I have never cared one whit about, or watched more than 30 consecutive seconds of, any soccer game in which my son was not playing. However, I realize many of you are impassioned fans of the sport in general, and of the World Cup in particular, which I do not begrudge you.
Even if I did, though, Spencer Hall had "one of the five most transcendent sporting experiences of [his] life yesterday," and this is just plain great sportswriting, regardless of whether the underlying sport interests you at all.
Also, as the great-great-grandson of a Confederate veteran, I cannot help but salute any piece of writing that uses the Constitutionally and historically correct verb tense when writing "the United States are." ("United States"; it's not "[First name] [Last name]," it's "[Modifier] [Plural noun]," just like the Declaration intended.)
Excellent work, Orson. I'll see you---and, I hope, a few Dawg Sports readers, as well---at Taco Mac in a bit.