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42 Things Only Truly Intense U.S. Soccer Fans Will Understand

Oh when the Yanks go marching in.

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1) The 1994 World Cup is still a proud moment for you.

2) Even though those denim-inspired jerseys have led to more arguments with friends than you’d care to admit.

3) There was a time of your life when you were convinced Alexi Lalas was one of the best defenders in the universe.

4) You’re not sure why more people don’t talk about the stone wall that was Tony Meola.

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5) You would do anything to have Cobi Jones’ hair. ANYTHING.

6) You will, to your dying day, say that Kasey Keller’s performance against Brazil in the 1998 Gold Cup was the best performance EVER by a goalie.

7) But you’ve blacked out all other 1998-related U.S. soccer moments from your memory.

8) 1998 just didn’t happen, OKAY?

9) You know that Tab Ramos was one of the best to ever wear the stars and stripes.

10) That Brian McBride was one of the toughest.

11) That Claudio Reyna could go box to box with any team.

12) That Eddie Pope could lock down anyone.

13) But also that the U.S. might never put a better midfield trio on the field than Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, and Kristine Lilly.

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Simon Bruty / Getty Images

 

14) And we might never see a better striker than Mia Hamm — on any U.S. team, ever.

15) You know exactly where you were when Brian McBride headed in the deciding goal against Portugal.

16) And you remember the specific item you threw across your living room when they didn’t call that handball on the line against Germany.

17) Nothing makes you angrier than the words “Koman Coulibaly.”

18) Except maybe “Daniel DeRossi.”

19) Or maybe “Rafa Marquez.”

Gary M. Prior / Getty Images

20) You don’t talk about 2006, either.

21) Except to say that you’re still pissed about that second yellow for Eddie Pope against Italy.

22) Seriously, WHO MAKES THAT CALL???

23) There’s a sizable part of your week devoted to checking whether or not your favorite national team players made the 18 on their club teams (or started, or scored).

24) Which is why you knew about Aron Jóhannsson before anyone else.

25) Julian Green, too.

26) You were once skeptical of Michael Bradley.

27) Now, you’d take him over just about any midfielder in the world.

28) On the list of the happiest moments of your life, that goal against Algeria will probably always be in the top 10.

29) Abby Wambach’s goal against Brazil in 2011 is right up there with it.

30) You don’t remember what U.S. soccer broadcasts were like before Ian Darke.

31) You think sometimes about how far the team could’ve gone in 2010 if Charlie Davies had been healthy.

32) Or what could’ve happened if Giuseppe Rossi had stayed home.

33) You spend an unusual amount of time dealing with your feelings for Ghana.

Jamie Sabau / Getty Images

Jamie Sabau / Getty Images

 

34) You consider Columbus, Ohio, sacred ground.

35) You have a favorite goal that Landon Donovan scored against Mexico.

36) You have a Dos a Cero tattoo.

37) You don’t have a Dos a Cero tattoo, but now you’re starting to seriously consider one.

38) You’re tired of hearing everyone else talk about how the U.S. has no chance to advance in Brazil this year.

39) You’ve already picked out Jürgen’s starting lineup in your head.

40) You’ve already figured out how you’re going to call in “sick” to work for that first game.

41) And if you could make that opening whistle blow RIGHT NOW, you would.

42) Because at the end of the day, only one thing truly matters this summer: WE are going to Brazil.

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