Fans witnessed a brutal match for the US National Team (USMNT) World Cup opener against Ghana. There weren’t many cards pulled — although there should have been — but there were too many injuries suffered by the USMNT players. The first man to go down was USMNT forward Jozy Altidore, who was immediately replaced by Aron Johannsson. Not long after Altidore left the pitch, Clint Dempsey suffered a bloody nose by the foot of John Boye.
Regardless of whether or not it was intentional, Boye’s foot had no reason to be up so high, which is reckless and deserved a card. Boye and Ghana had luck on their side, because he got away with the incident. Dempsey however was pulled off the pitch to be examined. It came down to whether or not he could make it to the end of the half — another 13 minutes. Dempsey being the trooper he is, continued to play and also returned in the second half to complete a full 90 minutes.
This is not the first time Dempsey had played with a serious injury; his nose is believed to be broken, but it is not yet confirmed. In 2004, when Dempsey first joined the New England Revolution, he played two matches with a broken jaw. If anyone knows how to play through pain, it’s Dempsey. Furthermore, in 2010 when Fulham took on Juventus, Dempsey was still recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury and managed to score an incredible goal. Dempsey does not know the meaning of giving up.
If there’s one thing to learn from USMNT’s match against Ghana, it’s that the USMNT will not give up. It is spirited and as passionate as its fans. John Brooks scored the beautiful match-winning goal, when some people began to give up hope. Dempsey may have made his biggest impact early in the match, but he refused to through in the towel — even with a broken nose. The USMNT has heart, and that may be what leads it to escape group. Portugal needs to watch out.