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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).

but there is a difference.

The rest of the world was chasing one team in basketball.

The US is chasing maybe 8-10 top teams with 20 or so other countries all at an equivalent level as the US

I don't see the US being a true WC contender in my life time. BY that I mean that they would be listed as one of the favorites going into the tournament.

I am pretty sure they will make the semi finals before I kick but that is more due to the nature of a short form tournament than anything else

Edited by NewlyRetired

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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 6 game NHL Stanley Cup finals drew 23.92 million viewers total (all 6 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.

It was 5 games, but still:

Link to ratings

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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.

It was 5 games, but still:

Link to ratings

typing too fast :) I fixed my post, thanks for the catch

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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).

but there is a difference.

The rest of the world was chasing one team in basketball.

The US is chasing maybe 8-10 top teams with 20 or so other countries all at an equivalent level as the US

I don't see the US being a true WC contender in my life time. BY that I mean that they would be listed as one of the favorites going into the tournament.

I am pretty sure they will make the semi finals before I kick but that is more due to the nature of a short form tournament than anything else

I think that the US will have a "Golden Generation" within the next 20-25 years. I don't think that will make them a perennial contender or anything, but I could see the US coming into a World Cup as a fanciful dark horse pick the way Belgium and Colombia came into this one.

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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.

It was 5 games, but still:

Link to ratings

typing too fast :) I fixed my post, thanks for the catch

And to put it further into perspective, the opening game of the World Cup, played at noon on a weekday between two teams neither of which was the U.S., drew 10 million viewers, or about twice the number of an NHL finals game.

Have they figured out yet how to estimate the number of people watching in large crowds? Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty said that every bar in Cincy was jam packed for the group games.

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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.

It was 5 games, but still:

Link to ratings

typing too fast :) I fixed my post, thanks for the catch

And to put it further into perspective, the opening game of the World Cup, played at noon on a weekday between two teams neither of which was the U.S., drew 10 million viewers, or about twice the number of an NHL finals game.

Have they figured out yet how to estimate the number of people watching in large crowds? Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty said that every bar in Cincy was jam packed for the group games.

That is huge. Virtually every major city had large watch parties. If they wanted, I bet every major stadium could sell tickets and fill to watch.

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After last night, he might have to save my marriage.

:manhattans:

I would take a shot at that one, but I suck at photoshop.

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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).

but there is a difference.

The rest of the world was chasing one team in basketball.

The US is chasing maybe 8-10 top teams with 20 or so other countries all at an equivalent level as the US

I don't see the US being a true WC contender in my life time. BY that I mean that they would be listed as one of the favorites going into the tournament.

I am pretty sure they will make the semi finals before I kick but that is more due to the nature of a short form tournament than anything else

I think that the US will have a "Golden Generation" within the next 20-25 years. I don't think that will make them a perennial contender or anything, but I could see the US coming into a World Cup as a fanciful dark horse pick the way Belgium and Colombia came into this one.

The gap between the USMNT's current state and fanciful dark horse is pretty small. A couple of high profile players and/or encouraging pre-tournament performances would do this.

The gap between fanciful dark horse and perennial contender is much greater. To be a perennial contender, you obviously have to be a contender first. Even then, there are no guarantees. Ask Italy how great it is to be a perennial contender.

I hope it doesn't happen but I wonder what the national reaction would be to a flame out like in 1998. The expectations have risen but so has the understanding of the game and of the challenges this country faces. I'm not talking about how PTI and talk radio would respond but how the US Soccer establishment would react (or over-react).

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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).

but there is a difference.

The rest of the world was chasing one team in basketball.

The US is chasing maybe 8-10 top teams with 20 or so other countries all at an equivalent level as the US

I don't see the US being a true WC contender in my life time. BY that I mean that they would be listed as one of the favorites going into the tournament.

I am pretty sure they will make the semi finals before I kick but that is more due to the nature of a short form tournament than anything else

I think that the US will have a "Golden Generation" within the next 20-25 years. I don't think that will make them a perennial contender or anything, but I could see the US coming into a World Cup as a fanciful dark horse pick the way Belgium and Colombia came into this one.

The gap between the USMNT's current state and fanciful dark horse is pretty small. A couple of high profile players and/or encouraging pre-tournament performances would do this.

The gap between fanciful dark horse and perennial contender is much greater. To be a perennial contender, you obviously have to be a contender first. Even then, there are no guarantees. Ask Italy how great it is to be a perennial contender.

