Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So what does it all mean?

USA Soccer with a 2-0 halftime lead. Brazil slaps them in the face in the second half to win 3-2, claiming the Confederations Cup Title.

Sort of like the Kobe Bryant led Lakers taking a 3-1 series (on Kobe's game 4 buzzer-beater) lead on the Steve Nash led Suns in the 2006 NBA Playoffs. Suns come back to win the final three games by an average of 18.7 ppg, and scoring an average of 120.3 ppg. That was pretty much Kobe Bryant (and nobody else) versus the best offense of this decade.

It is without doubt Brazil has the better everything. So what did the USA performance in this tournament show the world? Like the Kobe Lakers of 2006, USA made a statement saying that they have a capable team, who is able to compete with the world's best. In 2006 Kobe showed he is capable of scoring in prolific numbers, which can elevate his team to another level. USA Soccer needs to maintain their worldclass play for an entire match and tournament, not just a half.

The other night on Pardon-the-Interruption Bob Ryan questioned America's sense of entitlement in sporting events. That the general feeling surrounding the matches outcome, was of dissappointment, as if USA was supposed to win just because they led after 45 minutes. He went on to say that this wasn't as much of a choke job, as it was Brazil simply being the superior squad.

I am in 100% agreement with this. It really cannot be a choke if you are the inferior team. The point being is that in a match of this sort, Brazil v. USA on the World's Stage (the site of 2010 World Cup), you cannot judge a performance solely based on the first 45 minutes of play.

Brazil deserves the credit for winning, but do not discount this USA team any longer. By defeating Spain, and nearly Brazil, the world is on notice that USA Soccer cannot be walked over or looked past on the pitch.

Now, only if anybody in this country actually cared.

- Aaron

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