On Sunday, June 30, the San Jose Earthquakes welcomed the Los Angeles Galaxy to Stanford Stadium in another California Clásico rivalry game. A year ago I was lucky enough to watch the same contest from the media box high above the field. The stadium looked packed, you could even hear the cheering throughout from the heavens, and the Quakes edged an eventful 4-3 contest to seal a home win. I had never seen Stanford Stadium that full or that loud; I was impressed.
It will takes time to build something that will last. The U.S. soccer team’s win over a German B team last Sunday wasn’t enough to make up for it’s loss to Belgium four days earlier, and the national team continues to tread water. While fans demand short-term success, it is a long-term vision that is really needed.
If he is introducing innovations to the American game that will resonate throughout the entire youth system, we probably won’t be able to tell the difference for at least a decade, probably more.
The No. 3 Stanford women’s soccer team opened Pac-12 play with a 3-0 victory over Arizona State on Sunday, extending its shutout streak to 503 minutes, 19 seconds in the process. After a scoreless first half, the Cardinal scored a flurry of goals to put the Sun Devils away and increase the team’s home unbeaten streak to 59.
Is Spain the new Germany? Is Germany the new Spain? When Germany played the Netherlands back at the start of Euro 2012, a Germany-supporting friend asked why I refused to cheer for his team, especially since I don’t have any Dutch friends. The answer isn’t any lasting prejudice against Germans over the two major wars fought against them last century. We Europeans have spent millennia fighting each other, so it’s hard to hold something as insignificant as a couple of wars against them.
There is a lot to get worked up about in the world of sports, from the highs of great games and championship finals to the lows of cheating and corruption, but we shouldn’t be fighting each other tooth and nail in some sort of xenophobic defense of our national pastimes.
Yesterday I watched one of the most intense games I’ve ever seen. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish and made me nervous innumerable times throughout. There was as much drama in this game as any game I can remember. And yes, it was a soccer game.