World Cup wins USA over to soccer
Soccer, to many people in the US, is a sport that mainly involves moms and minivans and pales in comparison to the real sports: football, basketball, baseball and NASCAR.
However, it would seem that the US is changing its mind about the beautiful game. Last night #TeamUSA took to the field for the first time in the 2014 World Cup with a patriotic and supportive nation behind them.
This of course was led by the most powerful man in the world, Barack Obama, who voiced his support with a strong battle cry prior to kick-off.
11 on the field, more than 300 million cheering them on. #WorldCup #USMNT pic.twitter.com/vVjgAMXN0J
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 16, 2014
After the match, Vice President Joe Biden followed with a tweet from the USA dressing room, having been on the ground in Brazil to congratulate the national team on their victory.
One nation. One team. Keep making us proud, @ussoccer! #WorldCup #GoTeamUSA #USMNT http://t.co/wdVABpotkX pic.twitter.com/xE9FkYR3hv
— Vice President Biden (@VP) June 17, 2014
Some of the USA’s biggest celebrities were also in strong voice before, during and after the game.
Now that’s how you start a match!! Clint Dempsey Goal!!!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 16, 2014
USA we makin noise #WeDemBoyz
— We Dem Boyz (@wizkhalifa) June 17, 2014
And they said we weren’t Ghana do it, but whee did it. #USA #2014WorldCup
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) June 16, 2014
With such a huge number of influential people watching and commenting on the match we saw mentions on Twitter hit a high of 173,738 tweets per minute. Throughout the game there were 4.9m tweets using the game hashtag #GHAvUSA alone.
The match itself shone a positive light on what’s sometimes perceived as the boring game of soccer; everyone watching the game rode the roller-coaster of emotional highs and lows in what was an action-packed match.
Americans also took to Google to read up on the game and polish their knowledge of the rules. The top three queries were:
1. Who is John Brooks?
2. What is the fastest World Cup goal?
3. How long is a soccer game?
Searchers can be forgiven for needing to look into the winning goalscorer, a German-born defender playing for the USA for only the fifth time and for checking whether Clint Dempsey’s lightning quick first minute goal might trouble the record for the fastest in a World Cup.
Verifying the length of a match in the wake of Brooks’ winner was essential. Perhaps the team’s newest fans didn’t want to start letting the fireworks off too early.
Has the USA, as a nation, fallen in love with soccer? They’re certainly flirting with it.