For a while it looked as though England were going to win, then it looked as if we were going to win, and then we drew and that was ok.
The U.S. go down to an early goal due to a totally disorganized defence then have to fight their way back into the game. This is a story U.S. fans know all too well. But when Stevie G scored in the 4th minute last Saturday, my heart sank. I had a living room full of people, had shitloads of food and had prepared myself for the last seven months for this game. And here we were going to lose the game before it really got going and children would have to see a grown man cry.
The 4th minute goal was so reminiscent of four years ago, when the U.S. team showed so much promise before the tournament, that once it got going you wondered where all the promise went. We lost 3-0 in the first game to the Czech Republic and were done in 3 games. I nearly cried then. But this time it was against England. We can’t lose to them.
And we didn’t. The U.S. showed some fight and ended the first half not only by scoring a fluke of a goal, but also dominating possession and threatening to score another. And when Dempsey scored that goal (or Green totally fucked up, I’m not sure which) to equalise, boy did we cheer and did Nate cry. He’s used to me cheering on my own when a goal for is scored, but not so many people and probably not so vigorously. This is the World Cup afterall.
As for the food I made, I’d like to think all of it was tasty. My favorites were the fennel cured salmon with chive mascarpone, pickled red onion and crostini, albondigas with an almond and saffron sauce, and brandade stuffed piquillo peppers with cured orange. The kids naturally went for the patatas bravas. Perhaps my biggest fear was running out of food, but fortunately that never happened. We weren’t left with a ton of food, just enough to have dinner and lunch for a day or two afterwards.
I wish I had pictures of some of the stuff, but from about 1:00 until 2:30 (kickoff) I was working hard to get most things done so that once the game started I could watch and not play host.
Up next is the match against Slovenia – a must win – on Friday morning. I’ll be watching with Nate only and I’ll do my best to not make him cry, but since it’ll just be us my celebrations can be more exhuberant.