Here today, Ghana tomorrow!

Well the World Cup dream is over for the USA. The American squad used up all of its’ rallies today. After giving up another sloppy goal to open the match against Ghana, Landon Donovan hit the equalizer on a PK. But then early in extra time, Ghana scored what would stand as the winning goal. It’s pretty clear that the Americans were on weary legs towards the end of the game. Obviously when you look at the game as a whole, the first thing you will argue about is the starting lineup. A coaching blunder led to an awkward bit of chemistry, or eliminated any chemistry. Bradley had no idea his squad would play 120 minutes, but subbing out Ricard Clark at around the 30 minute mark, proved to be a crucial mistake. It’s clear once Benn Feilhaber got into the game, America had a new spark. But when you look at the game as whole, you will see sloppy passing and not so stellar performances from Donovan. He probably will not get panned because he is America’s greatest player ever. But some of his passes weren’t very crisp, and I thought Altidore was a huge disappointment up top. I think Team USA would have been better served with either Gomez or Buddle up top. Altidore has been battling injuries, and maybe he wasn’t at full form.
Nevertheless the World Cup reunited the United States. In Southern California it’s very common to see Lakers flags waving off of cars during the NBA playoffs. But it was a great sight to see cars adorned with American flags. As was the case in the last 3 games Team USA played in the group stage, 90 minutes, or as much as 93, took our minds off of the things dominating the headlines. Many stopped thinking about the oil spill, the sluggish economy, and all the other headlines (Like we need another recap of Michael Jackson’s death!!!)
Realists know that most Americans who weren’t into soccer before the World Cup, will not be clamoring for soccer now that America is out. Some will continue to watch the rest of the games. England is still loaded with superstars, and Brazil is the world leader. But soccer still won’t be on the minds of many Americans after the July 11th World Cup final. ESPN has tried with the MLS, but let’s be honest, the talent is pretty weak in comparison to the Premier League or La Liga. Take away Donovan from the MLS, and really there is no star player. Beckham has already exited, or he’s here, or nobody’s quite sure. Donovan will likely move on to England. He received a warm welcome playing a handful of games for Everton, and after becoming such an American icon this World Cup, he’s sure to leave for more money, and more glory.
So now that Team USA is out, do you care? Did you fill out a bracket? Are you in a pool like March Madness. Do you have a World Cup fantasy team? The likely answer is no. There are plenty of good players left in the cup. If you weren’t a soccer fan, get to know Brazil’s Kaka or Fabiano, Portgual’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Spain’s Fernando Torres, England’s Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard or Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Their skills will amaze you (well maybe not Rooney’s– he’s tanked this cup.) I bet you have a ball, sotospeak.


~ by sotospeaks on June 26, 2010.

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