Several members of the FC Dallas family are traveling to Brazil this summer to take in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and have agreed to share their experiences with FCDallas.com to give our readers a first-person perspective of the festivities. Today's entry comes from Mobile Sales Team Manager Ryan Hurtado from Rio de Janeiro.
Yesterday was hands down the most incredible experience as a sports fan. As we stepped into the Maracana for the first time to see our seats were 19 rows from the pitch, I couldn't help but just scream. I think I know how Kevin Garnett felt now in his "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE" moment! Haha.
As a college football player and some one who has really been into soccer for four years, it has been a process that has transformed me. If you said five years ago that I would enjoy soccer more than a football or basketball game, I would have spit my drink out in laughter. So submerging yourself in a sport and culture, working and seeing tons of matches from USMNT live, Brazil vs. Mexico, MLS matches, College and Youth Soccer to now see THE Messi live and have him score a matter of 100 feet away from you in the World Cup, I guess you can say this was my baptism in the religion of footy.
To explain how wild the Argentina fans were would be an understatement. The impromptu chants that took over the stadium were somewhat baffling! Only to have every Brazilian in the crowd respond to their chants to support Bosnia, it made for an atmosphere like I've never felt before. To only think this was game one. I'm not sure how this will compare to today's USA match as we won't be in Natal, but look to join tens of thousands of US fans at the FIFA Fan Zone.
This morning I took in Ipanema with a workout to mentally get ready to be as proud as possible to be American in a foreign county. I have been outside the U.S. before, but this will be the first time where I get to don the Red, White and Blue while also rewriting perception on Americans not only as a culture but as soccer fans. Prepping my full Popsicle Away kit and board shorts should really help the pompous American views!
Portugal vs. Germany kicks soon, here is to hoping for a 90 minute brawl that ends in a draw!