Five minutes into the most highly anticipated game in the history of United States soccer, American hearts plunged like a fat rock in a calm pond as English captain Steven Gerrard waltzed unmolested through Team USA's sacred nether regions and slotted home a goal easy as a hot, sharpened blade slicing through soft, moist flesh. From Alaska to Miami, groans and moans flew from mouths as expletives shot out into a seemingly uncaring universe. All the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the underpaid underdogs could be seen going up in unholy smoke. Visions of flaming out in the World Cup filled heads that plummeted into hands, while hair was pulled from heads and anguish overwhelmed a suddenly disgraced nation. Could it be true? Was the United States destined once again to be the world's whipping boys? Was England once again going to run roughshod over the country it colonized with cruel brutality lo these many years ago? As American goalie Tim "T-Ho" Howard screamed bloody murder at his futile and testicle-free defense, it seemed all was lost. And America's World Cup was barely five minutes old.
Then a funny thing happened. Team USA located its spinal column. They dug in, tightened up, and did not succumb to the seemingly inevitable defeat which was staring them smack dab between the eyes. Gooch Onyewu became the rock solid defender America hoped he would be. Steve "Wonderful" Cherundalo, a big question mark in defense, made the tricky English wingers look like magicians who'd lost their wands. Coach's son Michael "Badboy" Bradley settled the ball in the midfield after repeated timely interceptions. Landon "Manchild" Donovan started laying in crosses with the precision of a surgeon who just lost his malpractice insurance. And England reverted to form, playing like 11 pompous, privileged, pampered professionals. Disjointed, unconnected, too much I and not enough Team.
Then an even funnier thing happened. Just before half, "Clint Eastwood" Dempsey rolled in the most innocent of shots, one my daughter could've stopped, and she's two-and-a-half years old. Robert Green, soon to be ex-English goalkeeper, inexplicably let the ball bounce off his hands like they were frying pans. The ball trickled sickly into the goal, as the entire country of England watched aghast while once again their beloved 3 Lions displayed the true character of a nation upon whom the sun has decidedly set. It cannot be emphasized enough just what a truly sad and pathetic display of goalkeeping this was. Was the fix in? A nation wondered as they prepared Green effigies to burn at the stake.
On the second half, the U.S. dominated, and should have gone ahead when Jozy "Pussycat" Altidore showed his typical combination of freakish strength, balletic balance, and artistic grace as he broke down England's defense like a finely engraved battering ram busting down the door of a creaky old castle. England was saved only by the goalkeeper's best friend -- the post.
Hearts moved into mouths as seconds took hours to tick down. When the final whistle blew, underachiever England hung its head in shame, and underdog America raised its arms in triumph. If a draw is like making out with your sister, England kissed its hideous toothless hag of a Cinderella's sibling while the U.S. sucked face with the super hot half-sis that it's related to through marriage and is morally and legally allowed to hook up with.
Next up: June 18, against Slovenia. Look for Team USA to build upon their England success and wreak havoc on the hopefully hapless Slovenians.
Follow David Henry Sterry on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sterryhead