Monday, June 12, 2006

Well that was a bit of a disaster

There is no way around it; this was a real bad day for US soccer. The team played without energy, creativity and, surprisingly, determination. All over the field, players were missing their runs and looking completely lost; Brian McBride was AWOL up top, Landon Donovan was lost somewhere in midfield and the Gooch was scared. It was an ugly match.

They were able to keep possession of the ball, but I would have preferred to see them give it up more if they actually made some runs at goal. The Czechs are a team you can tear out over the course of 90-minutes, but you have to make them give chase. No one was doing things that would have forced the Czechs to race down field.

The lone player that I think looked ready to play was Eddie Johnson. He came on the pitch with the same charge he had in their third send off match. He was willing to take shoots and made some runs at the defense. His ability on the day stood in sharp contrast to what I saw out of McBride. At least three times in the first half, balls were sent into the middle of the box for the US, but McBride was not there. Instead, he was hanging back outside the area. I've never seen him play like that before.

You know, I was a person who defended the team when some started spitting 'we are doomed' talk. Perhaps I was wrong to do so. The team that played today under the banner of the red, white and blue was far worse then the one that fell to Morocco a few weeks ago.

Still, hope springs eternal. I have yet to watch the Italy-Ghana match (I needed some time away from the game), so I'm not sure how difficult our task is, but I'm guessing it will not be easy. Teams that lose their first match do not have a good record of moving on to the next round, but there is still a chance. If Arena is the coach we all know him to be, he will turn the men around and get this game out of their head, as they need to come out on Saturday hungry.

They need to go for goal (this is a problem I've been talking about for a long time). Kasey Keller did not have a great day, but even if he had, no goals make it hard to win.

On Saturday we truly see what our team has. Forget rankings, forget the Gold Cup, forget Mexico, it is now a fight for survival.


On a non-game related note, there has been talk on the soccer blogs of late about Alex Lalas being a sellout. I'm not sure how each of us defines that, but I have to had it to him for his after match comments on ESPN's World Cup Live. When Foudy, Wynalda and Davis started saying that this is an inexperienced US World Cup team and that explains their play, Lalas called them on it and said that during the pre-game they were talking about all the experience on this squad and that 11-players were back from 2002.

I don't know if that changes any perceptions of the red head, but it was nice to hear.



Anonymous Erwin said...

Don't worry...USA will come back stronger for the next upcoming match.

8:56 PM  
Blogger sporlitics said...

i had a similarly disheartening experience. what an unequivocal disaster.

truly depressing. i told my boss i had a doc's appt, and truth be told, almost wanted to get caught. but ugh. terrible.

i posted about it, if you like to think positive...

10:09 PM  
Blogger Kinney said...

I hate Lalas. But he was the only one with the balls to call out the U.S. team. I was actually applauding him as he rightfully tore into the team. We sucked, and somebody in the MSM (a term I hate) needed to say that or this team will never be a soccer power.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous John-David said...

The US team has a great deal to learn. Maybe they should also be a bit more humble so they don't make fools of themselves.

8:00 PM  

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