Posts tagged usmnt
It’s been awhile since the US Men’s National Team used an excellent performance (and a bit of luck) to knock off Italy on their home soil, and a lot has happened since that breakthrough win. The U-23′s failed to qualify for the Olympics in heartbreaking fashion, shifting more focus towards the start of World Cup Qualifying. And several key members of the squad finished good seasons abroad, highlighted by Clint Dempsey’s magnificent goal scoring record at Fulham. Finally, Tim Chandler has informed us that he’s not so sure he wants to play international football – which sounds to most US fans like the still untied player is just working both sides of the fence in case Germany ever comes calling.
I have two favorite soccer moments from 2011 – first, introducing MLS and Chivas USA to my friends and turning some of my closest friends into big fans. Second, being able to go to the France v USMNT match at the Stade de France, which was UNBELIEVABLE!!! I’mlooking forward to a better season for Chivas USA in 2012, and both of our teams bringing home gold from the Olympics!
A lot of soccer-savvy people say results don’t matter in friendlies. It’s all about the quality of the play and the individual performances – worry about results when something’s on the line. But for the US team, something’s always on the line – respect. The under-appreciated bunch has played pretty in plenty of losses under Klinsmann; but in finally putting together a string of positive results has perhaps found its foundation in a staunchly organized structure and a pragmatically opportunistic attacking mentality.
My favorite moment of 2011 was quickly obscured by a terrible collapse. Foolishly, I believed that Landon Donovan’s smart finish of a Dempsey feed in the first half of the Gold Cup Final against Mexico would hold up and that the US was on the way to another regional title and another Confederations Cup berth. It was a great moment, celebrating loudly in a crowded bar with fellow fans. But it turned sour as the game quickly turned the other way and we were outclassed the rest of the match – losing 4-2. The result sparked the end of Bob Bradley’s tenure and paved the way for the hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann as the new boss. The result was a fitting end to a run that had seen Bradley’s team become progressively less organized and disciplined.
Friday night, a bunch of friends and I climbed in a car and headed up to FC Dallas Park in Frisco, TX to watch the US U-23 squad take on the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL.
It was a great opportunity to watch them play up close, with some good goals and saves in the 3-0 win.
It was also a great opportunity to give an in person thank-you to our ally Amobi Okugo, someone who we’re very proud is part of the future of American soccer.
Check out some videos after the jump… read more…