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TexasTiger08
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2006
24177 posts

Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?

I come as a newb to the soccer board. I get slightly interested every 4 years. I don’t dislike the sport, but my sports viewing time is pretty full without adding Premier League or something like that.

Anyway…02 was the third WC I knew about. I read about 94 in my SI Kids issue with Jones and Lalas on the cover. I have vague memories of ‘98, but US being bounced early didn’t help.

I felt like it was a huge deal to knock off Portugal. I still remember Luis Figo being a big name, and I recall the broadcasters words as time was winding down. Something about “my eyes have seen the light”.

Anywho, I’m from South Texas, so there’s many fans down here who rep Mexico. One of the few games I watched beginning to end back then was a US win over Mexico in Columbus in 2001. It was a cold game, and a huge deal to beat Mexico, obviously.

I don’t remember watching the knockout win over Mexico, just that it happened, and a follow up loss to Germany wasn’t that surprising.

I know it was pre-social media, and no TD was around For any big soccer fans, what was the vibe like? I remember a big buzz around the 2010 and 2014 squads, which had their share of successes. I’m just curious how it compared…


SUB
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2001
Member since Jan 2009
18814 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
It was incredibly exciting. It felt like it was the beginning of a new era, especially after we got robbed in the Germany quarterfinal.

Boy were we wrong about things going up from there.
This post was edited on 11/28 at 6:42 pm


Alyosha
Member since Nov 2020
5781 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
Fantastic experience riding that wave.

Afterwards I remember listening to some southern hick radio host (driving on the I-10E) happy we lost and played the German national anthem, justifying it that we wouldn’t want to draw more hate from the world by taking their sport.

This post was edited on 11/28 at 6:23 pm


BCLA
USA Fan
Bossier City
Member since Mar 2005
6964 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
It was tricky because the games were all over the place for us time wise, like anywhere from 11pm to 5am.

20 year old me loved it and it solidified my fandom by staying up all night drinking and partying watching with my friends.

But mainstream coverage definitely suffered.


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MrWalkingMan
LSU Fan
31st Parallel North
Member since Aug 2010
4549 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
quote:

I don’t remember watching the knockout win over Mexico, just that it happened, and a follow up loss to Germany wasn’t that surprising.


It was at like two in the morning but yes it was somewhat appointment viewing for even casual fans


Broski
USA Fan
Member since Jun 2011
54896 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
I have vague memories as a 9 year old with us losing to Iran in 98, but I didn't really care about the team until one night in 2002 just staying up late that night and surfing the channels when I found the US playing Portugal. Not really knowing anything about how the World Cup, I figured I'd "give it a shot", by matchday three, I was frantically flipping back and forth between USA/Poland and Korea/Portugal hoping Portugal didn't get a late goal to knock us out.

The round of 16 match vs Mexico was the final nail in the indoctrination.
This post was edited on 11/28 at 6:38 pm


Keys Open Doors
Duke Fan
In hiding with Tupac & XXXTentacion
Member since Dec 2008
30714 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
I recall it getting pretty limited attention, especially since it was pre-social media and at weird hours due to the 12-13 hour time difference.

I watched almost every game that month as it was the summer before my senior year of high school, and I had this project I was working on that allowed me to have very flexible hours.

So I ended up doing real work but far from a 9-5 type of thing.

I remember there was a viral video of people celebrating the goal against Algeria in 2010 and Landon Donovan said he and the rest of the team were shocked and the thrilled at how many people in the Us cared.

Obviously there was no YouTube in 2002 but I don’t think there could have been a comparable video in 2002.
This post was edited on 11/28 at 8:32 pm


TexasTiger08
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2006
24177 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
quote:

I remember there was a viral video of people celebrating the goal against Algeria in 2010 and Landon Donovan said he and the rest of the team were shocked and the thrilled at how many people in the Us cared.


I remember that US squad pretty well…not as a soccer fan, but as a guy who watched the Cup. That’s the first time I remember a big push to watch, being patriotic for the sport, etc. Was it not on the heels of the Winter Olympics in 2010 where the hockey team beat Canada in prelims the went to OT in the gold medal game?


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rt3
LSU Fan
now in the piney woods of Pineville
Member since Apr 2011
132442 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
quote:

It was at like two in the morning but yes it was somewhat appointment viewing for even casual fans

the World Cup Dos a Cero


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lowspark12
Auburn Fan
nashville, tn
Member since Aug 2009
21644 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
It was cool… but those march times sucked… iirc Portugal early morning and Korea was middle of the night.


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ned nederlander
Member since Dec 2012
2669 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
quote:

It was cool… but those march times sucked… iirc Portugal early morning and Korea was middle of the night.


They did suck, but not for me. Was in college and staying up all night to watch with friends was among my more fond sports and social memories. It really was a debauched run of glory.


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40
Dawgsontop34
Georgia Fan
Member since Jun 2014
39176 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
I remember staying up super late to watch the Korea game (I was 11) but the Germany game was so early I know my parents recorded it and then I watched it as soon as I got up that morning.

I think the time frame of the matches hurt the excitement level in general.


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gizmoflak
USA Fan
Member since May 2007
11535 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
quote:

we got robbed in the Germany quarterfinal.



I'm still mad


S
Texas Southern Fan
RIP Wayde
Member since Jan 2007
144751 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
quote:

I don’t remember watching the knockout win over Mexico


I do, think it was 1-2 am. Totally worth it

Espn and abc broadcasted it so in a pre social media era the coverage was pretty good. I watched a lot of games on the Spanish channels too. England/Argentina was another one i stayed up late for and woke up at like 5 to watch Mexico/italy. The hype from the media going into germany was as good as you could get. Fox sports world was also around back then and covering it too.

Really fun tournament probably helped by the fact i was 16 and getting lit every night.



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The Boat
Duke Fan
Tim McGraw Country
Member since Oct 2008
154834 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
Gregg Berhalter was the player whose shot was stopped by the handball. Time is a flat circle.


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The Third Leg
Iowa Fan
Idiot Out Wandering Around
Member since May 2014
9477 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?

Unbelievable no call. Probably the worst luck the US ever had. In todays game, the review corrects that.


Girth Donor
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Apr 2011
3261 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
Still my favorite U.S. team. I was in my 20's, working and waking up to watch every match of that tournament. I'd go to bed as soon as I got home from work to wake up and start watching at Midnight if I remember correctly.

I remember watching our last group match, losing and turning the channel to cheer on South Korea to do us a favor vs Portugal which they did. Looking back Portugal really shite the bed that tournament with the best midfield in the world at the time imo.

That Germany match still pisses me off.

To go from the worst team in '98 to almost Semifinalist in '02 was rewarding.


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reggierayreb
Germantown
Member since Nov 2012
16267 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
PK and a red card


Would’ve been huge


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610man
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Jun 2005
6303 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
Was in college, lived in fraternity house. Bunch of us watched each game. Was awesome, really thought USMNT was on the verge of a huge run


Akit1
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Jul 2006
6971 posts

re: Was there widespread excitement during the 2002 US Mens run?
US coverage has come so far since those earlier Cups. In 2006 Brent Musburger was in the booth. Think about that.

2002 was a great run, but the time difference was really tough.


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