Our Rebecca Townsend is in Brazil, and made it into the stadium for the U.S. team's STUNNING 2-1 VICTORY OVER THE HEARTBROKEN GHANIAN TEAM (man, we loves us some soccer-announcer hyperbole). John Brooks, riding a giant American bald eagle flying low to the pitch, knocked in the game-winner with his skull. (OK, we made the eagle part up. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!)
Clint Dempsey scored the opening goal of the match at about the half-minute mark, the fastest U.S. goal in World Cup history (fifth fastest in tournament history). Brooks set a mark for the U.S. — he's the first sub to score for the Yanks in a World Cup match when he headed in the winner off a corner kick by another sub, Graham Zusi. A few U.S. team members seemed to be suffering mightily in the humid South American evening as Jozy Altidore went down with a bad hamstring, Dempsey took a shoe to the face and Matt Besler's right hammy got twitchy as well.
Indiana native DaMarcus Beasley (who'll be profiled in the next NUVO) had fans in the stands, including these True Patriots. (The dude in the bandana says he was on Notre Dame's championship soccer squad. We don't know about facepaint dude's history before he became some kind of superhero. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!)
You may have heard that quite a few Brazilian citizens aren't digging the notion that their country has dropped billions on the venues and infrastructure needed to support not just the World Cup but their upcoming Olympic games while large portions of the population are struggling in abject poverty. In addition to documenting fan culture, Townsend also spent some time with the protestors. Follow her exploits as she travels from city to city. Next stop: Manaus for the U.S. game vs. Portugal.