My World Cup Dreams
By: Connor Lenahan
When I was a kid, I played a bit of soccer. Everyone did. No, seriously, everyone born past the year of 1990 played youth soccer. I’m not confident, but I think that was an amendment made to the United States Constitution.
What set me apart from my pint-sized peers is that I was already a superstar. “Connorito” as I was known around the local playgrounds would regularly dribble circles – literal circles – around defenders only to slash the ball out of reach of the tiny ravioli hands of the opposing elementary school goalie.
I was Messi before Messi was Messi. I made Cristiano Ronaldo look like a Staples employee. I was the best in the world.
Then came the accident.
In the late 1990’s I was over at my friend Sean Albright’s house. He was always in awe of my soccer prowess, so we were kicking the ball around outside. I got a bit too fancy, careless really, and planted all of my weight on the ball underneath my foot as I had it trapped. I slipped, because balls roll, that’s their thing. I fell back onto the driveway at the Albright’s with my right arm beneath me. The diagnosis was a cracked elbow. My career would have to be put on hold.
A few months later when the cast came off I found that I was suffering from post-tramautic stress related to the injury. Anytime I was around a soccer ball I locked up. My legend came to an end. It wasn’t until years later that I was able to so much as even watch a contest at the World Cup. It was saddening knowing that I should have been lining up on the South African pitch in 2010, but at that time my body and brain had decided to instead focus on basketball – where I excel to this day.
Today began the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I will again not be donning the red, white, and blue kit in Rio. Then again, Landon Donovan won’t be either so, hey, moral victory.
I will have to watch from the far north in Boston as America makes it’s run at the title. Sure, we aren’t favored. Not even close. We will need a surge of irrational confidence and dumb luck to take down superpowers like Brazil, Spain, and Argentina.
So, exactly what America excels at in the real world.
Hopefully they can do it without me.
Let’s go USA.
Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a sophomore at Boston University, majoring in journalism.