- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 28, 2009
- 2 Comments
- Brazil, Charlie Davies, Clint Dempsey, Confederations Cup, Jonathan Spector, Landon Donovan, Mexico, Spain
No one ever said this game was easy. The highs and lows of soccer have never been more noticeable until today.
It is always amazing how a game can be so different from one half to the next. The first half in the FIFA Confederation’s Cup final against Brazil showed the world that the US is here to stay and could be a power on the biggest stages of them all. But the second half showed that the US is just not all the way there quite yet.
Yeah, it was an emotional game to say the least and I wonder at times if the guys just ran out of steam emotionally late in the second half along with running out of steam physically and mentally. We knew Brazil would make their run in the second half and that they would more than likely score. Its never easy to go into the half with a 2-0 lead. Never easy.
But looking back the first half was more than a dream. For 45 minutes the US pressed hard and got their chances early and often. Clint Dempsey’s first goal was a bit of class between him and Jonathan Spector. The second half on the counter-attack with Charlie Davies and Landon Donovan was something else entirely. Usually the US is on the end of those kind of crazy counters, but this time it was our guys sticking it to one of the world’s best.
Let’s face it though, we should be able to say that we are emerging as a soccer power in some degree. Getting big time results across the pond, even if it is in Africa is still a big deal. Scoring two quality goals on a country like Brazil is something to be happy about. I’m not usually one for moral victories but in a way the US can hang their hats on a few quality things. I don’t believe going into the negatives in this one because I really felt a lot of the same passion and energy from the Spain game was carried over to this one.
I do believe we are getting very close to what a lot of people expect out of this group now. If anything this last week was a total confidence boost to the US national team program as a whole and going forward into next year. I know there is still some qualifying left on the menu for the year but I fully believe the US will now show less fear against those that they have struggled with before. Biggest step for this bunch will obviously be the Mexcio game in a couple months down in Mexico City. If the boys play anywhere near the level that they did against Spain and the first 45 against Brazil then we should expect our first win in Mexcio.
The US has announced to the world that they are for real here and that we aren’t just a fluke. Before this week I don’t believe we could have said that. I can say too that I have never been more proud of this bunch until now. We know where we need to get next and that is a huge step going forward.