Jun 26

Black Saturday

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Instead of watching the end of the Clemson-USC baseball game and immediately typing my review, I decided to give things a few minutes (and a walk around the neighborhood to settle down) before hitting the keyboard. I was filled with emotions that I could do without, and I didn't want to carry those feelings from my head straight to the Fans25 main page. This day has sucked, but only on TV and sports-wise. Outside of the tube, I had a nice day gardening and jogging in the woods with my dog, Quarter. But on the tube - and in the sports scene - it was a day that I would like to have start over from scratch...I am a fan of Team-USA soccer and Clemson baseball, and both saw their season's come to an end tonight...

WORLD CUP:

This day started with a world (literally) of promise, but ended in a cosmic disaster. At 2:30 pm est, Team- USA took the field in South Africa to try to advance to the round of eight against Ghana. Instead of playing an equal game, the US fell behind in the first five minutes, and had to change their game plan from there on out. It wasn't until 62' that the US could equalize on a Landon Donovan pk, and even then, it wasn't enough.

The US sent the game into extra time, but like in all four World Cup games of 2010, they surrendered an early goal in the time frame, and had to play defensively from there on out. Ghana's players seemed to be just more "at one with the ball," and thus controlled the game. In a country that is just 1/15th the population of the US, it is crazy just how completed a roster can be filled. Ghana is the real deal.

For the USA, it was a combo of Ghana being badass, and us making some mistakes. Tim Howard and Ricardo Clark effed up on the first goal, and several folks effed up on their second goal. Ghana is a team of athletic, gifted soccer players, and if you give them a step, they will make you pay... 

All in all, I take this World Cup as an American soccer fan as something that I really enjoyed. Our team wan't a fluke, but rather a serious contender that saw bounces go in weird ways. We are tough, we are disciplined, and we play right: we move the ball around, we advance when we can, and we win position when the chance is there. I am excited about US soccer in general. Yeah, once again folks will give the soccer movement hell, but so be it. The world is much bigger than the US, and we are seeing first hand on flatscreen high-def TVs how tough it is to win at a World Cup level. Yes, our country is big, and other countries are small, but only eleven guys are allowed on the field at a time, and that is what makes this tough!

Congrats to Ghana on a great win, and for the US. back to the drawing table. I really like Bob Bradley as coach, and I think his son, Michael Bradley, plays a strong midfield (I am usually against a coach's son playing). I hope the US soccer federation keeps the squad in tact. There seems to be a good core in place. The US is filled with talent, but organization and a leader at a guidance, decision-making level is what will see us challenge in future World Cups... US soccer has come a MILE since I was a 14-year old playing club soccer dreaming of this day, I hope it keeps making steps forward!

COLLEGE WORLD SERIES:

In 2002, I had just met the girl of my dreams (in Clemson), and the Tiger baseball team was having a huge year on the run to the national championship - or so it seemed. We went to many games together in Clemson that spring, and CU was appearing to be on a championship run with Khalil Greene, Jeff Baker, and company....but it didn't work out, and life went on....the reason it ended: USC.

In 2010, the USC baseball team and the Clemson baseball team met once again with CU needing to beat the Gamecocks just once to move on to the national title series....and again it didn't work out. The Cocks won two games straight to eliminate Clemson, and end any chance of seeing the Tigers pile on the Rosenblatt mound on its final pile...Not cool...

So now, UCLA and USC (South Carolina) will battle it out for the national title next week. Congrats to both for doing what it takes to get there..May the best team win!



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