Despite much hype, the 2006 US Men’s National Soccer Team sucked ass in the last World Cup. They did briefly show up against Italy but for the most part they slid right out of that tournament and no one missed them.
There were some problems with that team. Lack of leadership, a high reliance on very young players, and a coach who had no idea how to get his team to consistently score goals.
Since last year’s World Cup, US Soccer (finally) hired a new coach in Bob Bradley who appears to be a good (fifth) choice. As the first major post-World Cup tournament for the US is underway, the team is looking strong in the Gold Cup. Well, they should look strong against El Salvador and a severely depleted Trinidad & Tobago.
The team is putting up goals while playing strong defense. But other than 51st ranked Panama, the US hasn’t played anyone yet. 56th ranked Canada is next up followed by a probable game against rival (and 26th ranked) Mexico.
The US then follows up the Gold Cup by playing with some serious big boys in the Copa America (Brazil (3rd), Argentina (5th), Mexico (26th), Uruguay(30th), Colombia (31st), Paraguay(37th), and Ecuador (44th)).
For the record, the US is currently ranked 16th in the World.
The whole point of the Men’s National Team for the next 2 years or so is to get everything lined up for the next World Cup.
Which begs this question: Will the US punk out again in the 2010 World Cup, or will they make some noise like they did in 2002 when they lost 1-0 in the quarterfinals to eventual finalists Germany?
FlavaDave Says: The United States World Cup team will win it all because of the leadership of a God amongst men, DaMarcus Lamont Beasley.Mr. Beasley was born and raised in a hotbed of manly excellence: Fort Wayne, Indiana. The city is named after a fort. The fort was named after General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. He was a General because he kicked a ton of frontier ass. He kicked ass not because he was given orders to do so or because he felt a sense of duty to the people around him. Hell no.He kicked ass just because he was pissed.With such a massive muscle flex of pure awesomeness, a city was born. His manly juices seeped out of his pores, saturating the soil and contaminating the waters. The waters that the youth of Fort Wayne drink to this day.With that pedigree of bad-assedness instilled in every generation, each Fort Wayne resident is born with a silver platter of greatness delivered to their feet room-service style. It is no surprise then that 85% of all Ft. Wayne men achieve greatness in their lifetime (the rest become chefs and lawyers).Titans of modern living such as Rod Woodson, Dave Thomas, Fred Zollner, Johnny Appleseed, and David Searle have sprung forth with a mighty burst from her bosom. And recently, a new beacon of light has illuminated the nation from the northeastern corner of Indiana: DaMarcus Beasley.Smarter than Ken Jennings, stronger than a drink at the Mel, faster than a virgin sexual encounter: DaMarcus is a specimen of genuine butt-kickin’-in’.He will score every goal, intercept every pass, win every header, and impregnate every attractive female spectator. You don’t know this yet, but DaMarcus will go back in time and end apartheid during halftime of the 2010 final match. Of course, we’ve already felt the effects of this. That is because we are currently in the second incarnation of the year 2007. You see, DaMarcus already did it, and now apartheid is over, but he still has to do it, but…………………Nevermind. It takes a Fort Wayne mind to comprehend the sheer magnitude of his accomplishment. Do your Germanic mind a favor and take this on faith:
USA is going all the way.
Flinchbot Says: Well, that is some serious man-love for DaMarcus Beasley. He is certainly one of those young bucks who will be expected to carry the team in 2010. And so far in the Gold Cup, he’s banged in 2 goals so far. Landon Donovan is figuring out what his role on the team is (though Coach Bradley needs to figure out that his role should not include “free kick taker”). Team USA has a hot young goalie in Tim Howard and a whole collection of interesting players that may very well be in their primes in 2010.My problem with Team USA is at this point, they don’t have any world class players that can hold the jock of Ronaldinho and I don’t see any that will magically show up by 2010. And though soccer is very much a team sport, the lack of world class talent will relegate the US to once again lose in the Quarterfinals in 2010.I look at a country like Germany and they are loading up on players who may break into the world class level. The likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, and Manuel Neuer all have the capability of being top flight, elite players. Other countries have that as well. Look at England: Freaking Wayne Rooney is only 22 years old and he is already known around the world. (Too bad England is doomed to always be overrated going into the World Cup and ultimately performing only slightly better than the US.)
You know Brazil is going to turn out 3 more studs by 2010.
At this point, the US just can’t compete with the talent throughout the world. I mean, your boy DaMarcus is so important to a team in the Dutch Eredivisie that they loaned him to a middling Manchester City. DaMarcus is so good that his main team thinks he’ll get more playing time somewhere else.
And that’s a bad sign for the US in 2010. One of the main players on Team USA can’t even consistently crack the starting lineup of a freaking Dutch team.
The Gold Cup so far shows that the US is clearly better than most of the teams in our part of the world. The Copa America later this summer will really show us how much more work the team has to do.
I’m afraid right now that there is a whole lot of work left to be done. I’m still not convinced that the US has a reliable goal scorer, though your boy DaMarcus is looking good. Kenny Cooper of the Houston Dynamo has impressed me in his moments with Team USA and in the one Houston Dynamo game I watched a few weeks ago.
I really want the US National Men’s team to become a world force. I just don’t see it happening in 2010. Maybe in 2014.
Here’s a reason the US still struggles…A World Class player would not only have scored the goal but would have also not embarrassed himself.