I am not a blogger, I am not an author, and I am definitely not a journalist. I’m a fan, plain and simple. This is my story of THE U.S. Goal that has and will always be more than just a memory.
As a new fan to the sport, only really getting into it back in 2007 and consistently watching in 2009 when the Sounders arrived, there were few memories for me. Of course, there was my first professional match ever witnessed in person at the 2009 US Open Cup Semi-Final. That was needless to say, memorable. I haven’t looked away from the team since. However, that is for another post.
Today, we are talking about our favorite US Soccer Memory and there is truly only one over my short fan-hood. The Miracle against Algeria, The Unforgettable Winner, The Stoppage Time Stunner, The Undeniable Donovan…Whatever you called it, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Back in the summer of 2010, I was enrolled in Summer Courses at Washington State University. As you can imagine, most of the student body were not on campus at the time. However, despite the low attending number of students, it did not feel that way at all when the US was playing.
The Cougar Cottage, more popular known as simply "The Coug," was showing every single World Cup Match, serving Breakfast along with Mimosa’s and of course Beer(Duh, this is Wazzu we’re talking about). When you came out for a US Match at 7:00am, it felt more like a Friday night during football season rather than a Wednesday Morning during summer.
Every morning that the US took the field, dozens gathered at The Coug to watch the Red, White, and Blue fight to advance in the tournament. All matches were standing room only. Everyone broke out their 4th of July gear early with a little cougar crimson sprinkled in amongst the crowd. A proud site to see for any American.
For this particular match, I parked myself on the wall mounted tables next to the bar as there were no seats available when I arrived. The atmosphere of The Coug and what that match had to offer was like a rollercoaster that you think you are at the top of the big drop off (The best part of the ride) but then realize it goes even higher. The anticipation was killer.
One of the things that drew me away from the sport growing up was that soccer cannot only end in a tie but a scoreless tie at that. Who would want to watch a sport where nothing happens for 90 minutes? That killer anticipation is exactly why you watch the sport. You never know when a team might score or even if that will happen, but when they do we sure as hell are gonna go crazy!
And when Donovan put that loose ball in the back of the net, there are no words that could do it justice. Screaming, hollering, jumping, hugging, tears of joy, and of course…"U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" It is a feeling one does not get too often in sports, especially being a Coug from Seattle. A feeling that I wanted to replicate. There lies the spark.
It was not until that day, that I saw it possible for soccer supporters to truly come out in numbers in Pullman and show some love for the sport. It was that day that I began working towards bringing an ECS like viewing party tradition to The Coug. It was that day that I began bringing Cougs and Sounders alike together, under one roof. It was that day that I started The Coug City Sounders.
For those of you that have not heard of Coug City Sounders, which is probably most of you, we are the supporters group that unifies Coug Sounders fans. Whenever you are in Pullman during a Sounders Match, The Coug will always have the match on. That is a big deal when matches, unless broadcasted on National TV, are hard to come by in Eastern Washington.
I wear my Coug City Sounders shirt for every single Sounders match, no matter what. Cougs and Sounders alike approach me all the time asking about the shirt. I always give them the short version of the supporters group but in the back my mind, I am always thinking about that Donovan goal. Without that goal, who knows if Coug City Sounders even exists?
Come Tuesday night, there is no doubt I will be wearing that shirt under my U.S. Jersey. It will be an honor to finally support the team in person that has led me to so many great friends and memories with the Coug City Sounders. Screaming for 90 minutes is just my way of saying thank you. See you Tuesday, America!
Go Cougs! Go Sounders! Go USA!