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Poll: After U.S. loss to Ghana, did Americans meet expectations at World Cup?

By Matt Bonesteel  |  June 26, 2010; 6:19 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: England vs. Germany in World Cup round of 16

Comments

Leaving the tournament the way we did today, leaves us all disappointed.

Posted by: redskinsux | June 26, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Going into the tournament, I expected them just to make the Round of 16, but after they won the group, I expected much more.

Posted by: chemweapon | June 26, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I expected our defense to suck and our strong midfield to create chances so they performed as I expected. I really didn't have a clue how deep we would go but I think we showed well and I am very proud of our team and I enjoyed the ride.

Posted by: csd1 | June 26, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a tribute to how well the guys were playing that they got our expectations up. So I'm disappointed, but in a way, pleasantly disappointed.

Posted by: dccal | June 26, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy with what we've done here, whether I feel we should have won that game or not.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 26, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

dccal - I agree. I think we all saw flashes of what this team was capable of, and to see them not live up to it this last go around was disappointing. There's only so many times you can pull off the come from behind theatrics. Perhaps Alergia was just too great of a win for them, emotionally and physically, and they weren't ready, as Ghana surely was. Here's to hoping that Uruguay really kicks their flopping you-know-what all over the place.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 26, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

oh, and I'm assuming that there will be something up soon on the DCU game. But here's their starting lineup: Perkins; Graye - James - Jakovic - McTavish; Pontius - Simms - King - Najar; Cristman - Quaranta.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 26, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ghana the best and I would like to see them make it to the final 4. All credit to them for finishing their chances.

Posted by: csd1 | June 26, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: garbageout | June 26, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

@garbageout: Great work with the ratings survey, thanks!

Posted by: dccal | June 26, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Once they advanced past the group stage (as expected), the US were playing with house money. So the loss wasn't terribly disappointing, but I did think they might make it farther into the tournament.

Posted by: shmoozer | June 26, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I voted no, but I'm still proud of them. This is the way of football; any team can win on any given day. I wanted to them to go further, they were capable of going further, but the breaks didn't go their way today.

So...can DC united make the playoffs? Kickoff in 12 minutes!

Posted by: troy6 | June 26, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

This is the toughest poll question yet. If 'both' were an option, I'd take it. I expected the team to advance from the group stage and also to perform below its potential.

Bob Bradley did some things right, especially prepare his team to respond well to adversity. He did not prepare his team to start games well, and so 3 of his 4 gameplans were thrown out the window inside the first 15 minutes. After the group stage, Findley had no business as a first-choice forward, and it was wrong to play him at all today. Bradley saw in Clark his best defensive option for a center-mid, but the competition (first England and today Ghana) mocked and exploited this choice. Bornstein was a risk, and of the controversial choices he alone repaid Bradley's confidence. I have no argument with Gooch's role in any of the 4 matches. Torres had a chance. Holden was the only player I wanted to see more, but Feilhaber was serviceable instead.

Yet I feel a different coach could have got more from this group. The team's style was so direct, but there were (unscripted) moments when the US showed they didn't have to play that way. We will never know whether better possession would have taken some pressure off the defense and goalkeeper.

If you remember some of the infuriating qualifiers (the away match at El Salvador where the yanquis were 2 goals down and Frankie Hejduk, of all people, saved the day), then you wouldn't have been surprised by the performance at this cup. The last-minute Bornstein goal rescuing an emotional yet listless performance at RFK was a form of foreshadowing.

In many ways this tournament was a success for the team. Yet it wasn't the kind of success I would seek to duplicate. There are times when the US will have to take Route 1, but I think the team's biggest potential is an ability to play multiple styles well, depending on the situation. I can't think of a time when Bradley ever had this team playing pretty, effective soccer--and I was downright envious at the frustrating (and intelligent!) way Ghana killed this game when it reclaimed the lead.

