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Failure? Christ we discovered Yedlin and Johnson, now know Besler, Omar, Cameron, and Brooks are capable CBs, now know better what Bradley really is (I'll be stunned if he doesn't grade out the best of any US player in FIFA's technical report they put out after the Cup), and know Green is really a tantalizing prospect on the left. Probably most importantly, we also know we have a coach that can identify skills in young players that will be advantageous in a WC setting.

These 4 games have left the entire national team setup in a much better position than a month ago. If that's "failure", so be it, but Klinsmann planted the seeds of a truly exciting next 4 years. The team hasn't had this much talent since 2002 and maybe forever.

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How will the Olympics feed into the National team? The Olympics is only U23, correct? Will any of those guys have a shot at the 2018 WC roster?

Olympics are U23 but allowed 3 overage players.

It will depend on the schedule. With Copa America 2016 being in the summer, that will obviously take precedence over the Olympics for all players. So the Olympic team might not have Yedlin, Green etc, available.

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If you take this world cup at face value what exactly was accomplished?

It seems like most of the major contribution came from older players that will never be seen again. (Green, exception).

Also you could make a decent argument that from 1 minute in on ghana they never really had any momentum. Their main success this world cup was that Portugal took it in the ### versus Germany. If that doesn't happen wasn't this whole thing a failure?

The rest of the time it was just Howard and a good backline holding up against relentless pressure.

Not sure if this is fishing, but I couldn't disagree any more.

Yedlin isn't an older player. Fabian Johnson isn't an older player. Michael Bradley isn't an older player.

And there was very little about this run that was a failure. Not all teams play possession football. Playing defensively and looking for isolated counter attacks is very much a viable and winning strategy and best suited for our personnel. Also, there wasn't relentless pressure. In fact, US actually had more possession yesterday (53% vs. 47%) and similarly very even against Portugal (48% vs. 52%).

FIFA rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt, but:

Germany ranked #2 in the world. We lost 1-0.

Portugal ranked #4 in the world. We tied 2-2 (and had the win but for the last moment goal in a ridiculous 5 minutes of added time)

Belgium ranked #11 in the world. We brought it to extra time tied 0-0. We lost 2-1 and had 2 very real chances to outright win the game or tie it.

To call that accomplishment while losing arguable our most important player (in the sense that he had no true backup) a failure is just flat out off, IMO.

Seriously. Go find an England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, or Sweden board and ask that question.

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In some ways, it's hard to know how far we progressed. We didn't have a game against Slovenia in this World Cup. I'd like to think if we had, we would have taken it to them.

We spent roughly three minutes against Ghana in a tie game. It's almost impossible to know how we would have done with both teams trying to find the answer. The game state limited our ability to accurately assess the performance.

The Germany game was always going to be cagey. We were playing to eliminate the nightmare scenario instead of pushing for the best scenario.

So I think the Portugal and Belgium games are the games that give us the best information. But even those games were affected by game state. We gave up an early goal against Portugal and played our best soccer chasing that game (at least until we chased the game in extra time against Belgium).

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If you take this world cup at face value what exactly was accomplished?

It seems like most of the major contribution came from older players that will never be seen again. (Green, exception).

Also you could make a decent argument that from 1 minute in on ghana they never really had any momentum. Their main success this world cup was that Portugal took it in the ### versus Germany. If that doesn't happen wasn't this whole thing a failure?

The rest of the time it was just Howard and a good backline holding up against relentless pressure.

Not sure if this is fishing, but I couldn't disagree any more.

Yedlin isn't an older player. Fabian Johnson isn't an older player. Michael Bradley isn't an older player.

And there was very little about this run that was a failure. Not all teams play possession football. Playing defensively and looking for isolated counter attacks is very much a viable and winning strategy and best suited for our personnel. Also, there wasn't relentless pressure. In fact, US actually had more possession yesterday (53% vs. 47%) and similarly very even against Portugal (48% vs. 52%).

FIFA rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt, but:

Germany ranked #2 in the world. We lost 1-0.

Portugal ranked #4 in the world. We tied 2-2 (and had the win but for the last moment goal in a ridiculous 5 minutes of added time)

Belgium ranked #11 in the world. We brought it to extra time tied 0-0. We lost 2-1 and had 2 very real chances to outright win the game or tie it.

To call that accomplishment while losing arguable our most important player (in the sense that he had no true backup) a failure is just flat out off, IMO.

Seriously. Go find an England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, or Sweden board and ask that question.

Fine. The what-if game is probably not fair, but it felt like Germany could have smoked us 5-0 if they had better weather and motivation to do so.

Yesterday felt like it could have been a 3-0 bloodbath as well if not for Howard's beast game.

I realize there is always perspective to be found looking at other disappointments. And it's not like this thing was going to be anything but trucked by Arg.

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How will the Olympics feed into the National team? The Olympics is only U23, correct? Will any of those guys have a shot at the 2018 WC roster?

Olympics are U23 but allowed 3 overage players.

It will depend on the schedule. With Copa America 2016 being in the summer, that will obviously take precedence over the Olympics for all players. So the Olympic team might not have Yedlin, Green etc, available.

Gotcha. Guess another question would be, are we going to qualify for the Olympics this year? Sounds like it may not be taken too seriously if we're going to be focusing on Copa America.

Still trying to learn more of the game outside of the WC

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How will the Olympics feed into the National team? The Olympics is only U23, correct? Will any of those guys have a shot at the 2018 WC roster?

Olympics are U23 but allowed 3 overage players.

It will depend on the schedule. With Copa America 2016 being in the summer, that will obviously take precedence over the Olympics for all players. So the Olympic team might not have Yedlin, Green etc, available.

Gotcha. Guess another question would be, are we going to qualify for the Olympics this year? Sounds like it may not be taken too seriously if we're going to be focusing on Copa America.

Still trying to learn more of the game outside of the WC

Qualifying for the Olympics should not conflict with the Copa. It is typically held early in the year of the Olympics (so late winter early spring in 2016).

Qualification for Olympics is not like qualifying for WC. Olympic qualifying is a single tournament format, which means one bad game at the wrong time and you could be out.

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If you take this world cup at face value what exactly was accomplished?

It seems like most of the major contribution came from older players that will never be seen again. (Green, exception).

Also you could make a decent argument that from 1 minute in on ghana they never really had any momentum. Their main success this world cup was that Portugal took it in the ### versus Germany. If that doesn't happen wasn't this whole thing a failure?

The rest of the time it was just Howard and a good backline holding up against relentless pressure.

Not sure if this is fishing, but I couldn't disagree any more.

Yedlin isn't an older player. Fabian Johnson isn't an older player. Michael Bradley isn't an older player.

And there was very little about this run that was a failure. Not all teams play possession football. Playing defensively and looking for isolated counter attacks is very much a viable and winning strategy and best suited for our personnel. Also, there wasn't relentless pressure. In fact, US actually had more possession yesterday (53% vs. 47%) and similarly very even against Portugal (48% vs. 52%).

FIFA rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt, but:

Germany ranked #2 in the world. We lost 1-0.

Portugal ranked #4 in the world. We tied 2-2 (and had the win but for the last moment goal in a ridiculous 5 minutes of added time)

Belgium ranked #11 in the world. We brought it to extra time tied 0-0. We lost 2-1 and had 2 very real chances to outright win the game or tie it.

To call that accomplishment while losing arguable our most important player (in the sense that he had no true backup) a failure is just flat out off, IMO.

Seriously. Go find an England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, or Sweden board and ask that question.

Fine. The what-if game is probably not fair, but it felt like Germany could have smoked us 5-0 if they had better weather and motivation to do so.

Yesterday felt like it could have been a 3-0 bloodbath as well if not for Howard's beast game.

I realize there is always perspective to be found looking at other disappointments. And it's not like this thing was going to be anything but trucked by Arg.

The what if game works both ways. What if our only big target striker doesn't get hurt? Every game we watched in this tournament looks way different if Dempsey is playing in his preferred position and we have a big forward who can roughhouse with the CBs and hold up play. That dictated our style of play more than anything else IMO. What if Wondo makes that easy chip in the 87th minute and the ref calls it correctly? We're in the quarters right now. What if the US had held onto Portugal for 30 more seconds? Then they aren't focused on just keeping the Germany game low-scoring and maybe they open up the attack a bit.

I just don't understand the idea that the US should be disappointed with this outcome. Did we park the bus defensively more than we hoped? Yes, but it worked. We were 30 seconds away from beating 2 teams(who were better than us on paper) in the "Group of Death", and a Wondo missed chip shot away from making the quarters. Given the path we had to take, I'd call it a major accomplishment. Are we as skilled of a team as the big Euro or Comnebol squads? No. But I doubt any nation's fans would say that their teams have more grit than our team after this Cup and that makes me proud to be an American right now. Plus, if our young guys develop the way we hope they will, in 4-8 years we have a chance to be as talented as almost any team in the world. There's much to be excited for as an American futbol fan.

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it felt like Germany could have smoked us 5-0 if they had better weather and motivation to do so.

Except here's the thing... the US virtually NEVER loses badly. Belgium did them 4-2 in a game that wasn't that close last year, Poland and the Czech Republic put 3-0 and 3-1 on them in recent World Cups.

But those stand out. We've played a lot of good teams in the last decade and the beat downs just never materialize. Even when the team isn't as good as this one they're always competitive somehow.

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To call that accomplishment while losing arguable our most important player (in the sense that he had no true backup) a failure is just flat out off, IMO.

Seriously. Go find an England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, or Sweden board and ask that question.

While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

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Fine. The what-if game is probably not fair, but it felt like Germany could have smoked us 5-0 if they had better weather and motivation to do so.

Just curious, but why do you think this?

It seems really revisionist. Germany was attacking all-out during the game. During the game the story was all "holy ####, I guess Germany isn't playing for the draw, they want to destroy Klinsmann!" But now that the game is over and the score was only 1-0 people are acting like it must have been low scoring because Germany wasn't trying. It's like they totally forgot that they watched the game. Germany was playing for a 5-0 win, they just didn't get it.

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To call that accomplishment while losing arguable our most important player (in the sense that he had no true backup) a failure is just flat out off, IMO.

Seriously. Go find an England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, or Sweden board and ask that question.

While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

The every 4 years viewer obviously don't follow the sport in any depth and probably don't have a good feel for what happened over the 70 games the US played during the cycle.

So sure, they can look at scoreboard and think what they want. No different than someone who does not follow college hoop and makes his opinion based on 1 or 2 games in the NCAA tournament.

It does not make it an informed opinion, but it is an opinion none the less.

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In some ways, it's hard to know how far we progressed. We didn't have a game against Slovenia in this World Cup. I'd like to think if we had, we would have taken it to them.

We spent roughly three minutes against Ghana in a tie game. It's almost impossible to know how we would have done with both teams trying to find the answer. The game state limited our ability to accurately assess the performance.

The Germany game was always going to be cagey. We were playing to eliminate the nightmare scenario instead of pushing for the best scenario.

So I think the Portugal and Belgium games are the games that give us the best information. But even those games were affected by game state. We gave up an early goal against Portugal and played our best soccer chasing that game (at least until we chased the game in extra time against Belgium).

:goodposting:

Everything has to be considered in the context of matchups and in-game situations. In the words of former Millwall midfielder Mike Tyson "Everyone has a plan 'til they get punched in the mouth".

MNTs play so few meaningful games that it's natural to overreact to everything that happens. 3-7 games is a ridiculously small sample size for both the winners and losers especially when 89 minutes of excellence can effectively be cancelled out by a moment of individual brilliance from an opponent.

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We are here to help the casual fans become informed. And in the FFA we have the greatest collection of nuanced, intelligent and open-minded students ever gathered in the history of message boards.

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Is Landon Donovan going to be on the 2018 team?

No. He is 32 now.

His future is in television. God help us all.

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Is Landon Donovan going to be on the 2018 team?

No. He is 32 now.

His future is in television. God help us all.

Landon and Gus paired in the booth could be epic.

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Is Landon Donovan going to be on the 2018 team?

No. He is 32 now.

His future is in television. God help us all.

Landon and Gus paired in the booth could be epic.

I kind of like Taylor myself, he gives off that Jesse Palmer feel.

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While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

The every 4 years viewer obviously don't follow the sport in any depth and probably don't have a good feel for what happened over the 70 games the US played during the cycle.

So sure, they can look at scoreboard and think what they want. No different than someone who does not follow college hoop and makes his opinion based on 1 or 2 games in the NCAA tournament.

It does not make it an informed opinion, but it is an opinion none the less.

Agreed.

A common theme among a lot of the radio sports guys I've been listening to the past month has been "Will this USNT be the one that breaks soccer wide-open in the U.S., to challenge football, basketball, baseball, etc. in the American sports consciousness?"

As the years have passed from 1990 (first USNT qualification in 40 years) forward to today, I think the general American sports public has been looking over every four years to see if the US team are "winners" yet. 2002, getting into the quarters ... that was nice. That perked people up for a while (and led to some "calm down, soccer still isn't big here" backlash from Jim Rome types).

Getting back to that 2014 rendition of "will this USNT be the one?" ... I'm starting to think the American soccer watershed won't ever happen until the U.S. at least makes a WC final. Maybe even has to win it. I read this thread, and see a lot of satisfaction ... almost a sense of "What more could a US team ever hope to accomplish -- now or in the future?"

Once a team can get out of the group stage a few times in a row ... isn't it natural for the collective gamut of USNT fans to want more? And further -- to withhold acclaim until more is concretely accomplished?

Anyway. That's where I think the feeling of failure come from.

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Provocative article here. Please comment:

Thank you, Jurgen. And good bye. Time to Move on from the Sterile Klinsmann Interlude.

