An Open Letter to Jürgen Klinsmann

Forget the tie, and forget the tiebreaker. We believe that we can win.

1. Dear Jürgen,

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2. You know us — we’re the ones with the bandanas and the flags and the lifetime of U.S. soccer memories.

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3. We’re the ones who remember every Dos a Cero. We’re the ones who remember every game that coulda shoulda woulda gone our way.

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4. We’re the fans, and we should say this upfront: We couldn’t be prouder of our team.

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5. Of the way we fought against Ghana. Of the way we responded against Portugal.

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6. Of this group of guys we’ve lost our voices screaming for at this World Cup. We couldn’t be prouder to be Americans, and to be American soccer fans.

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7. But there’s thing you need to understand, Jürgen. We’ve been through some shit with this team. We’ve been through awful losses in San Pedro Sula, and we’ve been through gut-punches at Azteca.

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8. But for each of us — each and every one of us who roots for this team — there’s also been a moment that’s made us believe.

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9. Maybe it was John O’Brien’s early goal in ‘02.

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10. Or Brian McBride’s gutsy performance versus Italy in ‘06.

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11. Or beating Spain in ‘09.

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12. Or maybe it was just a Kasey Keller save, or a Claudio Reyna run.

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13. Or maybe it was the Donovan goal. We’ll all remember that one as long as we live.

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14. But there was a moment when it happened — when our team, the team that everybody said wasn’t worth jack — showed them all. And we watched it happen, and we immediately knew that we’d always believe.

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15. When we’re screaming our lungs out, we mean every word. We believed once, and we’ll believe again.

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16. We’ve seen the odds. We’ve seen the scenarios it takes for us to advance.

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17. And we’re here to say: This is no time to hold back.

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18. Go for the win, Jürgen. GO FOR IT ALL.

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19. Our whole lives, we’ve been told how U.S. soccer isn’t good enough to compete on the biggest stage. Every single insult feels like, well… a boot to the face.

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20. But we believe, Jürgen. We believe that on the right day, in the right moment, this team can do anything.

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21. We saw it on Sunday. We saw the United States of America — OUR team — run up and down and all over on Portugal. We saw a team that we could be proud of.

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22. You want a national soccer identity, Jürgen? Here it is: The U.S. doesn’t quit, and will never quit.

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23. We don’t have a Messi or a Ronaldo or a Neymar, but if you always push our boys to play to the death, to never quit, then we’ll never quit on you. And we’ll go to the ends of the Earth — and maybe even Qatar — to support our colors.

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24. So forget the talk of a draw, or pulling through thanks to a favorable Portugal-Ghana result.

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25. If we go for it and lose, so be it. This is sports. It hurts, but it happens.

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26. But after two years of qualifiers, and all that’s passed so far in this tournament, we’re standing here with a chance to win the Group of Death. Why not go for the win?

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27. We believe in Tim and Clint, in Michael and Jermaine, and every other member of this squad. We believe that the team we saw against Portugal — a team that attacked and pushed the Portuguese around — can do it again versus the Germans.

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28. We’re ready for Thursday. Some of us will be there in Recife, Brazil, but most of us will be watching from places all around the globe. We will cheer, and we will hope.

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29. Nobody but us believes our team can win this game, Jürgen. But we still believe.

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30. We’re the fans of the United States of America, and we’re telling you: Even against the mighty Germans, we believe that we can win.

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