On paper, and given previous match results, this looks a winnable match for the US. Belgium’s performances have seemed disjointed thus far while the US has looked confident and cohesive. But I’m here to tell you why it’s not that simple.
As far as names go, Belgium should start the match up 13-0. Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Adnan Januzaj, Dries Mertens, Thibaut Courtois, and Marouane Fellaini. No really, THIBAUT COURTOIS and MAROUANE FELLAINI. Say them. Repeat. Just let the velvety smoothness of the syllables coat your larynx. It’s an experience.
You might think we’d be able to close the gap starting with Mikkel (Mix) Diskerud but we have a guy named Clint. Though he’s been one of the US’ best players this tournament, his damn name is Clint. Clint’s take your 6yr old niece on fishing trips. Clint’s singlehandedly own 96% of all trucker hats. Clint’s enjoy the taste of straw. Clint’s speak two languages: American and Clint. However, this Clint wants to rap. -AllOfThe points.
And as far as contributions to the world, we simply can’t match french fries (it’s complicated but true) and Belgian waffles. As the galaxy’s #1 consumer of french fries, we either: owe them the clogged arteries of our soul, or, have to admire the tasty biological war they’ve waged that makes blissfully munching to our own demise delightful with or without condiments. Either way, brilliant, Belgium.
If you’re starting to think I’m biased, you’re only half right. I’m not so much a fan of Belgium as I am a fan of football. The real kind. The World Cup kind. And in the world of football I’ll always want football to win. That desire supersedes my patriotism. Truth is, the US moonwalked into the round of 16 and while “good for them,” they still shouldn’t be there. Ghana was a mess even an aircraft full of money couldn’t fix. Portugal was an entitled, wounded, unstable creature — think Kim Kardashian with a papercut. Germany were the only squad to do as expected while the US capitalized on instability (that’s kinda our thing). Yes but they did it, and that’s all that matters. I guess. At least until it doesn’t.
And against Belgium it shouldn’t. Hazard is a caliber of player the US won’t be able to produce for at least another 10 years. Lukaku is basically a young LeBron James: a boy in the process of learning to control his ‘superhero Halloween costume’ body. Thibaut Courtois is a 9 foot tall spider monkey patrolling Belgium’s goal.
America has togetherness and grit and intangibles and spirit and all those things that can’t actually kick a ball. Not to say these attributes are meaningless, just to say they shouldn’t trump talent, skill, creativity, and class. Disney is behind your overzealous belief to the contrary which is odd because when’s the last time animals and inanimate objects helped you lyrically profess your love?
For the love of football, football must win.