By Paul Gardner

Buried under the tumult and clamor of the USA's performance against Belgium -- most of it focused on goalkeeper Tim Howard’s remarkable performance -- are some uncomfortable truths for the American game.

The fact that Howard had a great game should surprise no one. The USA has always had good goalkeepers. Beyond that record-setting stat of 16 saves, questions bristle. A record number of saves must also mean something like a record number of shots by the opposing team. Fact. As the BBC’s Ben Smith put it, Howard’s “teammates were simply outclassed.”

Stats that show a goalkeeper as your MVP are great for the goalkeeper. But they invariably mean that you’re not that good a team. The USA, by now, should be well past the stage of relying on good goalkeeping. Evidently it is not -- to the point of setting a World Cup record for keeper-dependence.

We can probe further. Jurgen Klinsmann’s team has departed this World Cup at the round-of-16 stage. Is that to be considered a triumph, or even an achievement? This is exactly what Bob Bradley’s team did last time around, in 2010. Come to that, Bruce Arena’s 2002 team got to the quarterfinals. So where is the progress?

Possibly, it is to be found in the quality of the USA’s play. If the USA, under Klinsmann, has developed a style, if it can be seen to be playing consistently skillful, attacking soccer that would certainly be a huge plus. I don’t want to spend much time on this matter, because I regard it as patently obvious that the USA, under Klinsmann, has made no advance at all in either the caliber or the style of its play.

In fact, Klinsmann has led U.S. soccer astray. His insistence on ignoring young American talent while he brings in primarily German players with little or no connection to the USA, his preference for Germans on his coaching staff, have moved American soccer away from the much richer ethnic diversity that is the country’s natural talent base. Are we supposed to believe this statement of Klinsmann’s? -- "We are doing everything we can in every corner of the country to find the talent.” So he brings in players from Germany, from Iceland, from Norway -- areas not hitherto known as corners of the USA.

Only one outcome can justify this gross distortion of American soccer -- in particular, the youth development area. That would be success. Clear, unarguable, success.

Well, the results are in, and they are poor. We shall have to wait a while longer, I suppose, for all the overwrought emotional posturing to die down. I’m referring to the USA’s terrific comeback at the end of the Belgium game. Praise indeed to the players -- but is there anything new here? Did Klinsmann invent the tremendous competitiveness of American athletes, their abiding desire to come through as winners?

That spirit has nothing to do with Klinsmann. It can be taken as a given in any American team, particularly when the U.S. flag is involved. Tiresome is not too strong a word to use when the praise starts pouring in about the great American fighting spirit. Not because that spirit does not exist, but because it is so heavily overemphasized. Are we to believe that the Germans don’t want to win? That the Argentines have no fighting spirit?

The Italians, the Spanish, the Uruguayans . . . all lacking cojones?

And what about the Costa Ricans? Their remarkable performance in this World Cup -- better by far, be it noted, than the USA’s -- puts everything that Klinsmann has been doing to shame.

We can start with this: Costa Rica, population approx 4.5 million. USA, population approx 317 million. In terms of the number of potential soccer players, in terms of the money and resources poured into youth development, it’s no contest. Then there’s the coach -- the USA’s foreign celebrity version flying his helicopter, using his dubious gurus, raking in headlines with his undoubted charisma; and for Costa Rica we can offer you Jorge Luis Pinto (also a foreigner, he’s Colombian not Costa Rican) with a successful but not spectacular 30-year coaching career.

Pinto, with fewer players, less money, less resources, has done what Klinsmann has utterly failed to do -- he has produced a team of Costa Ricans, 14 of them playing for foreign clubs (not major clubs -- and there are no German-Costa Ricans on this side) that has played attractive, coherent, intelligent soccer. Watching the USA, one is often left wondering whether Klinsmann has even tried to do this.

I think you can argue that appointing Klinsmann -- a top world coach with considerable World Cup experience -- was worth a try. But he has comprehensively failed to deliver. This is a good moment to underline that the Belgium game -- the center of all the current shouting -- was a loss. Of its four games in the World Cup, the USA won only one. That is not success or progress. Klilnsmann should be dumped.

His replacement? Must be an American. Must be someone who is going to give the Hispanic players a fair shake (something Klinsmann badly failed to do). The obvious candidate here is Tab Ramos. Too young? Possibly. But a risk worth taking, I think, to put right the distortions that Klinsmann has so damagingly installed. Ramos has experience, he has shown, with the under-20s, that he has an eye for talent and he is admired for the high degree of professionalism that he applies to his coaching duties.

The time to make to change is right now. If ever that hackneyed phrase “we’ve decided to go in a new direction” truly applied, this is one such moment. The Klinsmann bandwagon is getting us nowhere.

