If the United States Soccer Federation was counting on the American team’s opening contest at this year’s World Cup to finally convert millions of disinterested domestic sports fans to their cause, they can forget it.
Given such high expectations for this year’s squad at the very least most observers expected a competitive match against the favored Czech Republic. Instead, we were (mis)treated to a dreadful game from the American side. As tempting as it might be to credit the Czechs with playing great defense, such was not the case. The Americans simply never mounted any serious threat; indeed, at no point did the US team even seem to have a game plan. Their “attack” was completely unimaginative and disorganized and their defense broke down early.
After reaching the quarterfinals at the last World Cup, in Korea, American soccer was thought by many to be ready for the next level. After today’s 3-0 shutout it is clear they are not. Their next match is Saturday against a very good Italian team. It will take nothing less than a miracle to make it to the next round. The Yanks could easily be 0-2 by Sunday morning and on their way home shortly thereafter.