World Cup 2014: A Running Diary of USA vs. Ghana

World Cup 2014: A Running Diary of USA vs. Ghana

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So yeah, that happened.

Saying that I'm a soccer "fan" would probably be considered a stretch. I don't really ever watch any soccer, and if it wasn't for video games, I probably wouldn't know any of the players. That is except for every four years when the World Cup rolls around. This year was no exception; I fell directly into the World Cup hype machine. I have been watching as much of this year's World Cup as I can, and last night's game between the United States and Ghana was a can't-miss event. There was so much build-up and anticipation for the game, it was finally show time. Here is a diary of my viewing experience:

Pre-Game: As Jürgen Klinsmann shakes hands with the coaching staff from Ghana, I started to feel the same jitters I feel when watching my favorite teams. I guess I do care about this game. I'm getting thirsty...

Moments Before Kick-Off: Okay, this thirst is starting to dominate my life. I can run to the kitchen real quick to drink, nothing happens in the first few minutes of the game.

0:34: As I stand in my kitchen, I hear a loud yell from the Ian Darke (ESPN play-by-play guy): "DEMPSEY!" Oh no, after waiting all this time for the game, I missed the big moment as Clint Dempsey knocks it in. That's okay though, the U.S. leads 1-0, that's all that matters.

18:19: Another great opportunity for the U.S. This time it was Jozy Altidore, the man that everyone says will be the one who makes or breaks the U.S. team's chances. I jumped off the couch as he struck the ball, but it was blocked, I'm sure he'll have another chance.

20:10: Nevermind about that other chance. As Altidore ran down the left side of the field, he grabbed his hamstring and fell to the ground. It does not look good. I wasn't sure how big the injury would prove to be, but the commentators are making me feel like it was the worst possible thing that could happen. We're only about a 1/4 of the way through this match and I'm already pacing.

38:42: As my dog watches me pace back and forth around my living room, he gives me a look of "how about you take the next few plays off champ?" As I often do, I obey my dog's wishes and take a seat. I can't help but think to myself that Ghana is really kind of dominating this game, yet the U.S. is leading 1-0. That's a good sign right?

Halftime: Finally. I really needed a break.

45:00 to 80:00: Ghana is playing so much better than the U.S., or at least it looks that way to me. I actually don't know. It feels like it's just a matter of time before Ghana scores that equalizing goal. Yet, no goals in this entire stretch, the U.S. still leads 1-0.

80:01: My wife walks in the house, gives me curious look for watching soccer and says, "I need you to help me get something from the car." As I often do, I obey my wife's wishes and head out to the car.

81:50: For the second time, I walked away just moments before a goal and missed it. What are the chances? This time it was Ghana's turn to score and tie the match 1-1. I think to myself, "it was only a matter of time before Ghana scored, we had a good run. Now let's just finish with a draw."


85:46: I truly don't believe what just happened. The goal by John Brooks gives the U.S. the lead and was honestly one of the most exciting sports moments of my life. Now I just need the clock to expire.

Full-Time: As the final whistle was blown, I let out a big sigh of relief. What a great game. Now bring on Portugal on Sunday.

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