#1N1T

The emotional rollercoaster that was the USA vs. Belgium game in the World Cup is hard to describe unless you were there watching it too. The ups and downs were so intense I was emotionally exhausted by the time it was over. Pretty sure I left marks whilst clutching my face during the intense back and forth. I’m sad that the team lost to Belgium but I have to try and look a the positives that came out of everything this World Cup.

First and most exciting for me is the fever about soccer (futbol) that is gripping the country. Soccer is here to stay and I love seeing that there are more fans now than there have ever been for the sport. I loved the costumes and the face paints and the ‘I believe’ chant. There was a lot of positive, hopeful feelings about our team which was really cool to see.

As sad as I am to see some of our current squad stars aging out we have a very promising crop of youngsters ready and eager to grow into their own. I look forward to the next World Cup in 2018 where our team will continue to keep doing better and go just that much farther.

The highlight performance of the match for me though was our goalie Tim Howard, who set a record of 16 saves throughout the game. The man was doing some serious work defending the goal from what could have been a serious route by the Belgians. Odds are Tim will be retiring from the international circuit now (he’s 35 I believe) and even though we lost it’s a hell of a send off for an amazing goalie and an incredible goal-keeping career. I’ll be sad to see him go.

The internet reacted in its typical fashion and some amazing memes and jokes were born.

BrfhVzrCQAEOkyA

“Tim Howard was money today,” @TheWorldCup.

 

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Sunday Mishmash

I had a pretty lazy weekend which I desperately needed, but it always seems too short and now I find myself looking into another work week. /mourn

One distraction I very much enjoyed watching was the CONCACAF Gold Cup in which the USA Men’s Soccer team  took victory over Panama today. Woot! ^_^ Very glad for a win.

‘Murica!

I’ve slept in too much to get off my butt and go birding but the recently fledged Barn Swallows that live around my building have been a great source of entertainment. The babies really are a bit derpy and their flight capabilities leave something to be desired. The whole family seems to enjoy visiting my balcony which is fun to see.

I’ll leave you with this picture of a Burrowing Owl looking rather quizzically at the camera. Burrowing Owls have found a special place in my heart and I just love seeing pictures of them. I would absolutely love to be able to see these little guys in person.

Burrowing Owl Head turnWhatchoo talkin’ ’bout camera guy?

Where’s Waldo Gaining Traction

The US Men’s National Soccer Team took on Antigua & Barbuda today in their first qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup. The final result was US 3, Antigua & Barbuda 1. This is actually the first time I got to see a US Men’s game live under the guidance of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and I was eager to see how they would perform on the field. While I enjoyed watching the game quite a bit I was surprised at how much trouble Antigua & Barbuda gave the US. To be honest I was not expecting A&B to be much of an obstacle but they managed to make things interesting.

The weather was absolutely terrible in Tampa, FL where the match was held. Heavy rain was falling for almost the entire game drenching the players and the exuberant crowd. The rain, however, did absolutely nothing to dampen the spirits of the spectators who kept up the chorus of boos, chants and overall u-rah-rah-USA atmosphere going the entire 90 minutes.

Hopefully this game will be a learning experience for the US team and a spring board to tighten up their gameplay. Overall I was quite pleased with their performance despite the terrible pitch conditions. I also found the choice of starting Herculez Gomez to be a positive one. Gomez scored the third goal of the evening – which I believe was his first on the international stage. We will see if he continues to start or if Jozy Altidore starts instead. Klinsmann seems to be playing with his line-ups a bit so players could be moved around as he finds the most optimal starting 11.

I think I am leaning towards Gomez starting after seeing his performance today. They may need to make some changes in the defense lineup as well. Onyewu had some shaky moments that left holes in the defense that A&B exploited. Holes in the defense aren’t something the US can afford moving forward in the qualifyers as they come up against tougher teams. This world cup I am expecting them to make it out of the group stage referees’ calls or not *stares.*

USA Line-up: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 16-Jose Torres (5-Oguchi Onyewu, 57); 7-Maurice Edu , 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones (18-Terrence Boyd, 81); 10-Landon Donovan, 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Herculez Gomez (17-Jozy Altidore, 80)

P.S. My sister kindly informed me that no, this was not Gomez’ first international goal. Learn something every day. 😛

US Men’s Soccer: Road to The World Cup

After a thoroughly disappointing non-qualification to the summer 2012 Olympics in England, I am watching the US Men’s National Soccer Team for signs that perhaps they will actually qualify for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

Tonight’s match versus the Canadian National team is a good way to build momentum going into the World Cup qualifiers. The US’ record against Canada is definitely in their favor. Despite this I don’t want to assume anything until the final whistle blows at the end of the match. This is once again another reason why I am debating about getting cable so I could actually watch the match live. :/ To pay, or not to pay, for cable? That is the question. Truly all I would need is like 10 channels. I would so buy cable in an instant if they let me choose channels a la carte.

I will be able to follow the online chat which I will probably do whilst also cooking dinner and watching a Big Bang Theory marathon. Bazinga!

 

Good luck US, make me proud!!