The U.S. team may have lost, but soccer in America won

For The Win

Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

The United States men’s national team lost to Belgium 2-1 in extra time on Tuesday, ending the team’s World Cup run.

But soccer in America? It got nothing but a big win.

Fans across the country gathered together in bars and courtyards, huddled in front of TVs and computer screens, and congregated by the thousands in Soldier Field to watch their team play a hard-fought 120 minutes.

Did everyone understand the rules? Most certainly not. Will a lot of the people who watched the game stop caring about soccer tomorrow morning? Absolutely.

EPA/TANNEN MAURY EPA/TANNEN MAURY

But on a Tuesday afternoon a huge number of Americans ducked out of work early, got together, and screamed themselves hoarse over a soccer game.

They questioned Jurgen Klinsmann’s tactical decisions, cursed out officials, and screamed themselves more hoarse cheering on the impossibly good Tim Howard.

They saw 19-year-old Julian…

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