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US Soccer Fans – ditch that World Cup drama and revel in the positives

Jun 4, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT

Jamaica v United States - World Cup Qualifer Getty Images

Drama is something that most crave like crack and, within American soccer, the gluttony for hubbub has been at an all time high since World Cup 2014 began staring us in the face.

While it’s been years of anticipation the drama truly began to spike six months ago during the World Cup draw that placed the Yanks in Group G alongside Ghana, Portugal and Germany.

The damned Group of Death,’ was the collective sigh as shoulders slumped and heads dropped.

The fear was reasonable that this National Team was heading full throttle towards the resting place of the 1998 World Cup squad — three losses, one goal scored and last place in the tournament. It was hard to see the light. Ghana is the World Cup nemesis of the US, Portugal have mighty Cristiano Ronaldo and Germany could very well win the tournament. Walking on water might just be easier than getting out of this group.

Over the coming months the drama increased ten-fold: Clint Dempsey was a shell of his former self on loan at Fulham, Timmy Chandler continued to shirk his US commitment with the glee of a high school tease, Michael Bradley made the controversial move to swap Serie A for MLS, Omar Gonzalez shape-shifted into a deer in headlights, Jermaine Jones couldn’t keep his discipline in a straight-jacket and barns weren’t built big enough for Jozy Altidore to hit…

And just when things couldn’t get more bleak, Jurgen Klinsmann made the absolutely heinous decision to cut Landon Donovan, which went down like whiskey on top of tequila catapulting the US collective into a vertigo-inducing stupor that somehow convinced many of us that 18-year-old Julian Green was either a) the reason why Donovan was cut or b) the player who will serve as the US all-time leading scorer’s immediate successor in Brazil. (Note: he’s neither).

Of course, we Americans are not alone in acting out this version of the Real Housewives of International Soccer. The same thing goes down in Italy, Spain, Brazil and every other country in anticipation of the World Cup. We want to do well, so we dramatize. But look on the bright side, at least we’re not Mexico!

See, didn’t that feel better? Nothing like kicking El Tri between the legs to lighten the mood. Because truth be told, it’s not all doom and gloom for the USMNT and to ensure you don’t wander off into a dark place over the next week and a half leading up to the games, here are a few bullet-points of positivity to keep in your back pocket:

  • Nothing To Lose, All To Gain: That has to be the motto when it comes to the US and Group G. It’s a hard freaking draw, yes, but there’s no where to go but up. Getting a point off of Ghana, Portugal or Germany would be great. Taking all three points, momentous. And it can definitely happen. Believe.
  • Jozy Knows No Slump: Did you watch him last summer? Dude scores once and can go unconscious for extended periods of time. So stop worrying about some ‘slump’.
  • Klinsmann’s Won The World Cup: That’s no small feat and that experience allows Jurgen, the master motivator, to say all the right words to get the boys fired up.
  • Bradley Has No Ceiling: Is it just me or does Michael Bradley get better every time he steps foot on the pitch?
  • Cameron-Besler Is Legit: Stop worrying about a center-back partnership because Cam and Bes have it on lock. Yes, they need 1-2 more matches together but they’re our best defensive leaders, mentally sound and dialed in.
  • Deuce Face: ‘Nuf said.
  • Ghana’s Not That Good: We need to stop over-hyping this Ghana squad. I’ve watched them play, they’re not that good. We should get a result here.
  • American Outlaws: Don’t know who they are? Use the Google and find out. Then enlist.
  • Berti’s Here: Berti Vogts was named special advisor by Klinsmann just a few months ago and with good reason – the guy is a master tactician. Which is exactly the trait where Klinsy could use some help. Credit to the man, though, he recognized the mistake and remedied it. Yes, Bogts also coaches Azerbaijan and it meant we had to play them in a friendly but who cares?! He’s ours in Brazil and he’s brilliant.
  • The Rise of Fabian: Said it before, I’ll say it again – Fabian Johnson is a weapon. Easily one of the US’s best players and, from all accounts, he’s poised to explode down in Brazil.
  • Howard and Guzan: Brick walls are tough to get through.
  • Ronaldo Is Struggling: Look, I’ll be in Manaus for that game and CR7 better damn well play. But judging from reports I’m reading now, 18 days away from that match, there’s a very strong chance Ronaldo is struggling with his fitness for that match. I’m calling it now, the US wins this game.


  1. jucam1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    I love the spirit, and in reality you never know. I prefer to be realistic and see it for what it is, JK is using this cup as experience for 18′. Ghana may not be great, but they are better than the US right now. Jozy is hands down the most overrated player on this squad and will be exposed even more than his terrible campaign in the EPL. The GK situation is something to lean on, Bradley is a beast, and Fabian is solid, but this defense is going to get destroyed in this cup. Again, look at the positives: 1. you’re getting experience 2. getting more foreign born players with legit talent like Green to nationalize, and also he will get to play once the US is eliminated by game three 3. The US will play three teams that are better than them but the core of this team will learn from it and use it in 18′ 4. JK will go even younger when there is nothing to play for in game 3 and play guys that hopefully will be core by 18′.
    This is a great lesson on how to build a team, all the major powers went through it. Hopefully by 22′ or 26′ with all the effort to become a legit team now, the US can become a serious football nation and make a true run at the cup. Besides, the US is fortunate that they are in Concacaf and play no one in qualifying, so they’ll always make the cup (that can be a curse though, look at Mexico). These are exciting times, you just have to be patient and realize this team isn’t good enough to get out if this group, but the building blocks are huge for what could happen in 16-20 years.

    • mlsconvert88888 - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      The people who keep calling themselves “realists” actually just sound like “defeatists” to me.
      There is a reason they still have to play the games, because upsets happen all the time in the beautiful game, and for me at least, having hope makes the games much more fun to watch.

  2. ez0682 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    Stupid americans an writers that don’t know crap smh stop dreaming this ain’t stupid nba or not. Americans suck at futbol period a world top class team with they team b would smash usa soo what u think they number one team will do. U think Ghana just started playing im not from Ghana. Argentina

  3. ez0682 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    Stupid americans

    • lyleoross - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      You do realize when you do that you are condemning two continents and Central America. One of the continents regularly uses the rest of the world as a door mat in this sport (relative to money spent that is). On the other hand, the U.S., I assume that is who you refer to, may have been slow to take up the sport, but we are learning. How long did it take Europe to compete with us in basketball once they discovered the sport? Oh wait, still not there?

  4. chadmoon1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    If it is true that JK is throwing this WC away so he can get players “experience” for 2018, then he should be fired. Immediately. This moment. You cannot do that in a WC. Ever. You use the Gold Cup for that, not a WC.

    • dws110 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      It’s not true.

  5. braxtonrob - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Was this song written for Kindergartners?

    If this is how we have to appeal to the (other) American sports fans, …. then let’s just skip it! We don’t need them THAT bad. Please let them go back to their passionate (moronic) hatred of the sport (so the rest of us real fans can continue to ignore them all in peace).

  6. geojock - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Please sports American media. Please dont running 100 ‘soccer stories’ that just talk about how ‘soccer is growing in America’. Talking about soccers growth and its place in America doesnt count as talking about soccer. Please talk about results, players, x’s and o’s, etc, etc.

    • tridecagon - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      You know that the World Cup doesn’t start for another week, right? And that the World Cup is the only soccer that really matters here? There aren’t any results to talk about. And any discussion of X’s and O’s is mere guesswork until the players take the field.

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