Team USA’s run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup might have ended Tuesday against Belgium, but America's love affair with soccer seems far from over.
The good news for Americans is that if they weren’t lucky enough to make the trip to Brazil to cheer on Team USA in the World Cup, they have the opportunity in two years to see soccer on the international stage again in Brazil when Rio de Janeiro plays host to the 2016 Olympic Games.
Soccer mania even made its way into the White House as President Barack Obama sent out this message on Twitter:
There were many celebratory moments for Team USA in this World Cup, as the Americans surprised many by escaping the Group of Death and qualifying for the Round of 16 in the tournament. And goalkeeper Tim Howard, who had already been a soccer sensation years before this World Cup, has emerged as even more of one if not a Twitter sensation.
Throughout this World Cup, there were many impressive statistics and numbers to crunch. TeamUSA.org took a close look at the U.S. team’s performances in Brazil and below is a list of some of the highlights.
Millions – of Americans who became soccer fans during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
52,227 – Fans in Arena Fonte Nova for the Team USA-Belgium match Tuesday in Salvador, Brazil
25,000+ – Fans reported by the Chicago Tribune to have gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park to watch Team USA play Belgium Tuesday
500+ – Members of American Outlaws, a U.S. soccer fan club, who traveled to Brazil to cheer on Team USA
32 – Nations that qualified for the World Cup
30 – Visitors, in millions, from the United States who logged on to FIFA.com, soccer’s global website, between June 1-26, roughly 23 percent of the global audience, according to The New York Times
29 – Time (in seconds) for Clint Dempsey to score for Team USA in World Cup opener against Ghana (record was 11 seconds set by Turkey’s Hakan Sukur against South Korea in 2002 World Cup)
23 – Players on Team USA’s World Cup roster
19 – Age of Team USA forward Julian Green, who saw his first World Cup action Tuesday and scored his first goal. He celebrated his birthday on June 6
16 – Saves Tim Howard made vs. Belgium; most saves in a World Cup game since 1966, when such statistics began to be recorded (previous record was 13)
4 – Members of Team USA who have Olympic experience: Goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Jozy Altidore
3 – Teams that Team USA had to face in the “Group of Death”: Ghana, Portugal and Germany
2 – Broken noses suffered by Team USA players during World Cup (Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones)
2 – Consecutive World Cups in which Team USA survived group play
2 – Years before international soccer will be played again in Brazil in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic GamesOne nation. One team.