July 5, 2007

Let the overreacting commence

The US is done in Venezuela, losing tonight 1-0 to close out their Copa America campaign. Was it disappointing? Sure, you never want to go into a competition and get zero points. Is it the end of US Soccer? No, not quite, although some people would want you to believe that.

This tournament was being used by Bob Bradley as a learning experience. The Gold Cup was priority numero uno this summer, and it was mission accomplished. Copa America was basically being treated as a series of competitive friendlies. You can argue that the mindset was all wrong, but I don't know if it could've been any other way.

US Soccer wasn't going to be able to keep the best players together for two full tournaments. Besides ticking off the MLS clubs, and cutting into the foreign club's preseason preparations, it would only serve to wear out the players involved. Bocanegra and Dempsey needed to get to Fulham to compete for playing time with a new coach. Donovan needed to get back to try to save the Galaxy.

Bradley decided to take advantage of this great oppportunity to really see the depth that he has. What did he learn? For one, Eddie Gaven just isn't ready for this level. Lee Nguyen also needs more work. Drew Moor was a pleasant surprise. He got an extended look at Brad Guzan. He learned that Kasey Keller is probably done. Ricardo Clark proved himself very worthy. Taylor Twellman proved he can only score goals in MLS. Marvell Wynne showed that he still needs more work. Eddie Johnson and Justin Mapp probably just confused Bob even more.

There's still plenty of questions, but I think it was worth taking our lumps in Venezuela.


joemybro said...

A-god damned-Men to that. I'm wondering why the press is giving so much creedence to the notion that Copa is a "bigger" or "more important" tournament. To who? It's not our regional championship (winning which got us more good games in '09, when we'll need them), and who cared what a bunch of fuckers in South America of Europe think. Let them start under estimating us again, it's fine with me, and probably fine with Bob Bradley too. Any game that's not a World Cup qualifier or WC match has value only in so much as it prepares the USMNT to compete in those games. And trying out a bunch of young guys was so obviously the best use of those three games to anyone not fixated on what non-Americans think of our team.

Nathan said...

Thank God! Two voices of sanity in a sea of burbling inanity.

I'm getting so sick of this constant criticism of Bradley and USSF. I ain't anyone's shill, but jeebus lordy you'd think the entire foundation of US soccer had just drowned in a pit of fire and molten lava because a C team performed poorly as a guest in another region's championship.

Get a grip people! And like joemybro said, let them start underestimating us again. The victories, when they come, will be that much sweeter.

Longshoe said...

I love that Ives had to throw in the dig that tonight's U20 win was nice compared to the "nightmare" of yesterday...