This was an incredible week for U.S. Soccer. The stunning win against Spain on Wednesday gave our guys the right to take on Brazil in the Confederations Cup Final today.
For parts of the match the U.S. looked like the better team. Then Brazil reminded us all that they are Brazil. The South American Confederation Champs came from behind. They were down 2-0 at the half, and up 3-2 by the end. Even with the American lead, the Brazilian victory was probably expected.
What wasn't quite as expected was the way the Americans held their own for so long. We all learned today that at its best, the U.S. team can stay in it with the world's best teams. As individuals our players can go toe to toe with the best individual players in the game.
Landon Donovan blew by defenders at times. Jozy Altidore had the ball at his feet several times, in what looked like impossible positions with Brazilians right on him. Time after time he was able to shield the ball, keep possession, and eventually make an intelligent play to keep his team moving forward. On defense, there were several crucial tackles, and U.S players were able to take the ball off the feet of the likes of Kaka. On the right day, our guys are very, very good. This was almost the right day.
The World Cup starts next year on June 11th. Mark your calendars, and set the DVR because these young Americans are going to take us all on a ride. They could have a chance to advance very deep in the world's favorite sporting event. Just ask Spain, and now Brazil.
Maybe just under a year from now, we can once again say, this was an incredible week for U.S. Soccer.
We'll talk again soon.
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