The United States of America is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We have a variety of different sports and different people like different teams. Once every four years we all come together to cheer on one team as they face off against other countries looking to show off their heart and pride that all Americans live with.
The USA men’s soccer team is never the most talented, never the fastest, never the strongest, but the heart and will to win tends to drive this team to achieve greatness. That heart was shown at perhaps the highest that I’ve seen in a long time in the 2014 World Cup. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann received tons of criticism when he cut the United States best player Landon Donovan from the team prior to the World Cup. Klinsmann felt it was time for the United States to move on from Donovan and give the young players a chance to shine at the world’s biggest stage. Klinsmann stressed that the goal for the United States was preparing for next World Cup, Klinsmann even said that the United States will not win this World Cup.
Being in the so called ‘group of death’ doesn’t help the United States chances either. The group of death includes the United States kryptonite Ghana, Portugal who has one of the best players in the world Cristiano Ronaldo, and Germany who is one of the favorites to win the World Cup. Klinsmann is a strong believer in using his whole team as a unit, even the reserves, to help win games. That strategy was on display in the United States first game verse Ghana.
The game was all tied at one when Jurgen Klinsmann subbed in John Brooks, the 21 year old from Berlin did not expect to play at all in the World Cup, and he was in the game at the most important moment. The crowd was chanting ‘I believe that we will win.’ On a corner kick, Brooks headed in what was the game winner and the most important goal of his life. That trust and togetherness that Klinsmann preaches to his team was a huge reason that the United States won their opener against Ghana.
Portugal was the favorite, and expected by many to easily beat the United States. Once again that was what everyone else thought, but the United States believed otherwise. The game was a draw at 2-2 but the United States dominated the game and it gave them confidence that they could use throughout the rest of the World Cup.
USA lost 1-0 to Germany but all results went in their favor and they made it out of the group of death. Nobody believed in them but they believed and that was all that mattered to them. The heart of the United States team was impeccable and that heart was the reason that the United States advanced to the round of 16 in consecutive world cups for the first time in their history.
The United States opponent was Belgium, it was simple win or go home. The United States was dominated all game but the game was 0-0 at the end of regulation thanks to Tim Howard who finished the game with a legendary 16 saves, those 16 saves were the most in a World Cup game by any goalie in the last 50 years. Would it be enough? Belgium scored 2 goals in extra time, the game appeared all but over, most teams would quit, but not this United States team.
Jurgen Klinsmann subbed in 19 year old Julian Green, sure enough Julian Green scored a goal off a terrific pass from Michael Bradley. USA had life, this team never gave up they didn’t stop fighting, they wouldn’t stop fighting. The United States had chances to tie the game but fell just short. The United States lost but they never gave up, that heart wouldn’t stop pumping.
Most teams would’ve rolled over, and called it quits after giving up 2 goals in extra time but this team kept fighting, and never quit. That fight should make all Americans proud of their team, the United States will be a force to be reckoned with in future World Cups. The future is bright and if the United States plays with this much heart and pride, there’s reason to believe that we will win.