Defeat is bitter especially when it’s your own country that loses. It’s depressing. It affects your mood, brings you down and can make you angry. But rather than dwell on the negative today after Ghana’s 2-1 win over the United States in extra time, I wanted to share just a few reasons why US soccer fans and the men’s national team should hold their heads high:

  1. The US soccer fans showed their solidarity. Throughout the country, US soccer fans came out in droves to cheer their country on. Many of them made sacrifices to support their team. And this, for me, is the most encouraging aspect of the 2010 World Cup. Soccer has finally made it in this country, and it’s due in large part to the soccer community that wore their red, white and blue and filled the pubs, restaurants and screening parties.
  2. Making it to the second round of the World Cup is a significant achievement. Sure, we always want the team to do better, but qualifying for the second round and losing on a goal in extra time is nothing to scoff at. Soccer giants such as Italy and France failed to achieve what the United States did.
  3. The US team played against adversity. After having two goals disallowed in the first round, most teams would have crumbled but not the United States who went on to win the group and finished above England. And in the game against Ghana, they battled hard and definitely gave everything they could to snatch a late equalizer. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Today was another day that I was proud to be an American. A day when the eleven players on the field and millions of soccer fans throughout the United States put in their best effort.

It may feel difficult to be honest or bitter at this time, so I’ll hold off on sharing my criticism of Bob Bradley and his team selection. Instead, let’s cherish how far the United States has progressed in this tournament and to congratulate the team on playing as hard as they could against an African team who, at the end of the day, were deserved winners.