October 10, 2017
As Metro fans, we're used to failure. Every year, around this time, something terrible happens. Usually, it's a playoff defeat, with our club finding new ways to crush our dreams. You'd think we would get used to the pain. That's not the case.
We can't believe we are writing this, but tonight hurts as much as any of these Metro failures, if not more.
We have always been club before country: Metro is where our attention lies with every day throughout the calendar year; the US national team appears from time to time, only to go back into the shadows. Gold Cup, friendlies, whatever. The World Cup... the World Cup is a different story. The World Cup is the ultimate sporting event in the world. The World Cup is why we are soccer fans.
June 5, 2002: we'll always remember that day. Well, that night, when John O'Brien scored against Portugal. Soon after, Clint Mathis (our own!) scored against South Korea, followed by the wonderful takedown of Mexico in the second round. Fast forward to 2010: the comeback against Slovenia, and then one of the most amazing sequences we ever witnessed, the Landon Donovan goal against Algeria. Remember: club before country, we hate that whiny punk Donovan! We loved him that day.
There are some bad memories as well, from the utter failure of 1998 to that no-call versus Germany in 2004 to the Claudio Reyna giveaway in 2008 to the Chris Wondolowski miss in 2014. But even those stand out. These are the memories our (non-Metro) soccer fandom is built upon. These are the memories that are far and between -- four years, you are guaranteed only three games every four years. Well, "guaranteed" is not the right word here. Not anymore.
Fingers will be pointed, and people will be fired, and hot takes will be had, and there will be backlash, and backlash to the backlash, and it will all settle, and we will still watch the World Cup (Of course! We love the World Cup!), the World Cup without America. And life will go on, and Metro will (likely) continue to fail, and then, another round of qualifying will begin, and then, hopefully, in four years (we have to wait four years!), we will not have to write the same article again.
But for now, we wallow in American misery.