What a Sad Day for the US

The soccer buzz spread across Washington, D.C. yesterday. While the game’s rules weren’t always completely understood, fans were plugged in with nervous anticipation. The U.S. advance to the round of 16 had brought out more fans, and more vocal ones. What a sad day it was though.

Having monitored the US team since 1998 World Cup in France when we also lost 2 to 1 to my homeland country of Iran,  I was very optimistic for them to advance this time around. The US team has certainly come a long way since then and they truly deserved to advance.

In Dupont Circle, “crowded” didn’t begin to define the Bars where all the TV screens were tuned to the U.S.-Ghana match.

What some may have missed in soccer savvy—there were bar-side discussions over whether a “hat trick” required three goals or four—was more than made up for with genuine, unchecked enthusiasm.

US counter attacks were greeted with cheers and claps with the ball in their own side of the field. Near-misses by the U.S. generated unanimous groans. Corner kicks were applauded before they were taken. Routine saves by star goalkeeper Tim Howard earned furious applause. Landon Donovan’s conversion of a penalty kick in minute 62 was ear-shattering, and followed by spontaneous (and obligatory) high-fives and chants of “USA!, USA!”.

The one thing the American defeat, after two extra periods against a disciplined and feisty Ghanaian side, didn’t seem to do was quell enthusiasm for America’s new-found prowess—and the national team’s prospects four years hence..

I saw a hot babe putting down her mimosa and burst into tears of happiness after Donovan scored the U.S.’s only goal, and her companion who said he suffered heart attacks each time the U.S. blew a shot.

By the end of the game, the serious soccer fans including myself  were heartbroken.

If our team continues playing like how they did against other teams in this World Cup, we will win the World Cup in 2014. If not winning, at least to semi final. GO USA 2014 🙂

Feel free to connect with me via awesomize.me

About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

2 Responses to What a Sad Day for the US

  1. So – I have been watching the World Cup pretty avidly – first during our family trip to Spain and Portugal and then back home. The players are tremendous; the refs and FIFA officials, not so much.

    Two goals by the US disallowed for mysterious reasons.

    Many, many inexplicable yellow cards and some calls that should have been that weren’t.

    And then, today, we have this horrifying call against England on what would have been a goal by Lampert. It was in by a yard or more. It was very clear to all of the players on the field but not the closest ref, who was 15 or 20 yards away and in poor position.

    My questions are these:

    . Why doesn’t FIFA have goal sensors that would clearly pick up calls like this? The NHL, which has far fewer resources, has this for every game?
    . Why doesn’t FIFA have end-line officials, like major league baseball has foul line officials in the post season. Their job is to make sure fair/foul and home run calls are correct.
    . Why aren’t FIFA officials required to confer with each other on controversial calls to make sure that they are right?
    . Why isn’t there a replay system that could be used for goal/no-goal calls related to offsides and other transgressions that disallow goals?
    . Why does FIFA believe that effective use of technology doesn’t apply to them?
    . Why doesn’t FIFA penalize for faked injuries and other delaying tactics at the end of tight games? The NFL has rules against this at the end of halves.
    . Why can’t you take players out in the middle to get them some rest and put them back in again like every other team sport on the planet?

    Do you think the offside rule is stupid – particularly in areas close to the goal where defenders can slow down or stop to make up for a bad play on their part?

    These factors can all ruin a really well-played match.

    Yes, Germany would have probably won anyway. They looked really good and were highly creative, but the Lampert call really ruined England’s chances for an upset.

    I bought a Messi jersey in Barcelona, so I guess I’ll root for them for awhile. I am also kinda looking forward to the Spain – Portugal since I just got back from both of those countries.


    Peter Buchanan
    Managing Partner
    NewPlan, LLC

    • Elias Shams says:

      Peter, all your questions are solid and valid. I agree to all of them except the last one. The offside rule is not stupid. It is the rule the players should follow.
      Although, I am not a big fan of England, but you are right. That was goal for England today.
      FIFA needs a major reform.

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