I hope it doesn't happen but I wonder what the national reaction would be to a flame out like in 1998. The expectations have risen but so has the understanding of the game and of the challenges this country faces. I'm not talking about how PTI and talk radio would respond but how the US Soccer establishment would react (or over-react).

Two comments:

1) Do you consider Belgium a fanciful dark horse? If so I think the gap between where they are now and where the US is pretty big. Their team is loaded with talent up and down the roster. They have guys on the bench who would be instant impact or even best players on the US squad IMO.

2) As for how the soccer establishment would react, I think it all depends on the group. Had we failed to advanced from this group with 1 point, I think many would have shrugged their shoulders and said it was kind of expected. Had we been in Belgiums group and got 0 points, I think it would have had a huge reaction. A lot of the expectations and fall out depend on the perceived quality of the group.

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I was really impressed with Yedlin yesterday and excited to see him moving forward.

This is the understatement of the year. He flat out killed it yesterday. I am very excited to see him mature over the next few years.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

Sue me.

When does Dodds put out his first VBD list?

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When England, Italy Spain and etc go home 4/6 times in the last two tournaments, it'll happen to us sooner or later. Anything can happen over 3-games.

Edited by wdcrob

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As a 10+ year coach of youth soccer, I applaud Klinsmann for searching out foreign players to play for Team USA. We need creativity, possession, and linkage in midfield and sadly, our youth program has not delivered.

The American style, which is encouraged and fostered in youth soccer, rewards big, strong, fast kids who can excel at "kick and chase" soccer. There is very little emphasis on technical skill, possession, movement off the ball, or creativity in early development because promoting those skills does not win at the U6-U12 levels, and winning is everything in USA youth soccer due to an overemphasis on games and tournaments. Practice is viewed by many as nothing more than preparation for games. Attempts to make kids proficient on both sides of the ball, understand flow, linkage, creating space, and keeping possession are often discarded in favor of positional awareness, shooting, set plays, and tactics. Emphasize the former, and parents and players get upset - It's just practice.

By the time these kids get to the U12 level, it's too late for them to catch up. Dempsey is somewhat the exception to this general rule, but our play in the WC demonstrated this lack of playmakers in midfield and attacking roles, which is why we have to go out and recruit guys like Green, Johansen, and Zelalem. The hispanic community offers promise, but there are few organized opportunities, outside of school soccer, for them to receive formal training as the cost of club soccer is a huge issue.

Fixing this problem requires a major overhaul of our youth system, and until you get buy in at the local level, I don't see how we will get away from kick and chase soccer without foreign-developed players.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

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).

i think sometime in the next 20 years we will be, but would also need a couple breaks like an easy group for us to win, and then a nice matchup in round of 16, and then for opportunities like wondo's to go in instead of missing to get us in the semi finals.

I sort of equate the usmnt to a mid major in college hoops. Good enough to shock some teams to get to sweet 16 and maybe beat one team with more talent but then too much talent to overcome to go any further.

There has to be some catalyst to get someone like a Michael Vick to play soccer instead of football. Don't know if the concussion issue in football will equate to this 20 years from now, but it might send enough talent into the soccer pool to get us over the hump to at least the semis.

Edited by bagger

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

USA aren't the cream here yet you expected then to rise to the top?

So if the USA won two group games and went out at the same point you'd okay with that?

Edited by The Gator

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

they are about the 16th best team in the world and got to the round of 16.

they also lost their 2nd best offensive player and advanced further than teams ranked ahead of them.

They got the most out of their talent, and were indeed close to getting to the quarter finals.

it's not about wins in pool play, it's about advancing out of the pool.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

Regarding the bolded, I am unsure how many more times we can provide the exact same information to you.

In 3 of the 4 games the US were severe underdogs.

In 1 of the 4 we were even strength (not unsurprisingly the game we won)

It appears like you are trying to act like people (or yourself) felt like the US was favored in these games. I don't get it.

Edited by NewlyRetired

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

they are about the 16th best team in the world and got to the round of 16.

they also lost their 2nd best offensive player and advanced further than teams ranked ahead of them.

They got the most out of their talent, and were indeed close to getting to the quarter finals.

it's not about wins in pool play, it's about advancing out of the pool.

They win 2 in pool play they advance. Correct? Is there a situation where this math does not work?

2 wins in pool and lose in Ro16 is > 1 win in pool play and out of R16

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

USA aren't the cream here yet you expected then to rise to the top?

So if the USA won two group games and went out at the same point you'd okay with that?

I am started to wonder if this is schtick. This should be pretty obvious.

It is like calling a 13th seed in the NCAA tournament a failure because they lost to a 3rd seed. It just makes so little sense to me.

