"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beat Paraguay!!

We had tickets tonight to see the US Men's Soccer Team in a "friendly" game at LP Field in Nashville vs. Paraguay. "Friendly" meaning it did not count for or against either team in terms of the 2012 World Cup qualifying which starts in June. Basically it was a practice or "pre-season" game, but you couldn't tell that from the crowd of over 29,000 that gathered to see the game - it was a historic night since it is now the largest crowd to ever see a soccer game in Tennessee, surpassing the same record set here two years ago when the Americans played Trinidad & Tobago during World Cup qualifying with over 27,000 in attendance including Rob.
Our friends Craig and Alison and their two sons, Ryan and Colin, traveled east from Paris, TN, to catch the game with us. They too were at the previous game in 2009. We also learned recently that our friends, Chris and Tarryn, were going to the game, so we made plans to all tailgate together beforehand if the weather allowed. We watched the weather all day as a bright sunny morning and early afternoon gave way to a cold front moving in fast from the west in the late afternoon and early evening threatening rain, cold temps and wind. The tailgating went fine with only a few sprinkles to report. Chris was an excellent parking lot grill-master. Much thanks to he and Tarryn for providing quite a spread for all of us, plus even a couple of young guys who accepted our extra burgers and a surplus hot dog.
At game time the temperature had dropped somewhat significantly, but it was still fairly tolerable. Ryan and Colin got help with the cool temps with the Team USA scarves we bought them as a late Christmas present. The field was immaculate and the US team wearing their new all-red jerseys for only the second time was an exhilarating site. Our six seats were right behind the north goal (photo above) about 15 rows from the field, and we got to see several near misses for the US in the first half as Paraguay defended in front of us. We were quite a long distance from Paraguay scoring on the other end of the field about a third of the way through the first half. A fairly heavy rain shower also came down in the first half, but neither it nor the early Paraguay goal dampened the spirits of the raucous crowd.
The second half was 45 more minutes of several shots on goal for the US (including an oh-so-close boot by team captain, Landon Donovan, (photo above courtesy of The Tennessean) that went side-net just inches from a goal. We saw a solid defense of the goal in front of us against Paraguay. The score remained 1-0 until time ran out. A win or even a tie would have been nice, but it was still great to see the team in action including several of the new, young members of the squad getting quality game-time minutes against a strong opponent in Paraguay who made the quarterfinals of last year's World Cup.
We hooked back up with Chris and Tarryn back in the parking lot after the game and sat in the car while the traffic cleared out just talking and laughing over a couple of adult libations. We all felt very fortunate to have dodged a lot of potential weather for the most part and see a close, exciting game amongst a lively, excited crowd right here in Music City. Come on, MLS, give this town a look!!!

No comments: