Lesson Learned for USA Soccer at Copa America

By G.D.Morrill

Wow!  That was a rough one!  The USA wasn’t expected to win against Colombia tonight, but a soccer lesson?  That’s what we got.  Think of a pro team playing a college team, and that is what it was like.  Good teams can play badly.  Bad teams can play well.  But when you have a very mediocre team plays badly, against a world class team, Colombia, well the results are predictable.  Colombia 2, USA ZERO.

Yes, ZERO.  A soccer lesson.  Coach Jurgen Klinsman said that he couldn’t predict a win versus Colombia, but to be treated this badly on our own turf is embarrassing.  We weren’t expected to win and we lived down to expectations.  I have a love/hate relationship with US soccer.  We’ve come a long way from when I started watching the US play about thirty years ago, when we seemed to not have a clue.  Now, however, even though we play better, I’m always reminded of those days regularly when the USA plays.  We have surprised our fans on a regular basis, but tonight wasn’t one of those times.

Tonight was one of those days.  Colombia played their regular game of keep away and moved forward like a world class team needed to.  We were not good at moving forward. We were stop, start, stop, start.  No rhythm.  They seemed to have their men always open, and when we had the ball, no one seemed open.

Colombia scored on a set play off of a corner kick in the first few minutes of the game.  Later in the first half, our defender, German/American defender, Yedlin, committed a hand ball in the area and gave James Rodriguez, from Real Madrid, a penalty kick, which he easily converted.

All of the free balls went to Colombia.  Funny how the good teams seem to do that.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Better soccer skills, better positioning.  That’s how you win.  Our passing mostly went to them, while their passing was crisp and most of the time found its mark.

Our forwards, Dempsey, Woods, and Zardas, were denied the ball, so were ineffective up front.  Our midfielders Jermain Jones, Carlos Bedoya, and Michael Bradley continually gave the ball away and couldn’t move the offense forward.

We weren’t expected to win this game.  However, we are expected to beat Costa Rica, and at least tie Paraguay, and advance to the quarterfinals.  But, if they play like they did tonight, we couldn’t beat the little sisters of the poor.  So, we need to see which team shows up next game.

If we play like we played tonight, we will be out of the tournament after the second game.  Quite shameful for a country which hosts the tournament to be out so soon.  At that point, we’ll need to start to talk about a complete overhaul of the team, starting with the coach.

G.D. Morrill

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