Mar 27, 2012, 8:45 AM EDT
So much will be written and said over the coming days of the U.S. under-23 crash. Hyperbole will flow while over-generalizations, over-reaction and wild over-reach will be in high season, all in search of deeper meaning for it all.
But as you digest the disapproving comeuppance ahead, deciding whether to heed the antagonistic or lean toward the more temperate set, it would surely help to keep this inescapable truth close by:
This thing really is a colossal failure.
I don’t know what it means in the bigger picture as we all stew about developmental academies, youth soccer curriculums, best coaching practices and such; that’s to be sorted out. But the shorter-term reality cannot be avoided, that such a thing should never have happened.
The Americans had a huge leg up to begin with, as the whole tournament was (once again) hand-delivered to U.S. soil. Home teams do well in international tournaments, of course. For the United States to go 1-1-1 at home, against three teams the Americans were favored against – that’s hard to even fathom. I mean, maybe you get one mulligan. But a lone win in three games at home? Not. Good. Enough.
The 1994 U.S. World Cup squad managed, despite a relative dearth in talent, to fight its way into the second round. In 1998, France won a World Cup on home soil. Japan and South Korea out-kicked their coverage (to borrow an American football analogy) in the 2002 World Cup. Germany, under Jurgen Klinsmann, rode the wave of impassioned home support into the World Cup 2006 semifinals.
It might have been one thing if the United States, playing on home soil, at a venue more or less of its choosing, flamed out in the semifinals against a good, Olympic-bound side. But to not even get that far?
Not. Good. Enough.
Again, home teams tend to rise in these things. It’s an enormous advantage, one that shouldn’t be under-valued in evaluations to come. I’m not sure what went wrong in this one, but it’s safe to say that plenty did.
The bottom line for the principals to remember upon failure to qualify for the Olympics in two of the last three tries: it’s not good enough. It has to get better.
May 21, 2013, 8:37 AM EDT
Has Daniel Levy already forgotten about what happened when he tried to pin Luka Modric down with this ‘no sale’ line of bull?
May 20, 2013, 11:58 PM EDT
Expect this one to get worked out.
May 20, 2013, 11:23 PM EDT
If Real Madrid’s going to shake things up, Higuaín could do worse than land at The Emirates.
May 20, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT
Four players were on the original list. None of them may end up at Stamford Bridge.
May 20, 2013, 8:13 PM EDT
Our sympathy continues to grow for a man in a bad spot.
May 20, 2013, 7:21 PM EDT
MLS will not have arrived until it has a high-profile feces incident.
May 20, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT
It probably won’t happen this summer, and if it does … I’m sure we’ll run that into the ground, too.
May 20, 2013, 5:45 PM EDT
For a moment, it looked like Milan had fired their coaching staff … via an open letter from a television show.
May 20, 2013, 4:55 PM EDT
Real Madrid would have been in line for an eight-digit payday had they sold Mourinho to Chelsea.
May 20, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Odds on current U.S. Men’s National Team boss Jurgen Klinsmann to become Everton’s next permanent manager have dropped heavily today.
May 20, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
Wherein we justify the selection of a center back, which always seems to be a requirement in these things:
May 20, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Sky Blue FC validates, Ali Krieger resonates, and four teams start to feel the toll of the new season.
May 20, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT
What’s been coming for a long time is now official. Jose Mourinho’s three-year tenure at Real Madrid has a finish line.
May 20, 2013, 2:39 PM EDT
Ben Olsen? Frank Klopas? … Someone else?
May 20, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT
The big, soon-to-be out of contract Galaxy center backs says talks with MLS commenced:
May 20, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT
That’s sarcasm. Ruiz was always bound to cause headaches, one way or the other:
May 20, 2013, 11:57 AM EDT
The first-year Red Bulls center back made a huge imprint on New York’s win over Los Angeles:
May 20, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT
There is still plenty of star appeal as the Europa League champs’ roster for a quick two-game tour of the United States:
May 20, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
Kljestan becomes the fifth American to defend a title in a top league:
May 20, 2013, 10:18 AM EDT
The Scottish striker will hardly be missed around Vancouver:
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