Nothing gets my adrenaline going like a comeback win on a world stagePublished 11:08am Wednesday, June 18, 2014
With my bottom on the literal edge of my couch and fingernails chewed down to nubs, I watched Graham Zusi of the United States soccer team line up for a corner kick with two minutes left in regulation against Ghana Monday.
The game had been a rollercoaster of emotion up until this point. U.S. forward Clint Dempsey managed an unbelievable goal at the 30-second mark that put us ahead 1-0. Then for the next 82 minutes, the U.S. couldn’t seem to keep their momentum. The ball was stolen from them in midfield countless times and it looked like some players were acting like this was a backyard matchup rather than the World Cup.
It was only a matter of time before Ghana tied things up. And they did.
So with the score knotted at 1-1, hundreds of thousands of other Americans watched the ball come off Zusi’s foot, cross over to the crowd of players posted in front of the goal and find the head of a 21-year-old rookie named John Brooks. The ball bounced past the Ghana goalkeeper’s reach and into the net.
Cue my patriotic freak out.
Brooks is standing as America’s newest hero after his amazing goal. His Wikipedia page was even updated to say he was the greatest American since Abraham Lincoln. That got taken down quickly, needless to say.
But this kid was a substitute. He wasn’t even first string. And now everyone in this country knows his name. He was in the right place, at the right time, ready to do what he needed to get our country a win. Give this man your appreciation, people; he deserves every bit of it.
The win Monday means a few different things for U.S. World Cup history. It’s the first time we’ve won the opener of the World Cup. Ghana had beaten us for the past two World Cups. We’ve been waiting 12 years to get back at them. Payback is sweet, isn’t it?
Most importantly, U.S. won, moral is high and we need every ounce of confidence we can muster as we charge to our game against Portugal next Sunday. Rumors are swirling we might have a shot against them with some of their players injured or suspended.
After them is Germany. We’re going to need all the momentum we can get.