In one of my early posts I wrote about becoming a soccer fan after growing up as a fan of American tackle football, and I've had several posts on the terminology of the game. But there's a different aspect that really hit home Sunday in the match against NYCFC. During that game I came to realize that there are players on both squads that I will be rooting for periodically when they doff the kit of their club squad and don the kit for their national team.
The most dramatic example of that came when Mix Diskerud of NYCFC scored a goal against my club team. My hands went to my face and my heart sank and I let out growls and groans of frustration seeing him score a goal for the opposing side. But just a few weeks ago, he and OCSC left back Brek Shea were teammates on the US Men's National Team playing some international friendlies. When he's wearing Team USA colors, if Mix lands himself on the score sheet I'll be erupting with joy and cheering and yelling and screaming like I was when Kaka scored the equalizer for Orlando City in the first minute of stoppage time.
And then there's the opposite situation, which I probably dread even more. On my club team we have Bryan Rochez, who plays for the Honduran National Team. So when I find myself watching an International match that pits the US team against the Honduran team, then I'll be rooting against the same guy that I'm rooting for most weeks when he's wearing OCSC purple.
Now for long time soccer fans this is probably nothing surprising, but I'm used to a guy being either someone you root for or someone you love to root against. I'm not used to having split allegiances where I cheer for or against a guy based on whether he's playing on the club team or the national squad. I guess it's just another roller coaster of emotions I'm going to have to get used to experiencing as I grow more enthusiastic about following this sport.
Now it's your turn: I want to know which player has thrilled you with your club team and broken your heart with their national team (or vice versa). If you've followed soccer a long time have you ever had a situation where you were alternately elated and then devastated by the same player in successive matches because he scored with his club team and his national side? Who was the player and what were the stakes in those matches?