I always wait 48 hours before blogging about a disappointing US defeat. I utilize this delay because I could usually write some vitriolic stuff about the squad immediately following a loss. But, as Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte could tell you, much can change over 48 hours, so it is imperative that I let my passions cool before I attempt to objectively convey my feelings regarding the team’s performance.
I was disappointed Saturday afternoon to say the least, but I am not going to waste my time or your’s by recapping a game that has already been dissected from every angle. I am also not going to engage in finger pointing (at least not yet). Ghana was the better team. They deserved to win, though we certainly had opportunities to steal the victory away from them. In the end, it doesn’t matter. We lost. It’s over.
Our Achilles Heel was our inability to start games with defensive precision, but that same sin was also the impetus for our greatest asset: our resilience and “never-say-die” attitude. In the end, a team cannot expect to give up so many early goals in the World Cup and advance. This tournament provided us with some dramatic moments, but at the end of the day, we didn’t have what it takes to win it all.
I do believe this result gives us something to build on though. Sure, that is of little comfort to us now as the wounds of this tournament (both psychological and physical) still have yet to heal. Ultimately though, I hope we can look back at this World Cup and identify it as a moment when the US proved its mettle on the world stage and as the tipping point when soccer finally earned some respect in the US.
Only time will tell if this tournament has such a positive historical legacy. I am an eternal optimist when it comes to US Soccer though, so – for now – I will brand this World Cup a success, though an inherently flawed one. I can’t do justice to the feelings of many of you who are still sick about our loss. Instead, I will turn things over to the Lizard King, Jim Morrison, who wrote something profound on the subject:
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end,
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes, again
Ladies and gentlemen, the blue bus is calling us.
The question now is: US Soccer, where you takin’ us?
I will address this question tomorrow in my monthly musings and I will round out next week with full player rankings for the US squad at the World Cup. While the US may have been eliminated, we here @ STO and her sister sites will continue to provide you with the best commentary and analysis regarding the biggest tournament in the world. Please come back and join us as we watch the World Cup unfold.