Some random thoughts from RFK…..
DC soccer fans are among the best in the nation. My only previous experience seeing a soccer game at RFK was when I saw Norway play Mexico in the 1994 World Cup, so last night was my first chance to see the DC soccer fans in action. They do not disappoint. I was sitting in the lower bowl just behind the Costa Rica bench, and nobody form the lower bowl sat all game. They were always on their feet, usually jumping, singing and cheering from the first whistle to the last. Even though it was not a sell-out, those that were there were completely into it.
The outcome was no less than the US deserved. Last June at Saprisa, Costa Rica beat our boys 3-1 by out-competing the US. Last night was a different story. The US worked hard, won every loose ball, kept possession well, and never stopped pressing until they had gotten those two goals back. Several players, especially Altidore, Donovan, and Casey, had off nights with their finishing, but they made up for it with their hard work and industrious play. Had they taken their chances better, we would have kicked Costa Rica into the Potomac. Furthermore, it was a sign of class to put out our best squad and keep fighting until the end in a game that was, for the US, basically inconsequential. Honduras owes us all a beer.
I’ll root for Costa Rica against Uruguay. In the end last night, Costa Rica buckled. Once they had their lead, Costa Rica became a negative, time wasting pile of compost. Furthermore, they forgot rule #1 in diving – the more writhing you do on the field the less injured you are. Have you ever been injured? Rolling around makes it hurt more! The referee stopped believing their diving and time wasting, gave the US the five minutes extra time they deserved, the Costa Rican coaching staff went mental and were sent off, and the US’s unremitting pressure finally made them suffer. For Costa Rica, this draw felt like a loss and they must feel like they have completely failed. And so they should. Nevertheless, I will root for Costa Rica against Uruguay. The more Concacaf teams, the better as far as I am concerned. Also, Bryan Ruiz was an absolute treat to watch play last night, and I want to see more of him.