In case you missed it, the United States is now a soccer-mad country, and today has the potential to be a historic day. At 4pm, the #USMNT, which has captured the country’s imagination, will face off against Belgium in the first round of the knockout stages at the 2014 World Cup. If they win, they’ll advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002, and take a giant leap in raising the popularity of a sport that the rest of the world treats like a religion.
If that isn’t enough to get you excited, know this: The United States, perennial world beaters that they are, are actually the underdogs here. A rare position. Belgium is by no means a soccer world power, but they’re European, so that’s enough. No one expected the U.S. team to make it this far, and ironically, the deeper they get into this tournament, the less and less favored they’ll become.
To emphasize just how dramatic this is (and to kill it in the ratings game), the folks over at ESPN cut together a video meant to pump you the fuck up. Intercut with the big goals the U.S. has scored this tournament are scenes of the nationwide viewing parties that have defined this World Cup, and a narrator espousing motivational wisdom like “The odds make be stacked against you, but what the odds don’t know is this isn’t a math test.”