'We're in!' MLB watches the U.S. Men's National Team advance in the World Cup
Going into Thursday's match against Germany, the U.S. Men's National Team needed some things to break their way if they were going to advance to the next round of the World Cup.
A win or draw against the mighty German squad would see them through to the Round of 16, but even a loss could be enough ... provided the right circumstances fell into place.
And so, with that backdrop, America sat down to watch its national soccer team compete against one of the world's top sides -- and if you think Major Leaguers are immune from all that excitement, you'd be wrong.
Before the game, players and teams were on Twitter trying to get U.S. fans fired up:
And even a few mascots joined the chorus:
But then, it was time to gather 'round and watch the match:
The Astros fans got into the excitement too:
After the first half, it was tied 0-0 -- a score that, if it held, would allow the Americans to advance to the next round of the tournament. Marlins pitcher Steve Cishek was happy with the performance:
Not bad USA! One more half to go! #USMNT- Steve Cishek (@srSHREK31) June 26, 2014
But in the second half, things took a turn for the nervy.
Germany's Thomas Müller scored a beautiful goal in the 55th minute to give his team a 1-0 lead over the Americans. The U.S. could still advance, so long as Ghana didn't beat Portugal in a separate game happening at the same time. Considering Portugal had a 1-0 lead, that seemed to be a safe bet.
But, just two minutes after Müller's goal, Ghana scored their equalizer. If they were to score again, the U.S. would be eliminated.
But then, Portugal's superstar Cristiano Ronaldo exploited a weakness in the Ghanaian defense to score and put his squad up 2-1. Thankfully, he didn't have to use a bat:
Ronaldo's goal would be enough to eliminate Ghana and ensure the U.S. would advance, regardless of the outcome of their own match.
American fans (such as Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson) were pleased:
Thanks Ronaldo.- Brett Anderson (@BAnderson_30) June 26, 2014
As the matchup with Germany neared its conclusion, spirits were high:
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN ��������������������������������������������- Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino) June 26, 2014
And when the final whistle blew, the U.S. had done just enough to advance to the Round of 16 ...
It was time to celebrate:
USA ADVANCES!! #ibelievewewillwin- David Price (@DAVIDprice14) June 26, 2014
Were in! Time to go boys..We want more, we want more! #USA- Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) June 26, 2014
I BELIEVE!!! Never been happier with a loss! #USA- Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) June 26, 2014
Team USA advances, great job!!!- Adrian Gonzalez (@AdrianTitan23) June 26, 2014
������⚽️⚽️⚽️������������ Well done!!!- Adrian Gonzalez (@AdrianTitan23) June 26, 2014
Good luck in the Last 16 USA! #USMNS. Go USA.- Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) June 26, 2014
USA!!!!!- Chris Johnson (@C_Johnson28) June 26, 2014
Anndddddddd breathe....- Steve Johnson (@SJohnson831) June 26, 2014
Lets go on to the next round! ������������#ibelieve- Tyler Skaggs (@TylerSkaggs37) June 26, 2014
Bert Blyleven and Joe Mauer got into too, even if Blyleven is rooting for his native Dutch club:
The lone German in MLB, Reds utilityman Donald Lutz, was just happy for everyone:
Everyone happy pic.twitter.com/RQRXJAHdEo- Donald Lutz (@braunerhulk) June 26, 2014
While Brandon McCarthy had some words for everyone thanking Ronaldo:
Stop thanking Ronaldo you pickles. Thank @Omar4Gonzalez- Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) June 26, 2014
But what matters most is that the U.S.A. is advancing to the knockout stage of the World Cup -- and Billy the Marlin is prepared for whatever comes next: