US - Landscape after Battle
The US Men's olympic futbol team drew 2-2 with Netherlands and then lost to Nigeria 2-1 yesterday to go out of the tournament. I saw the Nigeria match at a Shanghai sports bar with two Nigerians and one Yank but the broadcast came up in the 4th minute with the announcement that the US were already down a man on a red card to defender Orozco a minute earlier. Doomed. And Japan gave up a PK to the Netherlands in 79th minute to lose 0-1 and send the Dutch through. Here is my post to Big Soccer bulletin board
I watch this game,football, with my gut. I'm crap at formations, substitutions, stats, coaching decisions, for me it's all emotion, all flow, all goal or none at all. As a US supporter, screaming, on my back out on the pavement outside a Japanese pub after Donovan's goal puts us up 2-0 over Mexico in 2002, there's a voice in the back of my head going "Maybe this is as good as it gets...in your lifetime." Today's disappointment was on so many levels I don't even want to start, but getting the PK back,then hitting the post gives me hope for the future. Just keep more youngsters in the pipeline, kids who woke up at 5:00 am and watched this with their dads, hungry for revenge.
There are worse things than going out of our 2008 Olympic group, I tell myself. How about not qualifying for WC2010 AT ALL? [Or John McCain winning the Presidency?]
I feel bad for Orozco, will he wear the shirt again? Perhaps not. Adu, the second yellow, Parkhurst, owned on both goals, Holden,... the list continues. There you are sailing along 2-1 over Holland and then in the last minute and in the next 3rd minute of the 3rd match it all goes off the rails...spectacularly.
It's time to dust this off again, an excerpt from Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch (read it if you haven't yet):
"Football teams are extraordinary inventive in the ways they find to cause their supporters sorrow. They lead at Wembley and just throw it away; they go to the top of the First Division and then stop dead; they draw the difficult away game and lose the home replay; they beat Liverpool one week and lose to Scunthorpe the next; they seduce you, half way through the season, into believing that they are promotion material and then go the other way...
always, when you think you have anticipated the worst that can happen, they come up with something new."