The day of the game it was raining heavily in Recife and all in the area for the last day, in fact much of the city streets were flooded, but I guess this happens often in a city called the Venice of Brazil, transport to the game was easy with the Metro system working fine. The stadium in located way outside of town, sort of in the middle of nowhere. The initial plans during the hype leading up to the world cup was to develop with area surrounding the arena with shopping, housing, entertainment you know all the typical crap they talk about that makes new arenas so attractive. Heck in Brooklyn the area around the Barclays Center is still years away from the promises made, so its not shocking that in brazil nothing was done other than build the arena. From the closest metro station we all had to board shuttle busses for about a 4km trip, at the end of this trip we still had a decent 10-15 minute walk, which in the rain sucked, but at the same time for a 1pm kickoff it could have been hot and humid.
Entry to the stadium was easy, in fact probably too easy, I did not have to show that I was a ticket holder until right at the turnstile to get in. not at any of the outer checkpoints such as x-raying bags. There were vendors, probably unlicensed selling the variety of crappy beer from coolers, I am not sure how much they were charging as I randomly found my friends and was handed a pre-game beer to drink. The atmosphere outside was good but since I was soaked I went into the stadium early to dry off.
My seats were upstairs but by no means “nose bleed” seats, I had a great view behind the goal from Section 411, and these are the seats I usually enjoy most for games. The game itself was a yawn, both teams seemed ok to play for a draw. The germans had most of the possession early and shots, in fact I don’t think team USA had a shot on goal until very very close to the end of the game, yet Tim Howard as busy as always with 5 saves. The goal he allowed was from a rebound, he made the initial save, but the punch out was a bit too in the middle of the field and the defenders could not clear the ball..
With the score of the other Portugal vs Ghana game being monitored on the bench by Jurgen, and in the stands by the fans there was a sense of calm towards the end knowing we would be the 2nd place team, while level on points with Portugal ahead on Goal Difference.
This game is a big step for USA soccer in that now we have qualified for the knockout round in 2 consecutive world cups, and in groups with strong teams such as Germany, Ghana, Portugal and England (oh wait they are not that strong..). Hopefully in future world cups we will not be talked about as a placemat for teams when figuring out how many points they are going to get, and that some of the worldwide media will be talking about USA soccer. As for the fans, the USA fans have traveled well, been vocal and supported our team away and at home, but it is still hard to find any fans outside of the USA who will support our team, the world still thinks of us as joke, but let us go out and beat Belgium and make a strong run to the last 8 and convince people!
GO USA!! #USMNT #IBELIEVE