I will never tire of watching goal reactions from around the world. Some have argued that soccer is boring but when a goal is finally scored, the reactions are priceless – especially when it’s your home country. No matter where you were viewing USA’s opening World Cup match vs Ghana, when John Brooks headed home the game-winner, the place exploded.
One of the best videos came from a beer garden in Portland with a reporter doing a live report when Brooks scored. Of course the place went nuts but the capper was the reporter celebrating with the fans and taking off his windbreaker to reveal a USA shirt.
The combination of patriotism and steady growth soccer’s popularity over the past decade has made this the most talked about World Cup yet – at least from my perspective. Social Media is also a contributing factor and it’s pretty fantastic all around. People who had never watched a soccer game prior to this month are eagerly anticipating Sunday’s game against Portugal.
The U.S. has a much better chance of advancing out of the group round after Monday’s thrilling victory. The win was also made sweeter because of the opponent and the fact that Ghana knocked us out of the last two World Cups. With that being said, Ghana dominated the time of possession, Altidore is out for the next match with a strained hamstring and Dempsey will be playing with a broken nose. We still have two very difficult match-ups left in our group in Portugal and Germany and our own coach said he doesn’t believe this team can win it all.
One win doesn’t cure all but it’s a great start and it definitely helps everyone overlook those problems. They will need to be addressed at some point but going forward if we can get past Portugal (possibly playing with a banged up Ronaldo) on Sunday, we all but assure ourselves a spot in the knockout stage, which would be a huge win for American soccer. And if you think the interest is high now, wait until we get out of the group round.
The World Cup has been immensely entertaining thus far and ESPN has done a fantastic job with its coverage. It’s a shame that they have to turn it over to Fox in the future – their coverage from Brazil is strongest product the worldwide leader has broadcasted in a very long time.
Hopefully the overall buzz continues to trend upwards and the first game was a perfect start to attract even more. If Team USA can beat Portugal, then surely everyone will get on board and become a full-fledged soccer fan. In the time between now and Monday’s game, I’ll be watching more goal reaction videos.