By: Katie OBear – Staff Writer
The 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil became a national phenomenon this summer for soccer fans throughout the United States.
The American people rallied behind the men on the national team, not just for the pride of winning but because as Americans, we are a nation that has an immense adoration for all that we have accomplished and can accomplish.
The World Cups brings many people together in places around the country. Cities such as Detroit, Miami, and Minneapolis held viewing parties so that fans could come together to support the USA.
Team USA faced countries like Portugal, Germany, Ghana and Belgium. Despite all odds against them, they defeated Ghana in their first match, 2-1.
Forward Clint Dempsey scored twice throughout the cup, once in the Portugal match and once in the Ghana match. Defender John Brooks also scored one goal during the win against Ghana. Midfielder Jermaine Jones added the other goal during the Portugal match. Midfielder Julian Green scored the only goal during the final Belgium game.
In the team’s final match against BelgiumTeam USA was defeated 2-1 as Belgium advanced to end America’s world cup dreams.
Although Team USA didn’t go as far as many fans wanted, the team was comprised of incredibly talented players. Some of the USA fan favorites were goalkeeper Tim Howard, forward Clint Dempsey, midfielder Kyle Beckerman, defender Matt Besler and newcomer midfielder Julian Green.
Green, who just began his international soccer career this year against Mexico in April, is the youngest player on the team at 19 years old. Some even claimed that he was one of the most surprising selections of the entire 2014 FIFA World Cup. Although only playing 45 minutes of professional soccer in his entire career, he has scored one international goal.
The future looks bright for the United States soccer program as well as fan interest for the game in the U.S.
This soccer phenomenon continued long after the World Cup, with the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup game, Manchester United vs. Real Madrid, which took place earlier this summer at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
This game was monumental for soccer fans throughout the U.S., not only to see their favorite international teams competing, but also because the 30-year-old record for number of fans in attendance was broken at “The Big House” with a total of 109,000 fans in attendance. In the end, Manchester defeated Real Madrid, 3-1.
What does this attention mean for sports of the nation? Watch out, because soccer has created some newfound competition. Few sports have the ability to draw fans from all over the world together, especially since no sport captures as much international attention.
The soccer phenomenon is not over in the United States quite yet. It will continue far into the future with more international matches being held in the states, more World Cup broadcasts and local celebrations, and maybe someday culminating in the World Cup trophy being held close to home in the U.S.A.