Photo essay: United cheers Phelps to victory

Following Saturday night's 1-0 win over the Fire, the team gathered in the locker room around the lone TV to watch US swimmer Michael Phelps and his team compete in the final swim of the Olympic meet - the 400 medley relay.  As you probably know, Phelps was going for his record eighth gold medal.  What follows is a photo essay of the team's reaction during the last two legs of the swim.  Despite the fact that the team was represented by a Bolivian, a Liberian, a Colombian, a Honduran and two Brazilians - among several Americans - the squad was fully behind the history-making Phelps.  

Santino Quaranta was especially pulling for Phelps, as both hail from Baltimore ("they know how to grow those elite athletes," said Quaranta on more than one occasion during the meet). 

1) The team gathers as the race is underway...  

081608_DCU_Phelps_1.jpg2) Quaranta (hand raised) was the most interested and involved (by far) as Phelps' leg began.. 

081608_DCU_Phelps_2.jpg3) Phelps comes around the turn and the team rises to its feet, urging the U.S. forward (though there were some random calls of "Go Liberia" despite the fact that they weren't competing)... 

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4) Santino can't believe what he's seeing (Joe Vide, far left, may or may not be playing air guitar)...

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5) More excitement as Jason Lezak begins the final leg... 

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6)  The final 50 meters and everyone is on their feet... Santino in prime viewing form...Joe Vide preparing his double fist pump in the event of victory... Bryan Namoff was thirsty...  Jaime Moreno moving closer to the TV...

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7)  The part where Jaime pretended to turn off the TV to loud exclamations of "No!" and "No one likes Bolivia!" and "Better luck in the winter games, Bolivian" and other things. 

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8) The anticipation is too much as they come down the stretch... even the Liberian (second from right) is enthralled.  Kind of. 

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9)  Celebration begins as the U.S. wins.  Numerous fist pumps, chest bumps and celebratory high fives are thrown around as if they're going out of style (they aren't). 

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10)  Devon McTavish (far left) comes out of nowhere with a double-fisted, finger-pointing celebration.  Santino is the happiest man alive (aside from Phelps).  Mike Zaher (center) texts his mom the good news (we can only assume). 

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It was quite the evening - United wins, the U.S. and Phelps wins and everyone (who likes either United or the United States of America) is happy.  Santino sums it as only Santino can:  "Baltimore wins again."

No one is sure what he means.