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National U.S. Soccer Team

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The US Soccer team brings it!

  • Jun 28, 2009


So, I’m admittedly not a huge soccer buff, but I certainly respect the sport AND I can definitely appreciate a rowdy, exciting, adrenaline-pumping, unexpected game with loads of athletic skill. Last Wednesday, I watched the Confederations Cup Semi-Final between the US and top-ranked Spain. The U.S. Soccer team vanquished the Spanish team that had not lost since November of 2006.  Led by their defense, the Americans capitalized on their physical play and opportunistic goals to beat the Spaniards 2-0.


So how does the low-ranked US national team defeat the best team in the world? Maybe because they actually played them like they wanted to win instead of just waiting to swap jerseys and get their Spanish autographs.  Landon Donovan, a US team veteran agrees, “Most teams respect them a little too much and back off of them, I think we did a good job being harder and more aggressive than most teams.”


I couldn’t agree more. The Americans were diving in front of goal shots, challenging and hustling for every possession, and actually putting a body on the Spanish strikers and defensemen.  They were scrappy and poised and made the best team in the world look ineffectual and weak.  These are the same Spanish athletes that start for the best soccer teams in England, Spain, and Italy.  Their American counter-parts don’t receive the same appreciation; they play as back-ups for less-touted European teams or play in America’s beleaguered MLS.  This was the practice team trouncing the starters or the Washington Senators walloping the Harlem Globetrotters. The underdogs beat the champs.


Goal-keeper Tim Howard looked like a brick-wall in net, while attackers Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey looked so goal-hungry that they forgot all about how great Spain was supposed to be. At this level of soccer, it seems everyone’s good, everyone’s in shape – sometimes it just comes down to who wants it more. Team captain Carlos Bocanegra came back from injury and helped stabilize the defense and give confidence to attack. Oguchi Onyewu won just about every physical contest in the box and made the Spanish strikers think twice. The unwarranted red card for Michael Bradley, the coach’s kid, means that he’ll be unable to bring his tireless play in the final against Brazil on Sunday, June 28, 1:30pm (central).

All in all, daily newspapers around the world had their sport sections dominated by the American upset over the Spanish, except of course in America. But armed with my new found love for this sport, I believe that we can change all that… tomorrow is the first FIFA final the American men’s team has ever been in, why don’t we all watch it and witness American soccer get some international props.



US Soccer victory over Spain

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June 28, 2009
nice write up, Bethany. Not really a big Soccer fan but it is nice to see the U.S. team do pretty well. Brazil will be a pretty tough nut to crack though.
June 29, 2009
Thanks! Did you watch the US/Brazil game on Sunday?:)
June 30, 2009
I wanted to but ended up just seeing the highlights. they almost won too, until Brazil rallied to beat them! frustrating!
June 28, 2009
Nice piece. I don't have much interest in soccer but we do have a major league soccer team that plays about 1/2 hour from our house. We have been threatening to check out a New England Revolution game sometime. BTW, enjoy many of your contributions on Lunch!
June 29, 2009
Thanks, I appreciate it! Soccer is a sport that is slowing growing on me, but I've found the more I watch it, the more I understand why the rest of the world is so passionate about it. Let me know if you ever go to see a game, I would love to hear your reaction.
More U.S. Men's Soccer Team reviews
review by . September 21, 2009
posted in Yank's Soccer
19 year old Jozy Altidore. The future of US Soccer
In the last 3 years the United States has seen amazing growth in the interest of soccer.  From growing popularity in Major League Soccer (MLS) since the drama with the arrival of David Beckham to the amazement and belief when the US National Team made it to the FIFA Confederations Cup final in South Africa, the US is on its way from being a Football nation, to a Fútbol nation. A country that is known for hot dogs at the ballpark (ballpark is one word) and tailgating before the football …
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
Say what you will about their quality, but the Americans rarely play boring matches. They had the most intense match of the group stage four years ago against Italy, and the most entertaining so far against Slovenia. Also in great shape to qualify or maybe even win the group.
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
What a game today versus Slovenia today - The second half was inspiring. What a goal by Landon Donovan. Looking forward to the final group game versus Algeria next Wednesday!
About the reviewer
Bethany ()
Ranked #19
Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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About this sports team


As the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for the sport in the USA for more than 90 years. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been very simple and very clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.

To that end, the sports growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable. In 1989, the U.S. Men's National Team hadn't played in a World Cup in 40 years and the U.S. Women's program was just four years old. U.S. Soccer was playing games in small stadiums that were rarely filled to capacity. There were few games being televised (and none without commercials during play). There were no soccer-specific stadiums, and there were no high-level professional outdoor leagues of which to speak.

Since that time, things have evolved significantly. The U.S. MNT has qualified for their fifth consecutive World Cup, and advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2002 event. U.S. Soccer is a world leader in women’s soccer at every level, and the team has won two Women's World Cups, along with two Olympic Gold Medals. The United States has also hosted three World Cups with the support of its members and strong organizational abilities.

Professionally, Major League Soccer recently celebrated its tenth season of play and continues to further the ...
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