Spain Exposes and Embarrasses Team USA

The U.S. National hosted Spain with great fanfare; over 60K in attendance in New England to watch Team USA warm up for their Gold Cup. Too bad no one reminded Spain this was a ‘friendly’ because Spain just totally kicked the snot out of our National team, exacting revenge over a 2-0 loss to the U.S. in the 2009 Confederation Cup.

Actually there is revenge, and then there is 100% humiliation, which is what happened to the U.S. I did not get to watch the game due to other commitments; however I did watch some highlights and read some commentary. Not pretty.

I understand that the U.S. ‘rested’ some players, but when your only noteworthy highlight, is almost having a ‘chance’ there are serious troubles afoot in the kitchen.

The U.S. team took advantage of their fresh legs and increased its possession during the second half. The veterans made an impact on the game and nearly created a goal in the 70th minute. A streaking Sacha Kljestan got behind the Spanish defense, but Joan Capdevila caught up to him and slowed him down. He cut the ball back from just outside the box for Dempsey, who had continued his run straight down the center of the field, but lost his footing while trying to control the pass and the defense was able to clear.

Tim Howard wore the Captain’s band, and while the 4-0 spanking was not his fault (continued piss poor defense and sloppy midfield play are major culprits), I don’t really agree with the ‘brave’ face he tried to spin after the game.

“When you get knocked down, you see what you’re made of,” Howard said Saturday after World Cup champion Spain overwhelmed the U.S. 4-0 in an exhibition that the Americans used to tune up for the Gold Cup. “I put it behind me. I’ve been at this a while. When you play the best team in the world, they can make you look silly at times.

Silly? U.S. should have went into this one attempting to earn a hard-fought draw, but realistically expecting to come up short; 2-0 or perhaps 2-1. 4-0 never crossed my mind as a possibility.

Howard is right on one account,

“We got our butts kicked,” Howard said afterward, adding with a smile. “If we win the Gold Cup in a couple of weeks, nobody will remember this.”

In a couple of weeks I hope we are talking Gold Cup champions, and not ‘what is wrong with U.S. soccer’ – because we already know the answers. The U.S. lacks creativity up front. Quality world class strikers are few and far between, but one would think the U.S. would be able to produce a top notch striker that would be the envy of the top European Club teams. The midfield at times shows lapses in judgment; too slow to get back on defense and not cohesive enough to maintain possession. The defense is just old and slow; it is time to move on with a backline that can hold their own and assist with a counter attack.

If you think I am down on this team, I am and have been for a while. I always surprised when they manage a good result because it often seems more due to luck. Of course I am still a big fan, and want to be proven wrong.

Everyone keeps waiting for the U.S. to take the next step, and instead we keep bailing water out of the boat.


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