The bottom line
1. We won 1 out of 4 games.
2. We were inferior in 3 out of 4. Yes, you heard right … IN·FE·RI·OR. Ghana, Germany, Belgium. Yes, we won the game vs Ghana, but we were inferior – that’s football. Don’t understand that? Sorry. The Portugal game? We were on par.
1. The only progress here is that we have a NT coach in Jurgen, that has been more outspoken on our f’d up system (not pertaining to youth) than any predecessor.
2. Unless US Soccer is willing to get a master like Bielsa, Klinsmann must continue.
3. Only a master can improve NT performance within this screwed up system we’re handicapped by (again, this is not about the youth).
4. The most a non-master can get out of this handicapped system is sustainment of NT performance.
5. Sustainment = being ‘competitive’ in WC group, or reaching round of 16, or getting lucky and making a quarterfinal. And not being a clear protagonist in matches.
6. Jurgen Klinsmann = sustainment + outspoken on the top level issues of the status quo. That second part, my friends is hugely important. Do not underestimate the influence that comes with being on the pulpit.
CONCACAF / MLS / Incumbents
1. After the first and second games of the group stage there was a campaign by high level incumbents – and their supporters – trying to use CONCACAF’s positive results to lift their “respect” level, and hence their relevance and reinforce their incumbency. After the US and Mexico got bounced (as usual, having accomplished absolutely nothing more than cycles past), silence.
2. After the first and second games of the group stage there was a campaign by the incumbents trying to give MLS credit for National Team results. After the US got bounced (as usual, having accomplished absolutely nothing more than cycles past), silence.
Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
1. On final match results, stop with the would’ve, could’ve, and should have. Every single team can say those. Just stop it, it makes you reek of novice.
2. For instance, speaking of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve … if Wondolowski had scored that sitter in the final moments of the game and beat Belgium, all of your opinions and indictments wouldn’t be what they are now. Being a flip-flop like that (instead of being capable of the bigger picture), my friends, makes you a hack.
3. If only Altidore didn’t get hurt … wtf is wrong with people? As if Altidore was Messi or something. Doesn’t matter! Yes, it’s possible the team might have functioned better according to plan, but stop with suggesting that would’ve significantly made up for the gap between us and opponents. And it certainly doesn’t matter in the grand scheme.
4. If only Beckerman had played, or Green played more, or Donovan, or blah blah blah … wtf is wrong with people? You don’t know what would’ve happened in matches. Things could have been worse! Doesn’t change the overarching principle that we’re not good enough.
5. On a positive front, at least I didn’t see any significant cries out for Diskerud. No hypothetical here, that would have made me insane.
One final note: For casual fans and spectators, I’m aware this “is just a game” for you guys – little more than a pastime. So it’s all good, knock yourselves out with all the BS. But I’d like to see American soccer media pros and perceived journalists, along with those aspiring to be such, held to another standard.