Bradley's team gave me figurative heart attacks in qualifying, at Confed Cup, and in this tournament. Looking ahead to 2014, I think the team needs a different approach.

Posted by: hungrypug | June 26, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"I would have finished those chances" -- Briana Ching.

Posted by: dccal | June 26, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Very disappointed. That was a totally winnable game. But Bradley's starting line up put us behind the 8 ball. Luckily he wasn't too proud to admit his mistake but it wasted a sub unnecessarily after 30 mins. Findley had no business being out there. Why take Buddle and all of his goals if you're not gonna play him? Jozy was injured or something, but it was clear for most of the match that he shouldn't have been out there today either.

So ultimately I agree that another coach would have gotten a lot more out of this team.

Posted by: fedssocr | June 26, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for MLS. It's nice to put this afternoon behind me and look forward to a whole night of soccer

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 26, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, they did. They won the group. That's very hard to do. After that, it's a crap shoot.

I'm just ticked b/c our ticket to the semi's was right there in front of us.

I think if we played Ghana with fresh legs, we win. We still should have won, but, that's the heartache of futbol.

Love it or leave it.

GO DC UNITED!!!!!!!

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what the background is of Nancy Armour, but she's the author of this very harsh piece. Some criticism is justified, but I think she just turns it up a notch too far - unjustifiably. "US Not Ready For Big Time Yet":

http://g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/news/loss-shows-us-not-ready-for-soccers-big-time-yet--fbintl_ap-wcup-cornerkicks.html

Posted by: nairbsod | June 26, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty much exactly what I expected.

Good enough to get out of the group stage, but no further. I mean, any team that is counting on players like Findley, Clark, and Bornstien for quality minutes is in trouble at this level of competition. I don't recall the team putting together a complete 90-minute game during qualifying, so, it shouldn't be surprising that they didn't advance. At this level, any team that's not 100% clicking can be bounced out, regardless of the talent on paper (cf. France, Italy).

Ultimately, I think it's a fair representation of where US Soccer is at. Good enough (at times) to play with the top teams in the world -- but not on any kind of consistent basis. I suspect this is the level we'll be at for the next 10-20 years. Get comfy with it. And there's no shame in that. For all the alleged greatness of the English, they've not held the Cup in 40+ years.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 26, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

The thing that is always going to irk me is that we had the squad to beat these guys. All of us Knew that Findley was a dud, that Clark would lead to disaster. (Bornstein was surprisingly decent, but at least he'd shown that against Algeria, unlike the other two).

This team refused to improve in the area of possession and refused to focus on scoring, and it finally killed us against a team that could possess and for whom scoring was a Ricardo away.

Bob doesn't learn. If he isn't put out to pasture, we can look forward to a far more gruesome cycle.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 26, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

the plastic horns from china have invaded Columbus. I was really hoping to watch plastic horn free soccer tonight.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 26, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

onolfo is looking a little fleshy, eh? perhaps a little too much good living during the WC break.

Posted by: troy6 | June 26, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Very disappointed. That was a totally winnable game. But Bradley's starting line up put us behind the 8 ball. Luckily he wasn't too proud to admit his mistake but it wasted a sub unnecessarily after 30 mins. Findley had no business being out there. Why take Buddle and all of his goals if you're not gonna play him? Jozy was injured or something, but it was clear for most of the match that he shouldn't have been out there today either.

So ultimately I agree that another coach would have gotten a lot more out of this team.

Posted by: fedssocr | June 26, 2010 7:46 PM

Agreed. I think Klinsman should be the new coach.

Posted by: Realness1 | June 26, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

One thing that won't drop off from the World Cup to MLS: Officiating.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 26, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Jozy was tired, as was most of the team, I thought.

When we had Ghana under the gun 1-1, I just knew we'd win the game . . but our 5th gear never came. We had them on the ropes, but only had one sub remaining . . . b/c of Bradley's start of a player who had ALREADY cost us a goal v. England.

