The week after the Super Bowl is a hard one. Most everyone watched the game and most everyone is now sick of hearing about it. Two weeks of preparation for 60 minutes of football means every storyline has been exhausted, and as BiCoastal points out, every ending has already been written and explored. I personally made the mistake of watching an hour of the pregame show in which they talked about Walter Payton and Brian Piccolo and the bond they share in Chicago history, followed by a compelling segment about how both coaches are indeed African American. It was still two hours till kickoff and I was already sick of a game that hadn’t started yet.
So now we hit the in between time in which the sporting year hits a small drought known by the Romans as Februarius. It’s the small amount of time in which we are enduring the bore of mid-season in the NBA, our brackets lack teams and thus our picks cannot be completed, and pitchers and catchers have yet to report let alone play. So that leaves us with one option: soccer.
If there was one thing that might prick some interest in my sporting veins, it was going to be last night’s “friendly” between the United States and Mexico, because we all know the NHL is not capable of filling the void. And so, I stand before you today with the feeling that I can last for a few more days, maybe even a week because last night’s 2 – 0 victory over Mexico was exactly what I needed for a quick fix. For those unfamiliar, that makes the current streak 8 games against Mexico at home without a loss (7-0-1). In that stretch, the United States have outplayed and outscored Mexico, 13 goals to 0. Now that’s dominance.
The scary thing is, the more I watch soccer, the more I start to see why it’s such a good and entertaining game. There is something about having to endure the majority of a game in hope of one single amazing athletic maneuver that I seem to be a sucker for. In this particular case, I was fortunate to see two amazing goals. The first was a deep header by Conrad off a corner kick, and the second was Donovan out-sprinting the defense and juking the goalie for an easy tap in to seal the game.
As with every national match for the United States, this one tells us a lot about the future of soccer in the United States. This new coach, Bob Bradley (who is currently the interim, but probably soon to be the permanent) combined with new and young talent could spell a better run at the Cup in 2010 in South Africa, and thus a larger interest by an apathetic country. Until then, we’ll have to settle for David Beckham as our source for turning the tide of soccer in the States. Personally, I’ll put my money on 2010.