I normally rip soccer to shreds. But thanks to my undying patriotism and taunts of a co-worker, I have deiced to watch the World Cup qualifier. Here are my observations in the form of a stream of consciousnesses. Hit refresh often to see my updates as they flow from my fingers.
35 minutes to kickoff: I turn on the pregame show. The Mexican fans are already chanting and doing the wave. The stadium is rocking. I love it. ESPN cuts to a LeBron commercial. LeBron would dominate soccer. Too bad all the good athletes in America play real sports like basketball and football...
32 Minutes to kickoff: Jeremy Schaap narrates a piece on Joe Corona. Coolest name ever. Dude is from Mexico, has American and Mexican citizenship and plays for USA. He's my new favorite player.
24 minutes to kickoff: Soccer players have the coolest gear. I need to buy some pullovers or something.
18 minutes to kickoff: The tall, bald goalie for USA is not playing? We're done. Wait, his backup is a tall bald guy? We're back. USA all the way.
17 Mins to Kickoff: Mexican goalie is supposedly playing because he is trying to get enough hours to get an English work permit.
10 Mins to Kickoff: Alexi Lalas called this the biggest rivalry in sports. Ok bro. You're losing me.
6 Mins to Kickoff: Mexico has some sick black jerseys. USA looks like they got a good deal on stock uniforms at the Nike outlet. Mexican fans also boo the entire National Anthem while taking video with their iPhones. Nice.
Kickoff: The players look so small on my TV.
3:26: Number 14 from Mexico is pulling a Holmstrom in front of the net. I respect that. USA defenders do not.
7:36: Yellow card for Beasley! Looks like we have the first flop?
11:35: Shot of the American coach sitting on the bench. Does he do anything? Run a triangle offense? Full field press? No way of knowing.
13:24: Landon Donovan is on a sabbatical? That's like if Michael Jordan took time off from basketball at the peak of his career...wait, nevermind.
17:04 Chicharito gets one hand put on him and he hits the deck like he's been shot. Come on. Good no call there. I think. I have no idea.
Sidenote: GVSU women's soccer should play in Lubbers Stadium as part of a big event. They've earned that.
26:15: Dos Santos is the Anderson Varajao of flops in soccer. They both have similar ugly hair. Science.
28:20: Chicharito misses a goal. I bet Russell Westbrook makes that play.
32:50 USA got the ball into Mexico's zone, but then intentionally kicked it all the way back to the goalie? Why?
37:30 Whenever ESPN shows a close up shot of the action, you realize how poorly wide camera angles make soccer look on TV.
38:50 Looks like a man is down. Time for the magic can of spray and towel! (Karsh and Anderson bit)
40:32 Dos Santos is not impressing me with kicking.
41:31 USA guy heads a ball kicked from the corner into the stands. And NFL running backs can't lead with their heads?
43:24 Mexican guy gets a tiny shove, looks at the ref, then wins an Oscar with that performance.
45:12 Looks like that USA player's head got hurt, most likely due to his bad haircut.
Halftime: It would appear that USA is playing well. I have no idea. At least we aren't losing? How long is halftime?
Halftime: AT&T commercial. Girl says, "We want more, we want more." Well I want more goals. I've seen a total of none goals.
Halftime: Here's some complicated analytics.
46:30 The game resumes.
50:34 At this point in the game, I feel like USA should score a goal. Probably easier said than done.
53:00 Beasley has a pretty difficult task. Basically playing with five fouls. I give him a lot of credit. Btw, this is my first attempt at soccer analysis, so bear with me.
55:00 Altidore taken out of the game. He's one of the few names I recognize. Although his replacement plays for the Seattle Sounders, and I follow them on Twitter. So that's a good substitution, in my opinion.
57:59 Mexico "running out of ideas" according to the announcer. Here's a good idea; score a goal!
62:13 I like how green the grass is on soccer fields.
66:50 Are fans shining lasers on the US players, or did I not pay enough for my TV?
69:45 Mexico is getting too many chances. One of these will go in, it's just a matter of time.
71:48 Grahm Zusi came out of nowhere. And his hair is cool.
74:49 Looks like a great game between the Mavericks and Clippers is developing on TNT. Must...not...change..the...channel...
75:30 Words are being exchanged! Controversy! Shoving! Anger! Glad I didn't change the channel. Maybe.
82:00 Guy with cool hair goes off for a guy with uncool hair. We are in trouble.
85:12 There are absolutely lasers being shined on US players. I find this funny.
88:21 Still no goals.
90:00 Stoppage time! They need to startage scoring from goals.
92:14 Looks like a giant moon bounce inflated behind the goal. Someone needs to explain this.
94:12 Tie. It appears as if this a good thing.
Well that was...interesting. It wasn't bad, but then again, I didn't see a single goal. The announcers are very impressed with the US team, so I guess I feel pretty good about this. Thanks for reading!
By Aaron Brandt, soccer watching veteran.