I think our judgement has been clouded by the Ghana win. Going into that game, I was feeling guarded. Coming out of that game, I, like every other American fan who watched, was elated. I made temporary friends on the train ride home because of the shared connection of having just witnessed that win. “All we have to do is tie Portugal and we’re through!”
Hold up. How did we get there?
Look, I was saying it too. But “all we have to do”? This isn’t an “all we have to do” situation. You say that when it’s something so simple, you just go through the motions and it gets done. “All we have to do is get hot dog buns, then we can start the barbecue.” That’s what “all we have to do” is for. I would say this is closer to a “dear God, help us tie Portugal!” situation. This is still Portugal – a team captained by one of the biggest stars in the world. Yes, Pepe is out and yes they have some injury problems. And yes they were demolished by Germany but they were down to ten men and it’s Germany! Germany demolishes teams!
We were all riding the high off of our win against Ghana and it doesn’t seem like we’ve come down. And speaking of Ghana, remember how we played in that game in between the goals? Hell, do you remember how Ghana played? They passed the ball around us like they were playing keep away and we could barely mount an attack. I can’t critique our performance any better than this deadspin article. I was scared for the US during that game and when Ghana equalized, I thought that was the beginning of an upset. I’m glad I was wrong and I’m glad for John Brooks but if you weren’t concerned for the US during that game, I wonder if you were actually watching.
Look, I’m still in. Or, rather, I. I still believe. I still believe that. I still believe that we can win. We beat the team that tied Germany yesterday (Germany! Germany demolishes teams!). I think we’ll be fine without Altidore. Clint Dempsey can only breathe through one nostril. That concerns me. But I’m excited. I’m excited to watch the US. I’m excited that the rest of the US is excited to watch the US.
It’s just not going to be easy. Luckily for us, all we have to do is watch the game. The United States needs to play their asses off.