Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Half Empty

Soccer fans of the domestic persuasion point to the enthusiasm for this year's World Cup as evidence their favorite sport is finally catching on broadly throughout the land.

Yesterday's loss to Belgium should correct that misconception.

The US side was badly outplayed and out-coached in yesterday's game.  Belgium controlled the ball for an overwhelming portion of the game and was thwarted from winning in regulation time by the heroics of US goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was sensational.

Otherwise, the US could not control the ball, move the ball or threaten much.  Commentators like to point out the Americans play excellent defense...and for the most part they do.  But let it be said by this viewer, hardly an expert but, hey, this is the internet, defense is easier to play!  There, I said it!

It's much harder to control the ball and mount an offense then it is to head a ball away from your goal or kick it out to who-knows-where.  And in this regard, control, the Americans were absolutely inept versus the much more skilled Belgians.  Without Howard's heroics the game could easily have been 4-0 in regulation time.

The Americans played an extraordinarily dull game...again except for Howard.  They gave the ball up at midfield easily.  They were one and done on their few advances deep into Belgian territory.

Were viewers going to remember Howard or the ineptitude of his teammates?  The bet here is they will remember the latter.

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