USA Soccer, The Real Story

 

No one will ever accuse the United States of lacking a fighting spirit or do or die attitude. That was obvious in the game against Belgium on Tuesday. We can be proud of the whole scrappy underdog, get out of the group of death, play with heart and soul kind of rot. But lets face it. At some point you have to be able to play the game of  soccer. What everyone is lauding as a magnificent performance by Tim Howard, a record number of saves by any goal keeper in the World Cup, is in reality an embarrassment. A keeper being forced to make 16 saves during a soccer game, let alone a World Cup match, speaks volumes. Yikes. Kudos to you Tim, youre in a class by yourself. Being patted on the back by European friends and team mates after the game as if to say, sorry dude, sucks for you, was painful to watch. In a vacuum, the US has players with abundant talent. As a team, we are sorely inferior. Maybe it was the nearly 9000 miles the US squad was forced to travel between stadium sites.(Belgium only had 1100) Maybe it was the Manaus factor. (Drained from the extreme conditions. Belgium didnt play there) Maybe the unexpected injury of Fabian Johnson threw a bigger wrench into the defensive works than we can even imagine. But most likely, its the fact that US soccer players do not have the technical or intellectual command of the game they need to even approach a world-class performance. I mean, good job and all. The final ten minutes in the 120 minute game, they worked like hell, kept possession, created chances, even scored a goal. (Nice first touch Julian). Former Dutch footballer and present day realist, commentator Ruud van Nistelrooy expressed it perfectly when queried about the US performance, he replied: They played to their ability. Its that simple. There is not enough talent or depth to carry this team through a World Cup. Not yet. But the future looks hopeful with the likes of Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin. These young lads displayed confidence and composure not seen by the elder MLS-ers taking the grandest stage for the first time. No offense. At any rate, I believe. I believe this country is making tremendous strides toward the en mass appreciation this sport desires. This indeed is a beautiful game.

 

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