The World Cup wraps up in just a few more days, and it's been a crazy ride. Watching Team USA this year has been particularly stressful, with close wins, last minute draws, and a final push from our Portuguese friends to get us out of the Group of Death and into the round of 16. This is my favorite time of the year (every four years), so I was excited to make the trip out to Governor's Island last week to watch the USA take on Belgium at the official FIFA viewing zone.
The energy was amazing, and it was awesome to see wave after wave of rowdy fans get off the ferry with flags, painted faces, USA jerseys, and a steady chorus of "I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN" chants.
With an incredible performance by keeper Tim Howard, the U.S. stuck around and finally broke through in extra time thanks to a GOLAZO by Julian Green and got back in the game 2-1. But even with some great (gut wrenching) chances at the end, we still came up short and were eliminated.
I've been playing soccer my whole life, and it's great to see the enthusiasm that's slowly building around the sport, especially during these last two World Cups. There's a lot of progress to make, and of course team adjustments to be made, but if fans stay this passionate and invested, I'd say soccer in the U.S. could be something really special in the next 5-10 years.
See you in 2018, Team USA!