Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why We Watch: Jozy Altidore before dawn

I found myself watching Dutch league football at 5am. I’d set four alarms, roll off my bed, and open my computer into Western Europe. Some nights I wouldn’t sleep, and I’d stare into the night, desperate to be sure I could enter that world.

Sleep, sleep, tweet, goal, sleep.

But when my eyes opened on those early mornings, the sense of achieved consciousness didn’t arrive. I felt myself half-dreaming, somewhere far away from a college dorm. I was somewhere in the elusive heart of Holland, with Jozy Altidore as my guide. It’s less strange than it sounds.


America is not a great soccer nation, and that’s a beautiful thing. The 14th best team in the world has only a minor place on the global stage, despite the blustery geo-political strength the United States brings into that distant zone. It is not much more important in domestic sports circles. People care, but not too many or too much.

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