World Cup Send-Off: Game One
Shocked. That’s probably the one word that most United States men’s national team felt on Thursday when coach Jurgen Klinsmann released his final 23-man roster for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. When the names were announced one stood out among the others: Landon Donovan…. Not going to Brazil. The Algeria hero, veteran of three World Cups, five World Cup goals, and the national team’s all-time leading scorer was not on the final roster. If you’ve been a fan of the United States for ten minutes or ten years Donovan’s name is synonymous with American soccer. But, like all good things, they must come to an end. U.S. fans, will, predictably, have to go through the 12-stages of grief with the departure of Donovan from the national team picture, but there are 23 players who we must now pin our World Cup hopes on. And they deserve every ounce of our support. So here we are just three weeks before we face Ghana in Brazil (#WeGhanaWin) preparing for that ultimate moment with this stateside Send-Off series. First up Azerbaijan. Azerbai-who? Can you find this Caucasus region republic on a map. Seriously. Hint: it’s east of our next Send-Off series opponent. Azerbaijan, ranked 85th in the world, is nicked named “Milli” which literally translates to the most boring nickname ever, “The National Team”. Hyped up yet? We’re here for our boys in the red, white, and blue; the eleven on the field on Tuesday and the 23 on their way to Brazil. No matter our personal personnel preferences it’s the crest and the colors we support because we believe! XOXO, AO
May 28, 2014