Edited by otello

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While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

The every 4 years viewer obviously don't follow the sport in any depth and probably don't have a good feel for what happened over the 70 games the US played during the cycle.

So sure, they can look at scoreboard and think what they want. No different than someone who does not follow college hoop and makes his opinion based on 1 or 2 games in the NCAA tournament.

It does not make it an informed opinion, but it is an opinion none the less.

Agreed.

A common theme among a lot of the radio sports guys I've been listening to the past month has been "Will this USNT be the one that breaks soccer wide-open in the U.S., to challenge football, basketball, baseball, etc. in the American sports consciousness?"

As the years have passed from 1990 (first USNT qualification in 40 years) forward to today, I think the general American sports public has been looking over every four years to see if the US team are "winners" yet. 2002, getting into the quarters ... that was nice. That perked people up for a while (and led to some "calm down, soccer still isn't big here" backlash from Jim Rome types).

Getting back to that 2014 rendition of "will this USNT be the one?" ... I'm starting to think the American soccer watershed won't ever happen until the U.S. at least makes a WC final. Maybe even has to win it. I read this thread, and see a lot of satisfaction ... almost a sense of "What more could a US team ever hope to accomplish -- now or in the future?"

Once a team can get out of the group stage a few times in a row ... isn't it natural for the collective gamut of USNT fans to want more? And further -- to withhold acclaim until more is concretely accomplished?

Anyway. That's where I think the feeling of failure come from.

I agree. We have talked about this in other posts.

The sport continues to grow at a nice pace in the country in all facets. Every 4 years we get a burst of excitement, which brings in new fans and the cycle starts all over, with a bigger base to build from.

All I think anyone who likes soccer has to be concerned with is that soccer, (specifically talking about outside of the WC), is significantly more popular today in the US than it was 8 years ago and it will be more popular 8 years from now.

The success story of MLS, the continued large ratings for Liga MX, the strong foothold EPL has found in the country, the increased awareness of USMNT games (qualifiers, Gold Cup etc) are all indications that the sport is primed to continue growing in the country.

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If we had even 1 eligible Hispanic player to undoubtedly deserved to make the team and didn't, I might agree with that article. But as of June 2014, that player did not exist.

Things could change in the next 2-4 years, but the idea that Klimsman should be dumped because Michael Orozco Fiscal (garbage) or Jose Torres (not all that great) wasn't on the roster is absurd.

Agudelo- Great talent but not consistent and suffered from an unstable club situation

Gil- Not quite ready. Should be there soon

Castillo- pretty much garbage

Corona- some potential but hardly a difference maker

Gomez- over the hill

Feilhaber- meh

Beltran- meh

The german guys who made the roster (and I still think its totally disrespectful to say they're not "real" americans. They're the sons of our soldiers) are all clearly better than this group at this point.

Edited by TLEF316
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I could be mixing and matching my old-school soccer curmudgeons, but isn't this pretty much Gardner's schtick after every World Cup? If only those terrible US coaches would get out of the way Messi and Ronaldo could win us the Cup playing the beautiful game?

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Provocative article here. Please comment:

Thank you, Jurgen. And good bye. Time to Move on from the Sterile Klinsmann Interlude.

By Paul Gardner

I stopped reading when I saw the author.

He has been writing the same article since 1988. He just changes the names. He is considered to be basically a joke by many long time fans at this point.

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Kind of an incoherent article to the extent that its comparing Klinsmann to Costa Rica. Costa Rica has probably been the most conservative team in the tournament. They've relied on their keeper (the excellent Keylor Navas) more than anyone in the tournament. They've attacked with fewer numbers than anyone in the tournament.

There are things I really like about Costa Rica. I like the 3-5-2/5-3-2. No team is better drilled on playing the high line and getting an offside call. No team has used a hold-up striker more effectively. But this is a team who just has never faced a team that wanted to attack it like Belgium. They've scored more than one goal in 1 game so far this tourney.

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Getting back to that 2014 rendition of "will this USNT be the one?" ... I'm starting to think the American soccer watershed won't ever happen until the U.S. at least makes a WC final. Maybe even has to win it. I read this thread, and see a lot of satisfaction ... almost a sense of "What more could a US team ever hope to accomplish -- now or in the future?"

I think looking for a watershed moment is the wrong way to do it. Heck, I think we'll look back and it has already happened. There won't be some great specific moment. It will be gradual and painstaking but it will continue to grow. To what heights? I don't think anybody knows.

