Wednesday, August 13, 2008

US Men's Soccer: How to shoot yourself in the foot.

At least I didn't lose any sleep over this one. Wait, I was up at 4am watching. Crap.

Being a soccer enthusiast, I know the US Men's team is talented. I know we have great players and when we play together we can do great things. Which is why it sucks so bad when we don't advance in World Cup and now the Olympics. At the World Cup I thought we played hard but the refs could have been a little more lenient. Today....we have nobody to blame but ourselves. My (brief) recap.

US vs Japan: 1-0 The result we needed. Japan was the weakest team in the group and the US put in a scrappy goal. Otherwise all I wondered was if the ref would ever call a foul in favor of Freddy Adu. It was silly.

US vs Netherlands: 2-2 If you would have told me before the tourney that we would tie Holland, I would have been extatic. But its how we tied that was crushing. We were up 2-1 with 45 seconds to go. A win and we are through. Stuart Holden commits a silly foul in a bad location. The Dutch put in the free kick. 3 points melts to 1, and we have to play Nigeria without two stars in Freddy Adu and Michael Bradley. But we are still very alive.

US vs Nigeria: 1-2 Mike Orozco better hope he doesn't run into American soccer fans for a while, maybe years. His red card for throwing an elbow to the chest of a Nigerian in the THIRD FREAKING MINUTE all but eliminated us. We only needed a tie, so maybe we could hold on. After the first goal, I knew we were sunk and only have ourselves to blame.

So I maintain that the US is a good soccer nation. These tournaments are just tough (and the referees never give our players the benefit of the doubt). Although we dominate our continent, it will still be at least two more years until we gain some worldwide respect. I hate getting knocked out so fast. It hurts. We are better than that. In fact, I don't know if I will watch another match with all the other events. So I will wait for the World Cup in South Africa to hedge our Men's American Soccer hopes.

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