Jul 25, 2013, 9:47 AM EDT
Psyched. Delighted. Over the moon.
These are but a few of the words that describe the mood of U.S. Soccer fans upon waking up this morning. No matter the descriptor, supporters of the Stars & Stripes are a happy bunch.
And how could they not be?
We’re talking about ten straight victories.
The achievement is massive.
So much so that sports fans in the U.S. who don’t follow soccer – especially those who like to take the piss out of the beautiful game for being soft, boring or lacking goals – need to recognize.
We’re not talking about a ten match unbeaten streak.
We’re talking about ten straight victories.
In a sport where draws are paramount, no matter who the opponents may be, this is a major achievement.
The Yanks 5-1 shellacking of El Salvador last Sunday marked the record the country’s best run of form in the 100 years of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s existence. And last night’s 3-1 manhandling of Honduras in the Gold Cup semi-final – which prompted Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez to admit that “the U.S. was able to beat us in every aspect of the game” – was proof positive that the Americans are showing no signs of slowing down.
A huge pool of hungry talent.
A resurgent American hero in Landon Donovan.
A somewhat misunderstood yet deeply passionate manager in Jurgen Klinsmann.
And a cohesive unit of players who, over the last six months, has not only shown dramatic improvement but is in the midst of molting the sit-back-and-wait skin that has defined American soccer for decades.
The transition into high pressure, up-tempo, free-flowing, attacking soccer is upon us. And it is positively invigorating.
So for U.S. Soccer fans, enjoy the moment. Revel in the success. And continue to preach the good word from now through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and onwards.
As for any sports fans in the U.S. who up until this point have not taken to U.S. Soccer, no hard feelings. Fans of the Stars & Stripe are a welcoming bunch. And there is no better time than the present to discard any pre-existing indifference or animosity and join the bandwagon.
Next stop, the Gold Cup Final.
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