played on, while clearly in a massive amount of pain. And somehow, though Ghana had what seemed like a million shots on goal, the US hung on. When they finally scored, it seemed the dream might be over, and they’d finally hit their stride, but again, somehow, like magic, the US kept them at bay, and then with a few minutes left, scored again. An unlikely US victory. Against all odds, and just like that.
We love soccer around here. My brother-in-law is a sports writer, and expert soccer guy. Ally plays on an elite club team, and just won the state cup, Jake knows more about it than he should, and Peter has watched more games than a high school coach. And me, I have learned to love this sport where you don’t use your hands. It’s fast, and fun to watch. And yesterday was a perfect example of riding the roller coaster of a soccer game. And while we were happy for team USA, we all felt that Ghana’s play had been superior, and that really they should have won, but that’s the heartbreak of this game. It’s what’s weird and hard, but heck, I’ll take it.