They call futbol (soccer) the beautiful game. It can also be crushing, maddening, and heartbreaking.
Cheering for the USA in the World Cup has been, for me, like rooting on the USA Hockey team in the 1980 Olympics. We were the underdogs, competing on a stage reserved for Brazil, Spain, Germany and Portugal.
We had the bad fortune to be placed in the "Group of Death." No team traveled more miles to play its games than the US team.
And, still, we made it out of our group while Ghana and Portugal did not. And even though we were outplayed by Belgium, our team nearly forced a shoot out. With the hottest goal tender on the planet in Tim Howard, I would have liked our chances. I would have liked them very much.
In 1980 the US Hockey team won the gold medal. In 2014 the USA soccer team won the hearts of its countrymen.
Not bad. Not bad at all.