IF we had started with Feilhaber for Dempsey, Dempsey up top for Findley and Edu for Clark, we'd have been in better shape.

Findley and Clark just made zero sense b/c of their previous poor to mediocre efforts.

What a game it would have been if we'd had some subs . . . Holden, Buddle or Torres could have helped us hold possession in the 2nd half. Fresh legs would have propelled this team to the quarters.

Instead a less than best 11 get the start.

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

After some bright but also careless play, it's gone all pear shaped for DC United.

Julius James off with an injury, and the Crew cheat and score off a deliberate handball that the Stooge center ref stared at from 10 yards and just failed.

Posted by: JkR- | June 26, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know G Barros Schletto was French!

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Where's our DP?!?! Bring on the Branco!

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Where's our DP?!?! Bring on the Branco!

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

There is no way this World Cup can be considered a success. While the US showed that it is a good footballing nation with it's comebacks against Slovenia and Algeria, it is at best a mediocre one with such a loss to Ghana. USA was ranked 14, Ghana 32.

The US defense lacked steel: why wasn't Gyan knocked down (I don't think either defender was on a yellow)? And the ridiculous early goal....

Jozy Altidore had a non-game, and should have been substituted long before he was.

It is no longer enough to get out of the group stage. I am proud of this team for coming from behind, but not for this game.

P.S. Clint Dempsey is the man.

Posted by: stevec3 | June 26, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

United looking like a brand new team from April. Too bad the results might be the same . . .

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Where's our DP?!?! Bring on the Branco!

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 9:01 PM


eligible to play on July 15.

Posted by: JkR- | June 26, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"It is no longer enough to get out of the group stage.""

I disagree. Ask France and Italy what they think. England was on the cusp of failure too.

Getting out of the group is key. This particular Cup loss is so painful b/c we were the best team in our 2nd Rd. bracket through to the semis.

It was there for the taking . .

Posted by: delantero | June 26, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the ride, and I'm grateful to our boys for going as far as they did. The World Cup is an experience to enjoy. And I'm enjoying it.

My first team is out. On to my second - Espana. Then Holland. Then Brazil. Then...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | June 26, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Go Japan.

Meanwhile, good thing DCU kept Moreno instead of Gómez. He's doing SO MUCH to help the team.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 26, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

disappointed that they did not win this game. They had the players but they were not used correctly. Findley should not be on the team yet he starts 3 of 4 games. Buddle who works well with LD did not have enough chances on the field. Not starting Edu was just plain dumb. US played for the tie and lost. disappointing game.

Posted by: Mig18 | June 26, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm reporting abuse. Jordan Graye has been abused. That dude cast a little Renteria spell on him or something . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | June 26, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit torn on the poll question. The US benefitted some from being drawn into a relatively weak group but Slovenia and Algeria played well. So when we won the group it could be said we overachieved.

But by winning the group we were again lucky in being drawn to spot in the bracket that gave us a relatively easy path to the semifinals. (I know, no one is easy at this stage as Ghana just showed us).

So today's loss not only failed to meet my expectations but is also something I feel we may regret for the rest of our lives. Or til we win the damn thing.

I don't believe Bob Bradley should be guaranteed the head coaching gig for the next cycle.

It's OK to consider him, but give other candidates a real chance at the job, too.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 26, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

A faster team that went to a surprising attacking approach beat us. Our guys were slow-of-foot throughout the tourney, so yep, as expected. Did I expect it here against a team that usually plays a slow stay-at-home game? Nope - that why they won. Our coaching staff didn't see it coming either.

We got outrun on both ends - this ain't football, no time to regroup and reconsider - speed and clever field management - hard things for US soccer to learn. We'll see in the future...

Posted by: fr3dmars | June 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Considering the draw that the U.S. got in this World Cup, they should have done better.

