The big question
REUTERS/Carlos Barria (GERMANY)
The US Soccer Team is the big question, which can be summed up as this: is it 1998 or 2002.
1998 was a disaster, a listless, poorly coached team was humiliated.
2002, the US made it to the quarterfinals and lost a close game to Germany 1-0.
Has the US progressed to be a serious contender or did they just get lucky.
The US has no stars, no great European leagues player, but they have a solid professional league in the MLS,
We saw England play with 1o world famous players, three club captains and just lackluster play. Stars even on the bench. But the play wasn't what people expected.
The question for the US is whether the team is better than it's players.Do they play as a team. Personally, I think the US are underdogs because there is a LOT of arrogance around. People forgot Trinidad and Tobago was loaded with British Premiership and Coke League players, how Ivory Coast was filled with French pros, and Angola with Portugese pros.
While FIFA ranked them too high, the idea that the Italians and Czechs will blow them away is nonsense. The US can rise to the occasion because no one expects them to. They're too busy making fun of ABC's announcers. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. You would think 2002 would have ended this nonsense, but it didn't. Like Ecuador relying on the altitude.
Or how Landon Donovan couldn't hack Germany. Yet, you hear silence about DaMarcus Beasley at PSV Einhoven.
Can Arena's coaching work with the US professionals, and get the best from them? That is the big question.
posted by Steve @ 12:32:00 PM