Maybe it is just my own experience but the growth between 2006 and 2014 has been staggering. Of course it starts with just the every 4 year guys but if you put more and more compelling games on TV, they'll watch. I imagine the Confed cup against Spain/Brazil had some of the highest rated games until that point. And now, the country essentially comes to a standstill for group stage games.

I have no doubt the game will continue to grow in all facets but the immediate future will probably be dominated by every 4 year guys. But if you can draw them in for the Gold Cup, the Confed Cup, and give a decent showing in Copa America, then I think US games as a whole will become a spectacle.

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While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

The every 4 years viewer obviously don't follow the sport in any depth and probably don't have a good feel for what happened over the 70 games the US played during the cycle.

So sure, they can look at scoreboard and think what they want. No different than someone who does not follow college hoop and makes his opinion based on 1 or 2 games in the NCAA tournament.

It does not make it an informed opinion, but it is an opinion none the less.

Agreed.

A common theme among a lot of the radio sports guys I've been listening to the past month has been "Will this USNT be the one that breaks soccer wide-open in the U.S., to challenge football, basketball, baseball, etc. in the American sports consciousness?"

As the years have passed from 1990 (first USNT qualification in 40 years) forward to today, I think the general American sports public has been looking over every four years to see if the US team are "winners" yet. 2002, getting into the quarters ... that was nice. That perked people up for a while (and led to some "calm down, soccer still isn't big here" backlash from Jim Rome types).

Getting back to that 2014 rendition of "will this USNT be the one?" ... I'm starting to think the American soccer watershed won't ever happen until the U.S. at least makes a WC final. Maybe even has to win it. I read this thread, and see a lot of satisfaction ... almost a sense of "What more could a US team ever hope to accomplish -- now or in the future?"

Once a team can get out of the group stage a few times in a row ... isn't it natural for the collective gamut of USNT fans to want more? And further -- to withhold acclaim until more is concretely accomplished?

Anyway. That's where I think the feeling of failure come from.

I agree. We have talked about this in other posts.

The sport continues to grow at a nice pace in the country in all facets. Every 4 years we get a burst of excitement, which brings in new fans and the cycle starts all over, with a bigger base to build from.

All I think anyone who likes soccer has to be concerned with is that soccer, (specifically talking about outside of the WC), is significantly more popular today in the US than it was 8 years ago and it will be more popular 8 years from now.

The success story of MLS, the continued large ratings for Liga MX, the strong foothold EPL has found in the country, the increased awareness of USMNT games (qualifiers, Gold Cup etc) are all indications that the sport is primed to continue growing in the country.

I saw a chart that showed USA World Cup ratings have risen steadily since 1990. Once the U.S. team is considered a challenger, if not really a contender, every World Cup then interest will grow. We're just about there.

I don't think it will become one of the big 3 sports but it could rival hockey in popularity.

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I stopped reading when I saw the author.

He has been writing the same article since 1988. He just changes the names. He is considered to be basically a joke by many long time fans at this point.

I know nothing of Paul Gardner ... what are his soccer bona fides? Or is he a general sports commentator?

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If we had even 1 eligible Hispanic player to undoubtedly deserved to make the team and didn't, I might agree with that article. But as of June 2014, that player did not exist.

Things could change in the next 2-4 years, but the idea that Klimsman should be dumped because Michael Orozco Fiscal (garbage) or Jose Torres (not all that great) wasn't on the roster is absurd.

Agudelo- Great talent but not consistent and suffered from an unstable club situation

Gil- Not quite ready. Should be there soon

Castillo- pretty much garbage

Corona- some potential but hardly a difference maker

Gomez- over the hill

Feilhaber- meh

Beltran- meh

The german guys who made the roster (and I still think its totally disrespectful to say they're not "real" americans. They're the sons of our soldiers) are all clearly better than this group at this point.

The only one before the tournament I would have considered was Greg Garza because I did not believe DMB would play as well as he did but JK was correct in his choice.

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I stopped reading when I saw the author.

He has been writing the same article since 1988. He just changes the names. He is considered to be basically a joke by many long time fans at this point.

I know nothing of Paul Gardner ... what are his soccer bona fides? Or is he a general sports commentator?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Gardner_%28journalist%29

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Speaking of Paul Gardner... what ever happened to the Treckers? Jerry and Jamie or something like that? They were usually good for an article like this one too.

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While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

The every 4 years viewer obviously don't follow the sport in any depth and probably don't have a good feel for what happened over the 70 games the US played during the cycle.

So sure, they can look at scoreboard and think what they want. No different than someone who does not follow college hoop and makes his opinion based on 1 or 2 games in the NCAA tournament.

It does not make it an informed opinion, but it is an opinion none the less.

Agreed.

