US Must Move Past Spain For The Gold Cup

US Must Move Past Spain For The Gold Cup

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 6, 2011
  • 2011 Gold Cup, Bob Bradley, Spain

Things were pretty ugly for Tim Howard and the US against Spain. (Getty Images)

Like most of you, I sat through the US-Spain game on Saturday. It wasn’t enjoyable in any sense in the first half and while the second half got better it was still rather…ugh.

Generally I’m a fan of playing the top teams in the world. I am. You get to put your best out against their best. Only this time it wasn’t the case. Spain put a “B” squad out there and so did the US. It turned out their B was better than ours. Go figure. The effort was lacking from the US but in all honesty the young guys Bradley put out just were no match for who Spain had.

I know Bob Bradley stands behind his lineup and he had to make some tough choices given the fact that some guys were coming in after some taxing seasons aboard and others are in the middle of their season in MLS. Its never easy and I don’t pretend to know the team nearly as well as Bradley does.

But let’s go ahead and say it, the Spain result was ugly. Losing 4-0 to anyone at home is never a good way to go, especially before a major tournament like the Gold Cup.

Playing Spain wasn’t the best idea just three days before the start of the Gold Cup either. Sure it brought in loads of cash for the USSF but at what cost? While adding a couple million to the books seems nice it certainly didn’t make any new fans of the USMNT on Saturday. Little kids watching that game will be more inclined to cheer for Spain and their amazing goal scoring efforts than cheer for their homeland’s pathetic effort in the central part of the field.

But it is time to move on from that result. The US cannot worry about what went wrong and the few things that did go somewhat right in the second half. No, their attentions have to turn to Group C play. Canada. Guadeloupe. Panama. Three countries that would love nothing more to do than to cause all sorts of problems with the US and it’s fans in the coming weeks.

Guadeloupe has nothing to lose when playing the US. Canada would always love to beat their neighbor. And Panama always shows they can be a tough opponent in any competition.

Focusing on Canada is a start. The US has the Maple Leafs set for a battle tomorrow and a win there will easily help folks move away from the debacle that was the Spain game. With the way Costa Rica and Mexico opened up things yesterday, the US has to match those efforts in some capacity though. I’m not saying the US has to beat Canada, Guadeloupe, or Panama 5-0. No, but they do need to get the W’s convincingly here. The foot must firmly be placed on the gas pedal.

Having the likes of Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, and Michael Bradley back in the starting eleven will certainly be a good thing. The defense should be a little more in line and the midfield should see loads more possession with Donovan, Deuce and Bradley.

I think the stage is still set for a US-Mexico final in this tournament but with the way Mexico looked in the second half, the US better have their A-game in all matches or else.