And yet, I’ve still written about the team on occasion. The most recent post under that tag is from the Spain-US match a year ago, and I wrote about that because I was rooting for Spain in the Euros. The preceding post argues that Bob Bradley should have had his interim tag removed after the 2-0 win over Mexico. After two-thirds of Sunday’s win over Egypt, I was sure Bradley was getting sacked. So, yeah, my insights into US soccer aren’t always on target.
Chances are I’ll have to catch tomorrow’s match on DVR later in the evening, but I’ll probably review the match. Because of the large Liverpool contingent, Spain’s one of the international teams I actually pay close attention to, along with England (guilty secret – my first love in football, since Italia 90, although the more I’ve followed Liverpool, the less I’ve cared about Ingerlund) and Holland (the 1974 World Cup team. That is all.). And yes, I am American; even though I’m a US soccer agnostic, I still can’t hate the national team.
Plus, the way the US backed into the knockout stage of the Confederations Cup was delicious, and another example of why this game’s so great. The US, outside of the first half against Italy before capitulating have gone down to ten men, were absolutely dire in their first two matches. Dempsey looked tired and uninterested after a long season with Fulham. Beasley is a shadow of the player he was three years ago. Red cards have led to an unsettled midfield; only Michael Bradley has come close to establishing himself. And I can’t put it better than Unprofessional Foul did yesterday:
I would say that a goal on Father's Day for the 2nd year in a row is an apt display of how nepotism has allowed you to keep your starting role. I would even say that you and your dad should both still lose your jobs, but that is unlikely to happen given this result.
To be fair, a substitution led to the third goal. And I honestly thought Bradley was insane – needing a goal, the US took off a striker (Altidore, who’s young, but seemed to be playing better as the game went on) and brought on a midfielder, moving Dempsey up front. Dempsey’s probably the US’ best player (sorry Landycakes), but he’s been gash all tournament long. And yet, as soon as he moves upfront, he pops up with a terrific header from an equally terrific Spector cross. Bob Bradley 1, Internet schmucks like me 0.
And thanks to Brazil steamrolling an uninspired Italy, USA goes through with a 1-0-2 record on goals scored. And now they get to face an in-form European champion, playing to set the record for consecutive games without a loss. Alonso and Fabregas have stepped in for the injured Senna and Iniesta, and Torres has been in the mood for murder since returning from injury, whether with Spain or Liverpool.
And yet, with the way this tournament’s gone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the US nick a 1-0 win. Just another reason why this is the best sport there is.