My good friend Casey Petrashek over at Iowa State sent me this incredible video that documents the way that people in bars and at viewing parties all over the United States celebrated Landon Donovan’s 91st minute winner against Algeria that put the USA through to the round of 16. As a life-long soccer fan it’s incredible for me to see the passion that this World Cup has created in this country–it was only 8 years ago that we had to buy pay-per-view games to see the World Cup; 6 years ago we had to find the most obscure channel possible for the EuroCup; and even 4 years ago many people didn’t even know the Cup was going on.

It’s an incredible moment for us lifelong fans, who for years have had to band together in small groups to even chat about this sport we love so much. Two days ago I hung out with a small group of friends, a couple of whom I’d never met before, but I instantly felt a bond with these total strangers because we could have a long, in-depth conversation about the World Cup. That was in New York City.

Bonding over soccer is something that I’m not used to in this country–it happened to me all the time when I lived in Spain, or when I’ve traveled throughout Europe and Africa, but never in this country. Until now.

So thank you, team USA for making this soccer fan feel a little more at home in both of my countries.

About Gabe Lezra

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides with the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. Ezekiel 25-17.
  • Teddy

    Preach, sir. Let’s not forget that this is not a phenomenon that happens outside of large cities or college towns, like the one we hail from. Working in a quiet, rich white suburb slammed me straight back to reality about just how many people feel indifferent about the beautiful game.