Sunday, June 04, 2000

US 4, South Africa 0

Ben, George and I went to RFK yesterday to watch the US play South Africa in soccer. When George went to get the tickets, he asked for the cheapest 3 seats together you could get. Even though there were $18 tickets, they sold him $25 tickets...which turned out to be great seats. Best seats I've ever had to a soccer game. 10 rows from the pitch, on about the 45-yard-line (if you'll excuse the American football reference). So the extra $7 was definitely worth it.

I figured with the US playing South Africa, the American fans would be the loudest. That's not always the case; when we went to see the US play Jamaica a couple of years ago, the Jamaicans out-cheered the Americans even if they didn't number them. I figure that most Americans aren't interested in coming to a soccer game. But if you're a Jamaican or South African living within driving distance of DC, you're going to show up when your team comes to play. Since there aren't as many South Africans as Jamaicans, US fans did dominate, but there still were a fair number of South Africans. One woman came by waving her South African flag and hit Ben and me with it. I was indignant until a guy dressed in red, white and blue came by with a drum and hit me in the head with that. Yeah, I guess Americans can be even more obnoxious. There were some South Africans sitting behind us yelling all the time in Zulu or some South African language. They'd switch into English every once in a while for obscenities. Or maybe they were swearing in both languages.

The game itself was a lot of fun to watch. I love watching soccer games in person, and it was a nice day to do so. The constant action is hypnotic, and a contrast to most American sports. Most of the game was spent with the US on offense, though both teams had a number of chances to score. The US just had more, and took advantage of them. Cobi Jones was amazing, scoring 2 goals and assisting on the other 2. So we came out of it a winner, and hopefully we'll win the (essentially meaningless) US Cup. I'm really excited about the World Cup qualifying, though. I read that the US may play Cuba at RFK in September; that's definitely a match I want to be there for.

Look here for a summary of the game.

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