Cross-post from guesting blogging the World Cup for Young Germany.
The 2014 World Cup has now been played for about a week and a half, and I wanted to provide my thoughts on the action, and show you how I’ve been watching! We are quickly progressing through the group stage and a week away from the knockout stage. It needs to slow down…
It’s been an unbelievable tournament so far! The ousting of Spain, struggles of England, American triumph and Costa Rican upsets. Soccer is impossibly unpredictable in itself, let alone at the World Cup. I do have to say that Spain has been the biggest surprise for me, so far. I admit it was a pleasant surprise though
I have been out to a couple bars to watch games, but mostly stream the games from my computer in the office at work, or head to a friend’s house to watch. This is what it looks like when I pull up the games (via ESPN3) at the office. Currently watching France beating Switzerland 5-2! Thank God for two screens!
It’s really unfortunate the ‘better’ games have been on at noon and 3pm. 6pm can also be a tough time to watch because the Atlanta traffic is horrendous!
I’ve included some pictures of the bar where we watched the USA vs. Ghana. The bar is called North River Tavern and is in Roswell, Georgia. It may be hard to tell because it’s so dark, but everyone is dressed in their most patriotic red, white and blue.
They sold these awesome golden Budweiser bottles at the bar that picture the World Cup trophy on them!
For the England vs. Italy game, I happened to be at a local Beerfest in Brookhaven ($40 all you can drink from 150+ beers!) where they had the game on TV’s outside the Bud Light Mobile bar. I’ve included pictures from the Beerfest and Bud Light bar, where tons of people were dressed in England and Italy jerseys in anticipation of the big game! It was a great place to watch.
This weekend I am heading to the Atlanta Soccerfest on Sunday for the USA vs. Portugal game! I’m expecting a huge crowd and a lot of fun! It’s really interesting that these types of watch parties are popping up all over the place… Local businesses and parks are jumping on the World Cup bandwagon to gain publicity and business. Don’t get me wrong — I love it. The more soccer related things I see everyday, the happier I am. The soccer community in Atlanta has been thriving in the last couple of years, but this past month has really been the most explosive I have ever seen it. I’ve met many people, and read multiple blogs, where Americans are admitting to now being huge soccer fans!
The sense of community that you can build around soccer is unparalleled, and Americans are beginning to pick up on that. These watch parties and the passion behind the crowd are persuasive and enticing to any sports fan, even if you dislike soccer.
I can’t wait to have an MLS team in Atlanta in 2017! You’ll see me leading these communities and getting the city ready for the 2018 World Cup! Great timing to convert some more Americans to the real “football”
This is a repost from my World Cup guest blogging at Young Germany.
Being a guest blogger from America, I wanted to provide some background on our team! I love learning about other countries’ teams, so wanted to provide this humorous and educational list for any of you interested in learning more about the United States Men’s National Team, or USMNT. The win against Ghana has led to an increased interest in the Americans, and with Portugal’s struggles, we have our fingers crossed for a good result on Sunday. Here are some facts to get you caught up before the big game.
1. The USMNT finished in 1st place in their qualification in CONCACAF
22 total points from 10 games played: 7 wins, 1 draw, and 2 losses with a +7 goal differential. It was during qualification, but also pre-World Cup friendlies, that Klinsmann’s efforts began to finally pay off. We are hoping he has prepared them just in time, peaking in performance while going through the group stage in Brazil. For all you German fans, do you remember the 4-3 American win back in June 2013? I’m hoping this win gives our boys confidence going into next weeks match-up.
Our qualification losses came from the second and third place qualifiers, respectively, Costa Rica with 18 points and Honduras with 15 points.
2. Jozy Altidore finished tied for 1st in goals during qualification, totaling 4 goals. Clint Dempsey tied for 2nd with 3 goals.
These have always been our goal scorers. Clint Dempsey is a proven talent and was quick to prove his value in the Ghana game, setting an American record for scoring in 29 seconds. Jozy, on the other hand, has struggled on the National stage. Despite his 2 goals versus Nigeria in a World Cup tune-up game earlier this month, he has long had a goal drought, and is now set back by injury. He will miss the Portugal game with a strained left hamstring, and is questionable for the matchup with Germany.
(Jozy has 23 goals in 71 caps for the USMNT, Clint has 38 goals in 106 caps. For perspective, Landon Donovan has 57 goals in 156 caps)
3. Clint Dempsey has released a rap song, and plans on making an album.
4. Team USA has loyal fans.
US fans bought 4 times as many tickets as any other nation. The American Outlaws, the USMNT fan group, chartered two planes to fly 530 Outlaws to Brazil. Watch parties are scheduled in every state across the country.
5. Landon Donovan was left off the squad this year.
Perhaps the most popular American player in US Soccer history, Landon was left off the roster this year. Bayern Munich starlet Julian Green was chosen in his place.
6. Record breaking: DaMarcus Beasely, 32, is the only player who has played in four World Cups. Clint Dempsey’s 29-second goal, fastest in US history.
DaMarcus has played in 115 games for the USA, and in leagues in England, Scotland, Holland, Mexico and the United States. And at 19 years old, Julian Green is the 28th youngest player in World Cup history.
7. The USMNT are undefeated in their last 4 games.
Warm up games versus Azerbaijani (2-0), Turkey (2-1), Nigeria (2-1) and the defeat of Ghana 2-1.
8. The USMNT has 5 German-Americans on the team!!
Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Julian Green, John Brooks, and finally a non-World Cup teammate: Terrence Boyd who was cut from roster in late May. What a great ‘melting-pot’ for Jurgen Klinsmann, and especially for Julian Green making his National Team debut — I’m sure it helps to have German speakers around. John Brooks, the hero who scored the second goal versus Ghana, even has two tattoos to demonstrate his origins. Left elbow: city of Berlin with a start where he was born. Right elbow: the state of Illinois, where his father is from.
9. Clint Dempsey was born and raised in a trailer park in Nacogdoches, Texas.
He couldn’t afford to play on his youth team, so had to quit at an early age. Economic assistance from his friends allowed him to rejoin and continue playing. He became the first US player to ever score a hat trick in the Premier League, during Fulham’s 5-2 rout of Newcastle.
10. Geoff Cameron is known as the “pretty boy” of our team.
The Stoke City man “shaves his legs and makes sure his eyebrows and hair are done to the max” according to Stoke keeper Asmir Begovis. He was once the smallest person on the USMNT, resembling a giraffe, but has now grown into his figure.
11. BONUS: Aron Johannsson, America’s latest starlet, was born in Alabama but grew up in Iceland.
When he was 8 he told his dad he would be a professional soccer player. I wish the things I told my dad turned out to be true… The Kevin Bacon look-a-like plays professionally at Jozy Altidore’s old club, AZ Alkmaar.
That’s it for the list! Hope you’ve learned something about the USMNT. I’ve included some pictures in this post from my past week. I went and played pick-up soccer at Roswell Park, with over 50 people on a turf American football field, with lacrosse nets. Beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to futbol in America. I also played at the Silverback’s turf stadium last night in a 7v7 league. The Silverback’s are Atlanta’s NASL team (North American Soccer League), the league under the MLS.
My last two images (sorry about the quality) are my World Cup bets from a Danish website. I placed 5 kroner on Germany to win it all! My other bet was on the group stage winners. I chose to place 10 kroners on Brazil, Colombia, France, Argentina, Germany, and Belgium. So far so good!