Monday afternoon saw US hopes raised, dashed, and slaughtered in quick order. As Bruce over at du Nord pointed out it’s the first time the US has lost when scoring first in over 75 games. It was disappointing but the US still looked strong despite going a man down. Altidore looked ferocious up front and he could have easily put the US up early on but squandered an incredible chance.
(Yes 10 minutes of highlights)
In the end an American stole the show, an American playing for the Italians Giuseppe Rossi himself. It hurts to get beat by any team but when you are stuck and then the knife is twisted by a footballer who could have been playing for your team it hurts even more.
Outrage has erupted from within the American fans all over the internet. Calls for blood; cries of traitor; and discussions of inappropriate celebration. "This tournament means nothing,” they say, “why would he celebrate with no regards towards our tender feelings?" In football the politics and vision we hold can be much different than those viewed by those on the pitch.
Friends and Enemies
How do the American players feel about being killed by a former compatriot? Surely they feel disappointed that he is not one of them, especially after his killing shots took over the game. But I don’t think that the US National team players think of him as a real traitor. Rossi had the balls and confidence in himself throw away a sure thing with the USA and prove himself at the highest level on the Italian National Team.
While we hate, we forget that Rossi and Altidore are friends. Altidore has often spoken of how nice Rossi was to him and how he helped him become acclimated to Spain. Although they may be enemies while they have national team jerseys on they are friends when not on the pitch.
What are we Really Feeling?
What place do these emotions of ours have in the basis of real life? Calling for the blood of a young man who did nothing more than go and play for a country that no one on the American team could start for? Football is more of a business than many of us like to realize.
While all players call for fame and glory while playing for their National side often these big tournaments server as places to drive up your price. The real prize is money, not just glory and adoration.
Recently, a German national team player, Jermaine Jones, has switched sides and we welcomed him with open arms. He is basically doing the same thing as Giuseppe Rossi except instead of trying for the best he is falling back on his second choice. There are no cries for how disloyal he is.
We aren’t angry.
We are jealous.