A day in the life of ... Earnie Stewart
Wednesday night, I earned my 98th cap for the United States. When I started playing, that was something that never crossed my mind. You just played the games and never really kept track of how many. But, as you get close to 100, close to earning that "century," it becomes real. It would be a great accomplishment, something I really hope to get.
It has been amazing to see the growth in U.S. Soccer from when I started playing. We have come a long way from the early days. Back then, we tried to get results and were really happy to win. It was even difficult for us to win our home games.
But now the player pool has doubled, maybe even tripled with the addition of MLS, and it has made our job easier. We're starting to find success in Europe, where we have always had trouble before. Even our home matches are more comfortable now. We go into every home match looking for a win and expecting a result now.
While soccer has grown in the U.S., the atmosphere in the stadiums has grown as well. Wednesday night, the American fans outnumbered the Honduran fans at least nine to one. As a player, I love playing in stadiums where the crowds are involved in the match. Even a hostile crowd can make you feel good. When they're yelling at you, it creates a great atmosphere. It's fun as a player to be in a situation like that.
Here in D.C., we have that kind of atmosphere. We've had some success, but we haven't put all the pieces together yet. I hope this year we can finally bring everything together and get the results we're looking for.