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It Wasn't ALL Bad

Brian Taylor

Posted on July 17, 2018 01:09

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Reflections on the 2018 FIFA World Cup as an American Soccer fan.

Sunday's World Cup Final was one of those days that felt like it would never come. While billions around the globe were focused on the spectacle of the biggest game in the world, I had been waiting for this day more intently than normal since last October, when Bruce Area capped off one of the biggest failure in American sports history by leading U.S. Soccer directly out of the World Cup. Now the tournament is over, this failure can finally be properly napalmed and the Road to Qatar begins!

With my country not participating in Russia, my interest heading into the tournament was lukewarm on its best days and outright anger on its worst. Yet when I walked into the office today, I felt this odd pang of sadness that I couldn't fire up my computer and catch the end of the middle game. Even sadder when I went to one of my favorite wing places for lunch and there was no soccer on the TV, and the place was dead. Turns out the power of the World Cup is stronger than even I could imagine. 

Soccer is here y'all. One of my biggest sadnesses about the failure was there would be no beer showers and hugging of complete strangers at a packed wall to wall American Outlaws party. More than that, with no opportunity to tell the casual sports fan he or she can dress up in their best red, white and blue and yell "USA! USA!" for two hours in an attempt to get them stuck in. I feared a World Cup without the "every four years" fan was going to get soccer back 20 years.

Instead the opposite happened. While some went to 23 and Me to find their team this tournament and others just really like that one team's jersey or one of their players, many just sat back and enjoyed the spectacle of the greatest sporting event on earth. And what a tournament it was!

With 12 nations not in Brazil in 2014, we were bound to be treated to a strong showing from Team Chaos. We had Germany going out in the Group Stage, Argentina needing a miracle to get through, and Japan advancing over Senegal on the SEVENTH tie breaker.

This excitement and the drama around some amazing games had people talking around the water cooler, bars were still drawing big lunchtime crowds, and while we still had to deal with the hot takes from pundits who don't pay attention to soccer the other 47 months of the cycle, the World Cup was at the forefront of the national sports conversation. 

What this World Cup has shown us is that soccer has in fact arrived in America and has never been stronger. Even the failure of the National Team to make it out of qualifying was not enough to stop the growth the beautiful game has seen in America since the 94 World Cup.

Soccer is here to stay, sorry not sorry.

Brian Taylor

Posted on July 17, 2018 01:09

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Source: US Magazine

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