Posted by: CapsNut | June 26, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I feel horrible. Bradley lost the game when he announced the team's line up. Bad, bad decisions. If you are a manager you are supposed to manage, and have a plan A, B y C. Evidently he didn't. That substitution at the 30th minute was the most amateurish thing I've seen in a long time at this level. Bradley should go and never, ever come close to US soccer. A wasted opportunity and a very sad day.

Posted by: DiegoMaradona | June 26, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

@DiegoMaradona,

"That substitution at the 30th minute was the most amateurish thing I've seen in a long time at this level."

You mean since Fabio Capello did it against us a couple weeks ago?

Posted by: benonthehill | June 27, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Not only was there no in-game thread from Columbus, but as of midnight there was no match report available. Did the Post not send Tenorio or someone else to cover this match?

In other news, the Freedom lost to Philly, 3-2. For some reason Bompastor was not in the starting 11.

Is anyone planning to be on hand for the grand opening of the Electric Chair--oops, PPL Park--on Sunday?

Posted by: universityandpark | June 27, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

So many things to say about this match, but for now I think I'll just congratulate the boys for a nice run and the heart and effort they showed, and send my best wishes for an even better 2014 cycle.

Posted by: BooThisMan | June 27, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

DCU doesn't let in goals in the first 15 minutes!...I forgot how much I missed them.

BTW the hand of god goal by the Crew makes another strong argument for instant replay in soccer.


Go DCU go Ghana!

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 27, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

The US isn't at the point where the group stage is to be expected, so I can't call this a failure. I am a BB supporter, and I can understand his justification to play Clark (fatigue) and Findley (the only FWD with the pace to keep up with the Ghanaians), but both were incredibly poor choices. Clark is Pablo Mastroeni with less talent. I appreciate his effort, but he has been a disaster for most, if not all, of this WC cycle. and I'm kind of surprised to hear so many people (including Darke, though hes maybe not familiar with team) arguing that Feilhaber should have started. over who? Hes great off the bench, but his passing skills dont make up for his defensive deficiancies (See Confed Cup 09).

Posted by: VTUnited | June 27, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I was very confident...until I saw Clark in the line-up. I can't blame him for being awful. He wasn't lacking in effort, but, might have been the worst player I've seen in an elimination game. Bradley picking him, much less playing him is inexcusable!! Bradley is at fault. How we can play like the worst team in the tournament for the beginning ten minutes for every game is coaching.

Posted by: WizardInLakerLand | June 27, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

I realize that right now is all about the World Cup and deservedly so but the Post needs to do better than a three paragraph AP summary with respect to DC United. It may not be ideal but at least have Paul or somebody else turn on the TV and do a couple of blog entries. The Post's coverage of DC United last night gets a very deserving boo of the week.

Posted by: croftonpost | June 27, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

"Not sure what the background is of Nancy Armour, but she's the author of this very harsh piece. Some criticism is justified, but I think she just turns it up a notch too far - unjustifiably. "US Not Ready For Big Time Yet"..."

Agreed. Lousy report is everywhere, and is insulting to just about everybody. Some appearances include her email and an invitation to write back, as does the AP site in general (narmour or info @ ap.org). I did and I encourage others to, as well. Way too much hyperbole, cliche, and just unfair ranting in it. Unfortunately many Americans will just accept her misguided views, as they will match the old CW in place...

Posted by: RB121 | June 27, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

I guess this is all we have for a DCU report:

http://www.dcunited.com/recap/2010/06/schelotto-brunner-help-snap-crews-winless-streak?r=DL1

crofton, I'm with you. I know the WC is going on and all, but couldn't at least a blog entry about the DCU game be entered?

Posted by: nairbsod | June 27, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

An AP report is all DCU gets? Couldn't TWP have taken an article from the Columbus Dispatch as they do from the Sun paper for Orioles games? That is embarrasing. If they tried that with the WNBA, there would be screams of sex discrimination.

Posted by: lgm6986 | June 27, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

So Emilio doesn't play? Who is this management team kidding with these player acquisitions? They're stealing money from the fans and from the company. This organization is a fraud.

Posted by: lgm6986 | June 27, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

I know we're all-World-Cup-all-the-time now, but a DCU game doesn't merit any kind of mention at all?

Come on, WaPo.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | June 27, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I think that TWP covergae of last night's DCU game is evidence that this organization is becoming largely irrelevant in DC. There are a lot a reasons that could be offered to support this notion, not the least of which is the this area's sports fans' fascination with Strasburg. But if this team moved to Baltimore to a stadium that MSA is apparently more willing to build than any other mid-Atlantic jurisdiction, the dynamics of this team would change in aheartbeat.

Posted by: lgm6986 | June 27, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

After 50 or so responses, average ratings look like:

7.7 - Donovan
7.4 - Bradley
7.3 - Dempsey
7.0 - Feilhaber
6.8 - Howard

6.4 - Edu
6.4 - Cherundolo
6.1 - Bocanegra
6.1 - Bornstein
6.1 - DeMerit

5.5 - Altidore
5.2 - Gomez
5.1 - Buddle
4.9 - Onyewu

4.6 - Beasley
4.5 - Torres
4.4 - Holden

3.4 - Findley
2.5 - Clark


And Bob Bradley with 5.6.

Poll: http://bit.ly/c2sh3o
Results: http://bit.ly/czOenS
Spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/9yCcod

Posted by: garbageout | June 27, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The only one of those average ratings I strongly disagree with is Torres. He might have been our best player in the tune-up games ... but I thought he was as bad against Slovenia as Clark was overall.

Posted by: garbageout | June 27, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The team exceeded my expectations. With a weak back line and forwards who can't score goals, I had doubts about us making it out of the group.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | June 27, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Disappointed, but proud. Good work, guys, and welcome home.

BTW, I haven't seen any credit given to Kingson--he played a heck of a game. Whatever other chances we might have missed, he had some key saves.

Posted by: DCModerateGuy1 | June 27, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

My problem is I don't think Bradley picked the best team to take to the world cup. His son is the only for sure one he got right but I think we know why he got that right also Donovan and Dempsey and Howard are a given but there is something about Bradley that he can't pick talent. Dempsey playing Midfield That is a joke He is a Forward

Posted by: ydtxlmg | June 27, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the Nancy Armour piece is so unreasonable. If the US is going to improve it needs to hear criticism when it is deserved. The team put forth a lackluster effort against Ghana, coaching decisions questionable, etc. I didn't expect the team to do better, but Armour has a point--having dramatically reached the round of 16 with a lot of hoopla and national support, the team did not play well--simple as that.

Posted by: wadjfk | June 27, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

As a casual fan it was a very frustrating game to watch.

Ghana apparently employed a strategy of walking slowly, faking injury, and using three men to execute every throw-in to protect a SINGLE goal lead for 27 MINUTES. All sports use some form of prevent defense but soccer takes it to an embarrassingly effective extreme.

Meanwhile the US failed to put a single shot on goal. Not one.

I don't like the US soccer hate but I can't defend this particular game or see how it cultivates interest for soccer in the US. Only low expectations could have been met.

Posted by: chipizza | June 27, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Ghana outplayed the US with superior hustle and effort; not raw talent!

WHAT IS THERE TO BE PROUD OF?

I HOPE THIS BUNCH OF EXCUSE FILLED LOSERS TAKE UP BOWLING BECAUSE THEY SHOULDN'T BE REPRESENTING THE US ON THE SOCCOR FEILD!

Posted by: sbf845 | June 27, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

chipizza, the US put 6 shots on goal according to the game stats.

Personally I'm disappointed but not as badly as I would have been had we not made it out of group play. With England looking to crash out I'll be feeling even better this afternoon...:)

I think the US is headed in the right direction, I just hope the boys who'll be around in four years can continue to progress, and perhaps have an even stronger showing in 2014.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 27, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I tried to like soccer...now I don't have to try anymore

Posted by: goldbag | June 27, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

After the hype is over, we must call it the way it is, it's very difficult to win games when all you're doing is fighting back, in 3 of the 4 games, the opponents scored within 15 minutes, the US defense is at best mediocre, Altidore had two clear chances to score, he has to take advantage of them, world class players do. There is talent on this squad but two players (Donovan & Dempsey) can't carry the team, the lineup chosen by the coaching staff was dubious at best and changes have to made at the coaching level, the US needs an experienced coach to lead them to next level and to choose the right players, we have the talent, now we need the right individual to guide them, Bradley is not the man for this job.

Posted by: aim19541 | June 27, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I tried to like soccer...now I don't have to try anymore

Posted by: goldbag | June 27, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

good riddens bandwagon

Posted by: DadRyan | June 27, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Of course they should've advanced further.

Talk about setting low expectations.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | June 27, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I just read this nasty soccer-hating "analysis" by somebody named "Nancy Armour" who seems to think the US should have brushed Ghana aside like a U-12 team. What an idiot. Why do they let these morons write about sports?

Posted by: WillyHSmith | June 27, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The FIFA rankings are a joke when it comes to cup play. Ghana is ranked much lower than the USA but the USA has never produced a player as good as Essien.

The US has no strikers, and our best defender, Gooch, was unfit. If Davies, Gooch, and Jermaine Jones had all been in tiptop form then just maybe we would be truly favored to beat Ghana in a World Cup in Africa.

Posted by: WillyHSmith | June 27, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Where on Earth is the "exceeded my expectations" question? I certainly didn't expect much from this team, the qualifiers in CONCACAF are a joke so it's easy to win; but we beat England and placed first in our (otherwise easy) group, we impressed the world with our performance, and while we are certainly not up to par with the big teams in terms of players or coach and strategy, we put on a decent show.

I talk with people from all over the world and many see USA becoming a soccer power within a couple of World Cups. Nothing to be ashamed about. We went as far as we could but we have wonderful new players and a bright future ahead if we just don't mess it up somehow.

Patience, people-- the search for instant gratification will get us nowhere (just look at the mortgage crisis where we turned homes into ATMs.) Let's support our leagues, develop players, get better coaches, promote the sport, and we'll be great in good time. We have more players abroad than ever, and that's a sign that we're developing a lot of world-class talent. It's a matter of time until we hit it big.

Posted by: alarico | June 28, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Despite flashes of prowess, I would characterize the play of the US team during WM-2010 as sloppy: passes into no-man's land, passes to the opposing team, dribbling the ball out of bounds, routine individual losses of one-on-one duels, failure of many players to move without the ball into open areas, etc.) Further, the overreliance on Donovan is clear for all to see. Heart, which the team unmistakably showed, cannot compensate for all of these deficiencies. The team met (and, arguably, even exceeded) my expectations but fell well short of my hopes.

Posted by: Lawrence_Kelley | June 28, 2010 4:17 AM | Report abuse

The ghana players looked to be better athletes. Yes they did commit penalties inside the box too. Every time we went for a shot they put a foot there. But it looked like they just out muscled us.

Posted by: werowe1 | June 28, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I have been involved with soccer as a player, coach and referee for 30+ years. I am so tired of hearing every 4 years how the US has turned the corner and is able to compete with the best. Any team that starts the likes of Clark, Findley, Demerit, etc. can not be taken seriously. We boast about Altidore, who is fast and strong. The only problem is, he is a forward who doesn't score goals. We only have two players that other countries really worry about. Howard in goal and Dempsey, who works his ass off. And any team that considers a player like Donovan to be a superstar is kidding themselves. Yes, he scores timely goals, but he plays no defense, he disappears for substantial parts of games, and he is not a tough player. His wonderful goal in the Algeria game could have been scored by anyone, the goal was wide open from 8 yards. He came within 2 inches of missing the penalty vs Ghana. His play in that game was horrible. No hustle, giving the ball away, weak free kicks. He was never in the game. Without that gift goal vs England, they don't even get out of the group. Come on America, wake up. We are still a second rate soccer country, and always will be. Our players have passion and desire, but they do not grow up with soccer in their hearts. We play with our brains, other countries play with their hearts.

Posted by: jlowe25 | June 28, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

fds7af89afh@yahoo.com

Posted by: fds7af89afh | June 28, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse


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Posted by: fds7af89afh | June 28, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Not at all surprised by the outcome. It's about as much as you should ever expect from American soccer. Not many American kids grow up dreaming of holding the World Cup above their heads. Soccer is manned by, predominantly, athletes not good enough to play football, basketball, or baseball (and in some regions, hockey). That's the way it is.

Posted by: kemp13 | June 28, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I think they showed how much soccer sucks as a sport in the US. It'll never reach the same levels as baseball, basketball, and (real) football.

Posted by: WildBill1 | June 28, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

It was sad to seem them lose the match after a pretty good effort. But you can't continue to go on missing opportunities and basically starting the match down a goal. Defense seemed far to willing to play loose and lax for the first 15-20 minutes of every match. The starting line-up was a complete mistake.. how Fehlhaber and Buddle didn't get the start I'll never know.

There were some very sloppy passes and it seemed the team couldn't really get it going into into the 45+ minute mark.

Posted by: tbastian | June 28, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I think it is better for the U.S to stick to team sports that the rest of the world does not understand let alone care to compete in, a la Baseball etc.
Truth be told, only an American ego would go as far as to imagine that they would do well in this coveted world game.
I am bemused, to say the least, at the righteous indignation that has followed a loss, whose only false expectation was how late it came.
America's indignation is akin to a toddler son's indignation at wearing his father's shoes and being in righteous wonderment at his inability to walk in the oversize shoes
In my opinion I think the U.S went too far in the competition....too far indeed thanks to a British blunder in the 1st match

Posted by: raismwangi | June 28, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

People that responded that the U.S. should have advanced further in the world cup need a serious reality check. The U.S. soccer team OVERACHIEVED! Soccer is the fifth most played sport in the country and the U.S. soccer team barely cracks the FIFA top 20 teams in the world. Despite this, they made it to the round of 16. This is simple math folks. Landon Donovan, arguably the team's best player is 5'8", 158 pounds. How many times does this need to be said? America's best athletes are not playing soccer. If they were and if soccer really mattered in the U.S. the team would have had a much better chance to advance further. Be proud of what the team accomplished relative to soccer's cultural importance in the U.S. and more importantly, stop this ridiculously arrogant belief that the U.S. is somehow entitled to dominance in all areas of competition.

Posted by: richardobando | June 28, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The USA came in to the tournament ranked 14th. We made it to the Round of 16 and lost. That means we are somewhere between the 9th and 16th best team in the world. In other words, right where we should have expected to finish. Good job boys.

Posted by: lolson1 | June 28, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think the US performed as expected. As a soccer nation we are very young and the skills that will move us further into the tournament take time to develop. We may not have had the intensity that we needed but that is another question. My prognostication is that the US will be in the final four in 8 to 12 years. We are methodical and ingeniousness and soon enough we will find our game.

Posted by: moemongo | June 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I was in South Africa for the first week of the World Cup and saw the U.S.-England and U.S.-Slovenia games. While I was pleased that we made it out of the first round, we really should have done better against Ghana. We cannot expect to do well when we give up early goals in almost every game in the tournament, which we did, forcing us to play catch-up. And the fact remains that we will never be on the same level as many other countries until we have strikers who have an instinct for the goal and can score like the Ghana goalscorers and others in the Cup did. Offense has been and continues to be our biggest weakness, although our defense seriously let us down in the game against Ghana. Now, unfortunately, we have to wait another 4 years.

