So, for a brief period I am going to take a break from criticizing the US Mens Soccer team. Yesterday’s win over Spain was epic and bought the squad sufficient capital to carry them through next summer’s World Cup.
I have to admit that the victory was an absolute shock to me (and I’m assuming I’m not alone on that). I figured that the Egypt win was nice, but that when it came to a country with the credentials that Spain had, there was no chance. Top to bottom, the Spanish lineup is just absurd. I still can’t quite figure out how the US went into that game and came away with the victory, but as Rece Davis mentioned during the postgame coverage, one of Lou Holtz’s favorite sayings is, “you don’t have to be the best team in the world, just the best team in the stadium.” Yesterday the USA was, well probably still not the best team in stadium, but it was the only team that scored and in a sport that is determined by a points system, that is very important.
All I can say is, I’m glad that US Soccer is now sufficiently popular in this country that when they are struggling, people notice. For probably the first time ever, a US Soccer coach was under fire and the team faced negative media coverage for their perceived lack of effort and cohesiveness in the past few months. Let’s hope the US builds on this win and doesn’t suffer any more embarassing setbacks when it returns to World Cup qualifying. While I don’t think this win makes the US one of the world powerhouses in the sport, it does show that they can and should compete with any team that they go up against.
Oh, and for the record – I don’t think they are going to beat Brazil on Sunday – but I’m ok with that.