Thursday, 25 June 2009

Victory over Spain wasted on the Yanks

It's arguably the greatest victory for the USA since the 1950 World Cup.

Goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey gave the US a 2-0 victory over Spain in the Confederations Cup.

Back in the day, the Yanks recorded a famous 1-0 win over England, starring Billy Wright, Tom Finney and Stan Mortensen.

Putting this into context, the Spaniards are European champions having won 15 straight matches and undefeated since November 2006. Both are world records.

And they were at close to full strength: Fernando Torres partnered David Villa up front together with a star-spangled lineup featuring the cream of the Premier League and Barcelona.

The US, who reached the semis thanks to a dramatic six-goal swing in the last round of the group stage, seemingly used that as a confidence fillip.

Imagine if England had just beaten Spain; not just in the scoreline, but in the manner of the Americans win. Their discipline, organisation, workrate and belief has echoes of the Greeks sensational victory at Euro 2004.
This morning's tabloids would be larging it. The Sun'ld dig up eighties nearly-men and get ten-word quotes from each like, "We can definitely end 44 years of hurt in South Africa!", then pop 'em in a highlighted box in the middle of the page.
Do you remember when we beat Argentina 3-2 in Geneva ahead of the last World Cup? Two late Michael Owen goals turned the game on its head. The press talked of our Golden Generation: Terry, Ferdinand, Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard; not forgetting the blend of more senior players like Owen and Beckham. The hacks were hysterical!

They're not doing that in the Miami Herald or the Archbold Buckeye this morning, I can tell you!

The magnitude of the American victory is totally wasted on their sporting public.
The USA are perennial World Cup qualifiers - but not even their Latino emigres can trigger a football culture, with baseball, basketball and football so embedded in their collective consciences.
The Americans truly arrived on the world football stage with this win. And though the scoreline in raw print is an eye-raiser, they utterly deserved it.
Shame it won't move them, like it's moved me.

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  1. I think soccer is growing here. I'm in Hawaii and we love sports from the mainland, but we get pictures of the championsleague with European soccer too. You can see what passion there is for Madrid and Manchester and Paris. You got some of our players in the Britishleague. This is good for soccer in the US.

  2. Jonny, I think that you are wrong about one thing. The biggest eye raiser is not the scoreline, but the fact that in your own words, the USA deserved it. There are probably reasons for the shock and the playing field being levelled. The Spanish were always going to lose some time soon. Most of their players are knackered following long hard seasons... Read more. They had a full strength side and most of their players have been playing football for a year straight following EURO 2008. Had this game been played in September with the players having had a decent rest, I think that the result would have been different. But hey ho, that's football. The game wasn't played in September and well done the USA. If nothing else, the result may just remind the Spanish that they are only human after all. Roll on South Africa!

  3. Spot on, John! We need a vulnerable Spain because let's face it, they stand in their way of any chance we may have. Personally, I think Brazil are the team to beat. They're loved in Africa and when the tournaments played outside of Europe and S. America, they always win it

  4. Can't disagree with that although Brazil didn't look paticularly great against South Africa last night. But a win is win no matter how badly you play! While I have no real expectation for England to win the tournament, I do think Capello is slowly creating a really strong team ethic and that is going to be so important as the USA showed against ... Read moreSpain. We are starting to get the sort of results that breed confidence among players. As long as we don't get over confident, even cocky as we have in the past, then we can do well. But there a lot that can happen over the next twelve months; key players getting injured, others coming from nowhere to force their way into the squad. I have a feeling that the tournament will be a little more like 2002 rather than 2006. Lot's of surprise results early on, shock quarter finalists and semi-finalists. But the finalists themselves from the usual suspects.

  5. "The Americans truly arrived on the world football stage with this win."

    Jonny, I disagree. We (the USA) beat Portugal in our first match in World Cup 2002 in Korea/Japan, then beat Mexico 2-0 in the 2nd round and only barely lost to Germany 1-0 in the quarterfinals, with the Germans falling to the ground in relief at the final whistle. I know ... Read morebecause I was in Korea at every match. I thought that meant we had finally reached a higher level, but then we were total crap in World Cup 2006 not winning a single match in the group stage. I'm not sure this win over Spain changes much.


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