Unlike folks in fields which are competitive and highly visible like Football and Basketball, those who are in Soccer have high chances of landing Soccer scholarships. In competitive fields like basketball, landing a scholarship is difficult, thanks to the vast number of individuals who engage in the sport.
After a poor showing against Spain last week, the entire U.S. starting lineup redeemed themselves with superlative play against Canada last night. Granted, it was Canada — a team that’s only reached the World Cup once in 1986. But it was an encouraging start for the Americans in a tournament that’s worth more than just bragging rights. The winner will represent CONCACAF in the 2013 World Cup warm-up tourney, the Confederations Cup.
Granted, Spain is the best team in the world. But they made team USA look like a high school squad, effortlessly weaving through our pathetic 4-4-2 yesterday.
After an average performance last year, we certainly aren’t getting any better this year. After the game, Tim Howard said, ”If we win the Gold Cup in a couple of weeks, nobody will remember this.”
For any who excuse the team for not having won a game this year because they’ve only played in “friendly” exhibitions, please explain why elite teams win most of their friendlies. In other words, if we want to be an elite team (aka win a World Cup), we should start demanding more wins, friendly or otherwise.
Say what you will about the U.S. soccer team, but they played worse this year than they did last year—never mind the last minute 1-0 win over South Africa today.
This year, the national team underachieved at 5-5-4 to finish with a .500 winning percentage. Last year, the team managed a respectable 13-8-3 to finish over .600—about where they typically are on the world stage. I realize the competition was stiffer this year, but not by much. Not enough to justify the .100+ drop in productivity.
Reputable soccer columnist Grant Wahl suspects Klinsmann’s denied wishes for greater head coaching control were in “direct conflict” with the job description of U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn.
“If Klinsmann wanted the final say, in writing, over choosing the U.S.’ opponents and venues for games,” writes Wahl, “that would have put him in direct conflict with Flynn, who’s in charge of the federation’s business side as the de facto CEO, and who relies on friendlies as a significant revenue source. Flynn, a former executive with Anheuser-Busch, is U.S. Soccer’s highest-paid official, having earned $646,066 in the most recent federation tax statement (more than coach Bradley).
Or so says Juergen Klinsmann, who claims to have had “positive conversations” with U.S. Soccer for “three or four” weeks before the deal fell through due to control issues.
After reaching an alleged agreement with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati to “have 100 percent control of the team,” Klinsmann says U.S. Soccer wouldn’t “commit” in writing to the terms. “Verbally, we agreed that I should have a hundred percent control of [the team],” he told Sasha Victornine (via SBI). “Unfortunately, they couldn’t commit to that and at that point I said, ‘Well, I can’t get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the players issues, for everything that happens with the team.’
U.S. coach Bob Bradley will meet with U.S. Soccer officials this week to talk about his future with the national team, reports ESPN. The meeting with president Sunil Gulati isn’t necessarily to extend or fire the coach, the report says, but “simply to discuss the future.”
After the U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup in the sweet 16 this summer, Gulati felt the team “was capable of more” and described its performance as “mixed results.”
“It’s not a failure if we don’t win Saturday,” Landon Donovan told reporters yesterday, referring to the team’s upcoming match against Ghana. “But there’s such a massive opportunity to do something so much more special. I really want to emphasize that to everybody, and make sure we understand that.”
The United States didn’t deserve to tie England 1-1 today in their opening game of the World Cup. But they did, thanks to two goalies: English keeper Robert Green for giving us one (pictured). And American keeper Tim Howard (the man of the match) for saving a half dozen others.
“The record will show it was a tie, but it was hardly that,” wrote the Associated Press. Indeed, out defense looked porous in the first half, and our midfield couldn’t connect a pass to save its life in the second. In addition to Howard, only Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, and Steve Cherundolo looked particularly strong.