I had high hopes. Misguided, delusional, unrealistic, hopes. USA vs. Ireland, a team that didnt even qualify for the 2014 World Cup. No Robbie Keane? This should be a cakewalk, my husband commented. Not even. Nowhere close. USA 1, Ireland 4.
This was a friendly game, in soccer lingo. The definition of friendly is kind and pleasant. There was nothing pleasant about watching this game for the fans of U.S. soccer. And Ireland was not kind. They showed no mercy for the disorganization and lack of focus by the U.S. team. As frustrations and yellow cards mounted for the boys in red white and blue, confidence mounted for Ireland. Along with it came goals.
Im sick of Klinsmann making excuses for why the U.S. is playing poorly. World Cup hangover he utters. Why didnt Columbia have a hangover? They made it to the quarter-finals in the World Cup. They beat the U.S. a few days ago, by the way, 2-1. Same old story. Another second half collapse and Bam!, an early USA lead falls by the wayside.Experimental squad he says. Ireland was in the same boat. Some say they fielded a B, if not a C level experimental team against the USA. Yet they were outstanding. Running through the U.S. defense was childs play. Klinsmann played six guys he took to the freakin World Cup, for Petes sake. So that theorys lame. Jet lag, perhaps? Not accustomed to Guinness and mutton stew? Its anyones guess.
But after watching this game, Id suggest the players spend more time on individual skills. They were poor. And for a team thats suppose to have so much speed, they were beaten to the ball almost every time. Unless Jurgen can figure out how to compete at even a medium level with this young, new, squad, theres no hope in 2018. With 1296 days to go, the clock is ticking.