The World Cup reached its epic conclusion this past Sunday when Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in the World Cup Final. Germany was a heavy favorite to win the World Cup from the very beginning and they came through with very few rough spots.
It is always fun to see teams like Costa Rica make it to the Quarterfinals but at the end of the day soccer is very much a sport with few surprises. There truly is a natural order to the world of soccer and very few times is that order broken. This year it seemed very clear that Germany would win the championship because they clearly had the best team, and so they did.
But for American fans this year’s World Cup brought many ups and downs. In one sense it was great to see the Men’s team get revenge over Ghana with that opening win but in another sense it was extremely demoralizing to see the same team give away a goal in the final seconds to Portugal that brought the contest to a 2-2 draw, especially since the Americans were playing a much better game than the Portuguese.
At times, the Yanks played very well but at times they also played very poorly. From the outside looking in it seems that the U.S. had a great World Cup performance in getting out of the “Group of Death.”
Although this may be true for the average American who didn’t start watching soccer until a month ago, it is not the same outlook for consistent USA soccer fans.
Sure, the U.S. made it out of the group stage but when you really look at their performances from game to game it was a bit messy.
The Americans were fortunate to get a late header from John Brooks against Ghana because they were not the better side for the duration of that contest. The game against Portugal was easily USA’s best performance but only led to a draw while they forgot to show up against the Germans in their final group game.
And many American fans will remember Tim Howard’s incredible performance against Belgium in the Round of 16 only because the American defense was self-destructing the entire night.
It’s nice to see the U.S. team compete with some of the best teams in the world but they will have to find a way to improve for the next World Cup in 2018. Fortunately we were able to see some young talent this year that should help us in the next World Cup Campaign.
Most American soccer fans are now very excited to see what becomes of the 19-year old Juian Green who scored in the second period of extra time against Belgium. Green chose to play for the U.S. national team as opposed to the German national team as he had the option with dual citizenship.
It will also be good to see young players like John Brooks and Aron Jóhannsson mold into hopeful starts for the next World Cup in Russia.
We are four years away from it but American fans are enjoying soccer more and more as the years go on. Maybe one day it will become a big deal here in the States.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to email@example.com.