By now we have all heard of the disappointing finish for the U.S. in the Confederations Cup against powerhouse Brazil. We all know that the U.S. squandered a 2-0 first half lead and conceded three straight goals in the second half to lose the match 2-3. We all also know that it was the first FIFA final the U.S. has ever played in and winning would have meant the squad would have been the first ever to hoist up a FIFA Cup trophy in the name of America.
But as we all know, we lost.
The U.S. should not hang their heads too low. Going into the Confederations Cup the worldwide expectations for the U.S. were not so highly regarded. Just weeks ago, the squad looked bad in a World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica and then struggled in the first half against Honduras. So playing in a table against Brazil and Italy seemed like, at the time, putting the Yankees and Red Sox up against the Little League World Champions.
The U.S. disproved this notion and showed the world that they can compete with any club in South Africa last week. After a frustrating start to the tournament, the U.S. was able to put it all together with big wins against Egypt and number-one ranked Spain. And in the first half of the finals their offensive attack was as relentless as the blaring horns that rang through the background of the South African stadium.
So maybe the U.S. failed in the sense that they came out flat in the second half and blew a nice lead, but the experience of playing and losing a hard-fought final against a dominant team in a high pressure environment should only result in positive steps forward for the U.S. squad.
Winning the Confederations Cup would have been great, but at least the U.S. squad will remain hungry on their next trip to South Africa.