Monday, April 6, 2009

The Reds keep marching on..

It depresses me that more people do not watch football. No I don’t mean the one where one guy THROWS the ball to another guy and the ball touches a foot a handful of times in a game. I am talking about soccer but will refer to the beautiful game as football as it is known everywhere outside of the United States.

The first sport I ever played was tennis and will always appreciate the game, however my first sports love was football. Waking up early in the morning to watch a football game with my father felt nothing short of amazing.

As soon as I could differentiate teams and players I knew I would forever be a Manchester United supporter.

At the time the team was a budding sensation that was slowly but surely starting to dominate the new league formed in England: The English Premier League.

I have followed the team from King Eric to Giggsy. The red devils have always been a title contender and Sir Alex Ferguson(SAF) put up another amazing squad this year following last year’s double.

But SAF always knew how to fuse experience with youthful ingenuity.

Putting out a team lacking three of their starting defenders and his two starting strikers SAF knew it was going to be an uphill battle against a thirsty Aston Villa squad who got trampled 5-0 by Liverpool a week before. With Liverpool winning on Saturday they were not 2 points ahead of united atop the table.

United were all but up to the challenge.

Down 2-1 going into the last 15 minutes game the reds would need to produce another magical comeback. It started with Ronaldo completing his brace with a swift left-footed shot passed the keeper bringing Man U level again.

But the icing on the cake was produced by a completely unknown 17-year-old that Ferguson had placed on the bench before the game due to the lack of fit strikers.

Kiko Macheda was subbed in at the 60th minute and showed glimpses of what he was about to do at the end of the game.

In the 3rd minute of extra time Macheda received a pass, with his back to a defender, from Ryan Giggs just inside the penalty box and swiftly got away from his marker with a heavenly turn through his legs and placed a remarkable curling shot into the top right corner of the net passed the diving keeper.

Macheda had done it, United had triumphed, and effectively stomped on Liverpool’s dream of winning the Premier League for another year.

Even though there United still have five games to play, they have a game in hand over Liverpool and had gotten over their recent slump with Macheda’s resounding strike.

Watching that game made me realize why I had fallen in love with the game. Football always left me feeling anything could happen at any point. I only wish more American’s would see the sport for what it is and choose not to embrace it because they feel they have their “own sports” in baseball, “football”, basketball and hockey.



Macheda is swarmed by his teammates