What the Hell USA? : A Special Edition Post
This post is titled “What the Hell USA? : A Special Edition Post”, because, what the hell USA? As some of you I’m sure observed, this blog is written by a non-Dutch Ajax fan, in English. Well, its being written from the heart of New England, USA, which therefore means that as with any American soccer fan, there’s one team that is nearer and dearer to my heart than Ajax — The United States Mens National Team.
Last night, the Nats used their position (nearest and dearest to my heart) to ABSOLUTELY break it. And they didn’t just break my heart, they broke it, sat on it, dragged it behind a MBTA bus for a little bit, and then shipped it off to Panama to let them do some more damage to it.
Le soir dernier, the United States lost 2-1 to Panama in the group stages of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, our regional tournament. It represented the first loss in the group stages ever, and the first loss to Panama ever. That being said, NO ONE should have been surprised. Yes, Panama is a team of lower standing and stature than the stars and stripes, but seemingly every single expert and analyst picked the build-up to the game as the perfect time to write a very convincing article demonstrating that the USA has never had two solid games in a row in ANY major tournament (Confederations Cup was not included, and even that was a mad roller coaster). And its true, the USA has never played well twice in a row when it matters, ever.
This time however, they outdid themselves. Lets start with Donovan. He doesn’t really need to be mentioned in any post-game recap because he did NOTHING, but I think that aside from Bob, he should be the ONLY member of the team mentioned. The 10, the poster-boy of American soccer, the receding hairline we love to love, had a perfect opportunity to just tear apart a side, and may as well have not even come to the game. The only player that looked like he was trying through the entire game was Dempsey, which for any USA fan who can remember all the criticism he got a year+ back, some irony is definitely present.
And for Bob Bradley.. what is going on dude? How the hell did this happen? This is the most talented, touted and highly paid group of Eurostars (or at least starters) that a US coach has ever had the pleasure of working with. Bob Bradley however, that Wile E. Coyote, found a way to go winless in 2011 (despite some simple opposition, i.e. Paraguay’s B+ team) through June, have your first win be more of a surprise than anything even though it was against Canada, and then to let this happen. Normally he messes it up by playing a crappy lineup full of players he wants to try out with the first team, who then get boned by El Salvador or someone. This time however, Howard-Cherundolo-Goodson-Ream-Bocanegra-Donovan-Bradley-Jones-Dempsey-Altidore-Agudelo, could arguably be our most solid lineup, so I don’t even know what to pinpoint as Bradley’s mistake except for that he LOST TO GOD DAMN PANAMA. AT HOME. Please just let Jurgen Klinsmann coach us before he decides he doesn’t want to.
If we can’t ask for a win against Panama, is that too much to ask? Back to Ajax news tomorrow — a team that with that third star is definitely NOT been breaking my heart this year.