A common theme among a lot of the radio sports guys I've been listening to the past month has been "Will this USNT be the one that breaks soccer wide-open in the U.S., to challenge football, basketball, baseball, etc. in the American sports consciousness?"

As the years have passed from 1990 (first USNT qualification in 40 years) forward to today, I think the general American sports public has been looking over every four years to see if the US team are "winners" yet. 2002, getting into the quarters ... that was nice. That perked people up for a while (and led to some "calm down, soccer still isn't big here" backlash from Jim Rome types).

Getting back to that 2014 rendition of "will this USNT be the one?" ... I'm starting to think the American soccer watershed won't ever happen until the U.S. at least makes a WC final. Maybe even has to win it. I read this thread, and see a lot of satisfaction ... almost a sense of "What more could a US team ever hope to accomplish -- now or in the future?"

Once a team can get out of the group stage a few times in a row ... isn't it natural for the collective gamut of USNT fans to want more? And further -- to withhold acclaim until more is concretely accomplished?

Anyway. That's where I think the feeling of failure come from.

I agree. We have talked about this in other posts.

The sport continues to grow at a nice pace in the country in all facets. Every 4 years we get a burst of excitement, which brings in new fans and the cycle starts all over, with a bigger base to build from.

All I think anyone who likes soccer has to be concerned with is that soccer, (specifically talking about outside of the WC), is significantly more popular today in the US than it was 8 years ago and it will be more popular 8 years from now.

The success story of MLS, the continued large ratings for Liga MX, the strong foothold EPL has found in the country, the increased awareness of USMNT games (qualifiers, Gold Cup etc) are all indications that the sport is primed to continue growing in the country.

I saw a chart that showed USA World Cup ratings have risen steadily since 1990. Once the U.S. team is considered a challenger, if not really a contender, every World Cup then interest will grow. We're just about there.

I don't think it will become one of the big 3 sports but it could rival hockey in popularity.

Hockey might already be in the rear view mirror. A weekday afternoon game yesterday doubled up on the ratings of the NHL finals.

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While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

The every 4 years viewer obviously don't follow the sport in any depth and probably don't have a good feel for what happened over the 70 games the US played during the cycle.

So sure, they can look at scoreboard and think what they want. No different than someone who does not follow college hoop and makes his opinion based on 1 or 2 games in the NCAA tournament.

It does not make it an informed opinion, but it is an opinion none the less.

Agreed.

A common theme among a lot of the radio sports guys I've been listening to the past month has been "Will this USNT be the one that breaks soccer wide-open in the U.S., to challenge football, basketball, baseball, etc. in the American sports consciousness?"

As the years have passed from 1990 (first USNT qualification in 40 years) forward to today, I think the general American sports public has been looking over every four years to see if the US team are "winners" yet. 2002, getting into the quarters ... that was nice. That perked people up for a while (and led to some "calm down, soccer still isn't big here" backlash from Jim Rome types).

Getting back to that 2014 rendition of "will this USNT be the one?" ... I'm starting to think the American soccer watershed won't ever happen until the U.S. at least makes a WC final. Maybe even has to win it. I read this thread, and see a lot of satisfaction ... almost a sense of "What more could a US team ever hope to accomplish -- now or in the future?"

Once a team can get out of the group stage a few times in a row ... isn't it natural for the collective gamut of USNT fans to want more? And further -- to withhold acclaim until more is concretely accomplished?

Anyway. That's where I think the feeling of failure come from.

I agree. We have talked about this in other posts.

The sport continues to grow at a nice pace in the country in all facets. Every 4 years we get a burst of excitement, which brings in new fans and the cycle starts all over, with a bigger base to build from.

All I think anyone who likes soccer has to be concerned with is that soccer, (specifically talking about outside of the WC), is significantly more popular today in the US than it was 8 years ago and it will be more popular 8 years from now.

The success story of MLS, the continued large ratings for Liga MX, the strong foothold EPL has found in the country, the increased awareness of USMNT games (qualifiers, Gold Cup etc) are all indications that the sport is primed to continue growing in the country.

I saw a chart that showed USA World Cup ratings have risen steadily since 1990. Once the U.S. team is considered a challenger, if not really a contender, every World Cup then interest will grow. We're just about there.

I don't think it will become one of the big 3 sports but it could rival hockey in popularity.

I hate comparing because soccer is so splintered watching Liga MX, EPL, MLS, Serie A, La Liga etc.

MLS by itself will never catch the NHL in my lifetime.

But I think a real argument could already be made the soccer as whole is pretty close to hockey as a whole in the US. Hockey still is slightly ahead based on local ratings which are their bread and butter.

