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Columbus Fans Disappointed In U.S. Soccer Performance
Many people showed up in red, white and blue, some of them draping the American flag across their shoulders. Others were a little less obvious, wearing starched white button down shirts and black slacks,playing hooky from work. Regardless, they were all at Crew Stadium’s “Cup Headquarters” to watch the United States Soccer Team take on the Czech Republic in Germany.
Thomie Timmons of Columbus played soccer in growing up, and was optimistic before the start of the game.
“I think they’re underestimated this year. I think they’re going to do real well,” Timmons said.
Rick Tea came from Pickerington to see the game. But he was a little more reserved about his confidence in the U-S.
“Cautiously optimistic, we’ll see how it goes today,” Tea said.
Fans were excited following the national anthem. But less than five minutes into the game one of the U.S. players received a yellow card, causing fans to jeer the officials’ call.
Then, only a minute later, the Czech Republic scored their first goal. By the end of the half, the U.S. trailed by two. And Timmons, who said the U-S team was underestimated before the game, was a little less hopeful.
“I think they’ve dealt themselves a pretty bad hole, so. But they seem to be keeping possession. And Czechoslovakia’s now sinking back and playing defense, so,” Timmons said.
Amidst the sea of U.S. fans was a lone Czech fan, Kurt Martig, who clapped alone when his team scored their first two goals.
“I was walking around earlier and it’s like a couple people walked by, a couple of kids. And they were like oh yeah, there’s a Czech guy, figured there had to be one, you know. Yep, that’s me,” Martig said.
Martig, an Ohio State student, said he traveled to Prague a few years ago and became a Czech fan following his trip.
At the start of the second half there were fewer people under the “Cup Headquarters” tent, which was so full at the start of the game people were ushered to the stadium to watch. But the fans that were left were still hopeful. With about twenty minutes left in the game the U.S. made their way down to the goal again. But did not score.
The U.S. made another attempt at a goal, but it didn’t work out either. And fans, like Kyle Long, were getting upset.
“What are you doing?”
The Czech Republic scored their final and third goal with about 18 minutes left in the game.
David Biemel, who was hoping the U.S. would make a comeback, left game disappointed.
“I was disappointed. The first game of the Cup you were hoping they were going to come out a little stronger, score a couple of goals and hopefully win. After that first goal with the Czech Republic I was hoping that might energize the guys, but just couldn’t get it done so we’ll just hope for the best in the next two games and see what happens,” Biemel.”
While the majority of people leaving Crew Stadium were feeling a little let down, there was one guy who left feeling content: Martig, the lone Czech fan.
“I said three-nil before the match. My friends are going to be like, you jerk. I was sad the United States didn’t try. They weren’t running. And it was kind of pitiful. But, oh well,” Martig said.
The U.S. plays Italy on Saturday.