For anyone who is a fan of US Soccer or has a child that aspires to big things in the sport, you should say: “Thank you Ghana”.
I know I made my position clear last week, but this can’t be emphasized enough.
Thank the lord the US lost to Ghana on Saturday! Or in the words of Landon Donovan: “It makes me believe there is good in the world.”
This country now stands a chance at a brighter future.
Even though there are still people who naively believe the US performance showed we are improving, there are many who have started to ask questions and are attempting to identify what the problems are. And let me tell you, there are horrific problems – some of which we’ve only begun to articulate on 3four3.
Could you just imagine if the US won or heaven forbid, gotten to a semi-final! Problems, what problems? The US Soccer Federation and all the misguided, but well intended, masses would be the only voice in town. It’s interesting right? I mean these “types” of players, this “type” of coach, along with the whole US Soccer infrastructure and philosophy could have been validated with just one result.
Such is the delicate balance of public opinion. More specifically, the opinion of those who lack a sound fundamental understanding of the game.
It’s true. The most resounding and recent example; the Confederations Cup last summer. When the US got abused by Italy and Brazil in the group stage, the fanbase was up in arms (some even questioning Bradley’s continuation). Then just a week later, when the team beat Spain (regardless of being thoroughly dominated) and had a respectable score against Brazil in the final, the fanbase was lauding the “arrival” of US Soccer. Praising the likes of Onyewu, Demerit, Altidore, and company as quality players. Bob Bradley was now a genius!
I felt like vomiting!
Thank you Ghana and thank you US!
I’m also extremely happy those disallowed goals in the group stage can not be pointed to as any reason for failure. It would have been excuse #1 and everyone would have bought it. They’d say “we would have won the group if it weren’t for those damn refs”, then who knows … “likely have beaten Ghana & then even Uruguay”. But they’d be wrong and Ghana proved it!
Now it’s back to the matter at hand. For us back to articulating the problems and later, the potential solutions.
For the fan-base it’s back to asking questions, searching for answers, and exchanging ideas and opinions with one another. And hopefully in the process exerting pressure on USSF and soccer at all levels to improve.
Oh and in case I forgot, one more thing:
Thank you Ghana from the bottom of my soccer loving soul!
In just 120 minutes, you did more for our future than you can imagine.