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I could be mixing and matching my old-school soccer curmudgeons, but isn't this pretty much Gardner's schtick after every World Cup? If only those terrible US coaches would get out of the way Messi and Ronaldo could win us the Cup playing the beautiful game?

It's been almost twenty years since Gardner wrote "The Simplest Game". As I recall, it was a pretty good generalist book but he was beating his drum for an American style of play even then. I think the game has become even more global since then. There's more mobility of players, coaches and tactics than there was in the mid-90s. I don't think national styles are as distinctive as they were then.

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Once the U.S. team is considered a challenger, if not really a contender, every World Cup then interest will grow.

Can the team ever become a true WC contender? The rest of the world caught up to the U.S. in basketball for a while (again, on the scoreboard, like at the 2004 Olympics).

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While completely true ... for a lot of casual fans, losing in the round of 16 = losing 5-0 three times in the group stage :shrug:

Few "every four years" fans care about how good the individual performances look to the knowledgable observers. It's first, second, third, and fourth about scoreboard.

The every 4 years viewer obviously don't follow the sport in any depth and probably don't have a good feel for what happened over the 70 games the US played during the cycle.

So sure, they can look at scoreboard and think what they want. No different than someone who does not follow college hoop and makes his opinion based on 1 or 2 games in the NCAA tournament.

It does not make it an informed opinion, but it is an opinion none the less.

Agreed.

A common theme among a lot of the radio sports guys I've been listening to the past month has been "Will this USNT be the one that breaks soccer wide-open in the U.S., to challenge football, basketball, baseball, etc. in the American sports consciousness?"

As the years have passed from 1990 (first USNT qualification in 40 years) forward to today, I think the general American sports public has been looking over every four years to see if the US team are "winners" yet. 2002, getting into the quarters ... that was nice. That perked people up for a while (and led to some "calm down, soccer still isn't big here" backlash from Jim Rome types).

Getting back to that 2014 rendition of "will this USNT be the one?" ... I'm starting to think the American soccer watershed won't ever happen until the U.S. at least makes a WC final. Maybe even has to win it. I read this thread, and see a lot of satisfaction ... almost a sense of "What more could a US team ever hope to accomplish -- now or in the future?"

Once a team can get out of the group stage a few times in a row ... isn't it natural for the collective gamut of USNT fans to want more? And further -- to withhold acclaim until more is concretely accomplished?

Anyway. That's where I think the feeling of failure come from.

I agree. We have talked about this in other posts.

The sport continues to grow at a nice pace in the country in all facets. Every 4 years we get a burst of excitement, which brings in new fans and the cycle starts all over, with a bigger base to build from.

All I think anyone who likes soccer has to be concerned with is that soccer, (specifically talking about outside of the WC), is significantly more popular today in the US than it was 8 years ago and it will be more popular 8 years from now.

The success story of MLS, the continued large ratings for Liga MX, the strong foothold EPL has found in the country, the increased awareness of USMNT games (qualifiers, Gold Cup etc) are all indications that the sport is primed to continue growing in the country.

I saw a chart that showed USA World Cup ratings have risen steadily since 1990. Once the U.S. team is considered a challenger, if not really a contender, every World Cup then interest will grow. We're just about there.

I don't think it will become one of the big 3 sports but it could rival hockey in popularity.

Hockey might already be in the rear view mirror. A weekday afternoon game yesterday doubled up on the ratings of the NHL finals.

The 5 game NHL Stanley Cup finals drew 23.92 million viewers total (all 5 games added together) and I think those were all in prime time.

The US Portugal game by itself drew over 24 million and the US Germany game might beat even that.

I should add that using a US (or Mexican game for that matter) as a comparison is not really fair but many other WC games not featuring US or Mexico have drawn very well.

Heck even the Champions League final drew 3.1 million viewers and that could not have had less local relevance if it tried.

Edited by NewlyRetired

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Once the U.S. team is considered a challenger, if not really a contender, every World Cup then interest will grow.

Can the team ever become a true WC contender? The rest of the world caught up to the U.S. in basketball for a while (again, on the scoreboard, like at the 2004 Olympics).

If so, it's decades off IMO. 100% making the WC, 50% getting out of our group, and a Q-final run every four or five cycles is probably about maxed out right now.

When the US has 5-10 players who are clear-cut first-choice starters on Champions League teams we can start talking about putting a hot run together and winning it. But right now we realistically don't have the players.

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I was trying to find NBC's EPL ratings to compare to hockey's national broadcasts but gave up when the Google didn't show me an answer right away.

EPL games draw higher on NBCSN than NHL regular season does

NHL Playoffs draw higher than EPL

I run a TV Ratings thread on BS and this data is posted pretty frequently.

Liga MX gets better ratings than EPL does.

Edited by NewlyRetired

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