Hoping American soccer can muster another quarterfinal World Cup appearance next summer, like they did in 2002? Think again, says Fox Sports columnist Jamie Trecker. Whereas the 2002 team had speed and heart, this year’s selection is “ragged and schizophrenic,” according to Trecker.
“The facts are pretty plain,” he writes. “The USA is an average national team. They routinely lose to quality sides and have now begun to regress at home. They lack significant depth at too many positions, and seem unable to overcome adversity. This is a program which, according to U.S. Soccer’s most recently available financial reports, has had some $27 million lavished upon it and has a coach who is receiving half a mil a year to lose five of six to quality teams.”
Trecker admits the U.S. is still good enough to qualify, but the team might need to re-evaluate its ambitions. “Right now, the USA is going to reach the World Cup — but looks like a side that won’t do much of anything once it gets there. And should Costa Rica, Mexico and Honduras outplay the Americans over the final three Hexagonal matches, the USA might find itself having to face an Argentina in a playoff just to get to Johannesburg.