American sports fans have a tendency to rally around grit, teamwork and hustle. We like teams that fight and claw even when the chips are down. That was the beauty of Team USA 2014 at the World Cup. Lacking a superstar other than it's goalie Tim Howard, the feisty American side personified what we so desperately hoped it would. And yet, it didn't matter if you were a soccer fan or even a sports fan this time around.
When John Brooks etched his name into American sports history Monday night with a game-winning header to beat Ghana 2-1, it proved once again why the World Cup matters so much. Because what didn't matter was the fact that the 21-year-old had virtually no international experience or that his coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, was criticized for even including him on the 30-man roster. And what mattered even less was that when Brooks made the final 23-man roster, it meant that Landon Donovan, the most decorated U.S. player ever, would not be going to Brazil.