The Power Of The Beautiful Game

The Power Of The Beautiful Game

Why my first U.S. soccer match changed my life.

The Power Of The Beautiful Game

Every person around the world has had a life-changing moment, whether it be getting married, starting a new job or trying a new food. To some, a sport is like a religion where their eyes are opened and worlds are shaped. I can say I have seen this happen on American soil and that I believe in the magic of the beautiful game.

It was mid-February when I saw a tweet from my friend Grant asking if anyone wanted to go with him to Columbus, Ohio for a couple of days to see the U.S. Men’s National Team match vs. Guatemala on March 29. This match was a World Cup qualifying match. I immediately opened up my planner and saw that it was the Tuesday after my Easter break. I then looked online at my bank account to see how much money I had. I responded to his tweet and said I could afford to miss a couple of days. Soon, we were planning for our trip.

The trip from Central Iowa to Central Ohio is 10-hours by car, and what a grueling 10-hours it was going through Illinois, Indiana and into Ohio. By the time we reached our hotel late at night on the 28th, I was worn out. I quickly changed and got ready for bed because I knew I had to have enough energy to be ready to cheer with The American Outlaws (the unified and dedicated supporting group for the U.S. Soccer Teams). The American Outlaws are best-known for their loud songs and cheers while supporting the red, white and blue. There are chapters all across the country and where the U.S. goes, they will definitely follow.

Match Day was finally upon us and Grant and I made our way to MAPFRE Stadium. Beforehand, there was a tailgate outside the stadium which was sponsored by the Columbus chapter of The American Outlaws. It was fun to get free food and meet different fans from all over that were dedicated to their team. My heart was pounding as it grew closer and closer to the time when we could go inside. The atmosphere was electric as the stands were filled by fans, both American and Guatemalan. Grant and I were lucky enough to get seats in the second row in the supporters section.

What happened during the next few hours is hard to put into words. The U.S. won the match 4-0 and with every goal my voice grew weaker from yelling, singing and cheering. With every goal attempt, time stood still as my breath caught in my throat -- anticipation filling my lungs. With every goal, my heart filled with some kind of emotion; a sort of uncontrollable joy. My legs were numb since it was only 40- degrees outside, but I felt warm all over. The lights in the stadium were dull in comparison to the American spirit emitting from the stands. The energy was felt for a long time afterwards as we walked back to our hotel.

After our 10-hour drive to Iowa the next day, I was back at college and collapsed onto my bed. While I was lying on my bed and trying to reflect on my time there, I started to cry. I didn’t want to be back to the reality of my stressful college life, I wanted to go back to the city where my worries went away for a few blissful hours. That match allowed me to see into the eyes of other fans of the sport just like me. What I love about soccer is that no matter your background, race, income, etc., the beautiful game is always the same. Now whenever the U.S. plays and I can hear the chants, I sing as loud as I did that night in Columbus:

“We love you, we love you, we love you, And where you go we'll follow, we'll follow we'll follow. Because we support the U.S., the U.S., the U.S. And that's the way we like it, we like it, we like it!”
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're anything like me, you're probably anxious about going back to college. The uncertainty of nearly everything is stressful and makes it difficult to prepare for going back to campus. Take it one step at a time and remain calm! If nothing else, take a look at this list of six essentials for living on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic! You got this!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments