by G.D. Morrill
OK, I must inform you, our readers, that I knew we would win our quarterfinal game against Ecuador. Now, I know among you might be skeptics who might question my last statement because I might not have waxed as effusively as I might have regarding our fine eleven, however, I must be honest and tell you that I KNEW we would beat Ecuador and advance to the semi-finals!
What a game! Ecuador right now is the top team in the South American eliminations for the World Cup in 2018. They lead the field in SA. However, remember we beat them in a friendly leading up to the Copa. Albeit, without two of their best players, but don’t tell me that this wasn’t on their minds as they went down 2-0. Clint Dempsey, on a perfect pass from Jermaine Jones, placed a perfect header in the right corner, out of the reach of Ecuador’s goalie for goal number one.
In the second half, it appeared as though the Ecuadorians came out with a new determination and pressed their forwards and whole team forward, taking shot after shot. After a completely purposeful and cynical, BS foul by Valencia on Bedoya, Jermaine Jones, in defense of his teammate, pushed the Ecuadorian player and was given a direct red card, leaving both teams with ten players for the rest of the game. Bedoya would receive a yellow card in the second half and be lost to the USA for their semi final game.
With twenty minutes left in the game, Ecuador scored off of a set play on a corner kick when Michael Arroyo scored, making the game 2-1 USA. For the final twenty minutes it was the Ecuador side having chance after chance with the US playing great defense. Even though Ecuador had a number of good chances, the USA was up to the task and in the end, the USA was too good and won.
The South American pundits will find excuse after excuse to explain how the best teams of SA lost, and the USA is in the semi’s with another North American team, Mexico, and will continue to put down our soccer, except that now it’s scoreboard baby! Hard to proclaim your greatness when the USA has dismantled a couple of your best teams.
Say what you will, but the USA has proven to be a solid group of players, who play with grit and determination. Something about the American spirit should probably be said here, but we don’t want to go overboard and get ahead of ourselves. We’ve played well. We’ve played better than expected. However, it’s just time to build on our tournament success and continue to play like we can and let the world know that we are no longer their doormat.
Let’s go into the semi’s with a winning attitude and pride, and let the chips fall where they may. We have accomplished our goal, the rest is gravy.