My daughter, a soccer and sports fanatic, was elated when I took her to see the US Women’s soccer team play against Nigeria in the opening round of the 2105 World Cup in Vancouver BC.
The BC Place stadium was impressive. All the seats seem to have a good view of the action, the big screen was immense and clear, and the partial roof provided welcomed shade to the spectators. We had a perfect view, sitting right behind the Nigerian bench. It was the first time that I had sat in the first row in the lowest section at a major sporting event. Being just yards away from the players, you could hear them talking to each other. The seats were well worth it.
The streets of downtown Vancouver were swarmed by Americans, many of them wrapped in stars and stripes, on the day of the game. The crowd of 52,000+ spectators, almost all Americans, were confident of a US victory but got noticeably nervous when they hadn’t scored in the first 40 minutes. But thoughts of possible disaster quickly dissipated when Abby Wambach converted on a corner kick in the final minutes of the first half. The stadium went berserk.
The US team will play Columbia next in the Round of 16. For them to advance to the finals, they’ll need to convert on their opportunities better than they did against Nigeria. Can they replicate what they did in 1999? The next couple of weeks will be interesting.