Posted by: andrewgerst@hotmail.com | June 28, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I expected our team to go higher. Obviously we did not, but I'm still very proud of our team. I think that the future for our team is very bright...Btw, did anyone else hear that the former German couch (Jurgen) could be a possible replacement for Bradley, if he gets fired? I think he'd be a great couch.

Posted by: robertrosales11 | June 28, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

This team advanced through shear force of will. That they were not mentally ready for the start of most games and had to claw back is a coaching error of the plainest order. The change to move ahead for Brazil 2014 will have to begin with a change in the coaching and the coaching approach. Aggressive enthusiasm has always suited America best in the sporting world and when there is a lack of aggression and enthusiasm wanes at the begining of each contest, the coach has not performed the task.

Posted by: myviewat60 | June 28, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Team America looked ineffective ALL game against Ghana. They just kicked the ball around then had it stripped every time it got near the Ghana goal. I want USA to win as much as the next guy but there was an obvious lack of skills shown today. Peace out.

Posted by: swingwing | June 28, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Until we in the US football following begin to expect more, we will never meet the level of quality of which we are capable. We are a better side than Ghana and Slovenia but we did not show it. We were ecstatic about a point from England (did you see how they fared in there other matches?) Lost opportunity after lost opportunity versus Algeria. It's time for US football to take the next step. We'll never see a draw to the semis like we had set before us this year. Opportunity lost. If we don't set our expectations higher, we'll never get there. While not a complete failure, round of 16 is a disappointment. We need to expect more. Only then will we get more.

Posted by: furious50 | June 28, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I think the team is actually weaker than 2006 and for that they deserve credit getting out of the preliminaries. A lot of credit goes to Bradley for engineering a good preliminary round campaign. Nonetheless, he deserves blame too for not learning enough lessons in the preliminaries and for "resting" players in the knock out phases. I'm not sure if its true but I heard a Bradley rationale for not starting Edu or others in the round of 16 was trying to get them a rest! Excuse me but this is the knock out phases of the world cup and 3 days of rest must do. Time to be big boys. You MUST start you best team or you risk using early subs just like Bradley did. As for not learning lessons in the preliminary round here are 2 don't play Clark and don't play Findley. Findley first--not skillful and not fast enough to win a foot race with world class defenders. Findley was a non-threat the entire WC and we would have been better served by Freddy Adu!! And yet, Bradley starts him in the knockout round where, no surprise, he was a non-threat. Clark--he made a enough high light reel mistakes in the preliminary round games to allow Steve Sampson to understand he should not start in the knockout phases. Yikes, Clark!! So Bradley can take the credit but he must also take some blame. This team was capable of going to the quarters and poor coaching choices made a difference....

Posted by: lovinliberty | June 28, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Piss Poor Planning Promotes Piss Poor Performance.
I was impressed by the strength of the team, but I was extremely disappointed by the weakness, tunnel vision and inflexability of the coaching. Coach Bradley insisted on remaining in a 4-4-2 set when the game against Slovenia showed that playing 4-3-3 placed the team into a stronger position to score goals. Two goals (three goals if the referee had not recinded the winning goal) in the second half should have shown him that.
The 4-4-2 is a defensive set played when you think that you are weaker than your opponent. You could argue that the match against England may have justified a defensive set. Slovenia and Algeria surely are not as talented as the English. Yet, here we were playing against them as if they were powerhouses. Americans know that good defenses win championships. Americans also know something else...a good offense makes the best defense. What good is holding a team scoreless or to one goal if you cannot score because the you only have 1-2 players attacking the opponents goal?
For some reason, in World Cup play, the teams strategy has been tenative. Maybe new tactics should be employed. "L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace." It worked for Fredrick the Great. What do we have to lose?

Posted by: Wizardsfaninexile | June 28, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

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