by G.D. Morrill
The USA lost to Argentina 4-0. A soccer lesson by Messi and company in the first semi-final. The US did great to make it to the semi-finals, however class won over. The US has a tough row to hoe for years to come to come close to the greatness which Argentina in soccer.
In the other semi, Chile beat Colombia 2-0. establishing that their Copa win last year on Chilean soil was no fluke. The USA lost to Colombia in the third place game, but I believe we took some positive steps forward, and proving that we can improve from the first game of the tournament when Colombia beat us 2-0, being completely dominated.
The final was what would be considered a nightmare for US sports fans: zero, zero even after overtime. However, for those of us who love soccer, it was a classic. Two heavyweights slugging it out, both having advantages and letdowns when it came to scoring. Both teams lost players to red cards, meaning that the remaining nine field players had to run much more.
And then overtime. If you have ever played, the game is exhausting. You never stop running, and then you have to play what is essentially another half. Both teams beyond exhausted. Zero, zero. Penalties.
Chile sends their superstar Arturo Vidal, he of the haircut from Mars. Miss! Now Argentina sends Leonel Messi, he of other worldliness in terms of talent. The best player in the world. Surely, he will make his penalty kick, right? NO! Miss! Now the rest of the guys kick the next three for each team and they’re good! Then Argentina’s second best player, Kun Aguero, son in law of the great Diego Maradona, he of Manchester City and the best goal scorer in the Premiership in England, against goalie, Bravo, he of Barcelona and team mates with Messi, and he stops Aguero!
Chile wins if the next player scores his penalty kick and he does! Chile wins! Messi is crying and holding his head in disbelief. Chile’s players rush the final kicker and celebrate. The little train who could, does! The Argentinians are famous for thinking a little too much of themselves in terms of the rest of South America, and they have always looked down on their little brother to the west. Argentina had beaten Chile in Chile 2-1 in March for World Cup eliminations.
For Chile, it was sweet revenge against a team loaded with superstars, and the planet’s best player. 82,000 fans in New Jersey. Soccer is alive in the USA!
A great tournament. One held on our soil, with our team acquitting themselves honorably. However, we will always have a hard time against the rest of the world where each country’s best athletes play soccer, and where in the USA, our best athletes play baseball, football, and basketball. Until that changes, we will always be playing catch up.
Well, it’s been a pleasure bringing you my updates on the tournament, and I look forward to doing it again as world tournaments unfold in the near future. For now, so long, and go USA!