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Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good.

This seems like a strawman to me. No one is saying they are "that good." Most people here are saying they aren't good enough to compete with the best teams at this point.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

they are about the 16th best team in the world and got to the round of 16.

they also lost their 2nd best offensive player and advanced further than teams ranked ahead of them.

They got the most out of their talent, and were indeed close to getting to the quarter finals.

it's not about wins in pool play, it's about advancing out of the pool.

They win 2 in pool play they advance. Correct? Is there a situation where this math does not work?

2 wins in pool and lose in Ro16 is > 1 win in pool play and out of R16

yes, you can win 2 games in pool play and not advance.

It has happened before (3 teams on 6 points, one team on 0 points, then tie breakers are used)

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I disagree with culdeus, but I do think that the last second equalizer with Portugal really changes the feeling of progression. 2 wins and 6pts out of the Group of Death, on its own, would probably be the equal of the 2002 QF run (where the group stage was a pretty hit or miss proposition).

Its a game of moments. Take away that goal and have Wondo convert and this is the first US team to win 3 games (I don't know about 1930). It's the best modern team in our history. And that's changing like five seconds. But it could work out the other way too.

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What is a contender?

Since 1994, the number of times a team has been out of the Group Stage (out of 6)

Brazil - 6

Germany - 6

Mexico - 6

Netherlands - 5

Argentina - 5

United States - 4

Italy - 4

Spain - 4

France - 3

Sweden - 3

Belgium - 3

Switzerland - 3

Nigeria - 3

Portugal - 2

(after 4, the list is not all-inclusive)

The United States is closer to being competitive than I think we give them credit for - they need a "golden-generation" of a few players to be be considered real contenders, but that could come as soon as this cycle. Italy, long considered a contender, now has gone two WCs not getting out of the group - curse of Rossi. Spain has only gotten past the Quarters, once. England - yes overrated, but has only reached the quarters since 1994.

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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).

but there is a difference.

The rest of the world was chasing one team in basketball.

The US is chasing maybe 8-10 top teams with 20 or so other countries all at an equivalent level as the US

I don't see the US being a true WC contender in my life time. BY that I mean that they would be listed as one of the favorites going into the tournament.

I am pretty sure they will make the semi finals before I kick but that is more due to the nature of a short form tournament than anything else

I think that the US will have a "Golden Generation" within the next 20-25 years. I don't think that will make them a perennial contender or anything, but I could see the US coming into a World Cup as a fanciful dark horse pick the way Belgium and Colombia came into this one.

The gap between the USMNT's current state and fanciful dark horse is pretty small. A couple of high profile players and/or encouraging pre-tournament performances would do this.

The gap between fanciful dark horse and perennial contender is much greater. To be a perennial contender, you obviously have to be a contender first. Even then, there are no guarantees. Ask Italy how great it is to be a perennial contender.

I hope it doesn't happen but I wonder what the national reaction would be to a flame out like in 1998. The expectations have risen but so has the understanding of the game and of the challenges this country faces. I'm not talking about how PTI and talk radio would respond but how the US Soccer establishment would react (or over-react).

Two comments:

1) Do you consider Belgium a fanciful dark horse? If so I think the gap between where they are now and where the US is pretty big. Their team is loaded with talent up and down the roster. They have guys on the bench who would be instant impact or even best players on the US squad IMO.

2) As for how the soccer establishment would react, I think it all depends on the group. Had we failed to advanced from this group with 1 point, I think many would have shrugged their shoulders and said it was kind of expected. Had we been in Belgiums group and got 0 points, I think it would have had a huge reaction. A lot of the expectations and fall out depend on the perceived quality of the group.

Fanciful dark horse was Scoob's term but I interpreted it as more about perceptions than expectations than what happens during the 90 minutes.

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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).

but there is a difference.

The rest of the world was chasing one team in basketball.

The US is chasing maybe 8-10 top teams with 20 or so other countries all at an equivalent level as the US

I don't see the US being a true WC contender in my life time. BY that I mean that they would be listed as one of the favorites going into the tournament.

I am pretty sure they will make the semi finals before I kick but that is more due to the nature of a short form tournament than anything else

I think that the US will have a "Golden Generation" within the next 20-25 years. I don't think that will make them a perennial contender or anything, but I could see the US coming into a World Cup as a fanciful dark horse pick the way Belgium and Colombia came into this one.

The gap between the USMNT's current state and fanciful dark horse is pretty small. A couple of high profile players and/or encouraging pre-tournament performances would do this.

The gap between fanciful dark horse and perennial contender is much greater. To be a perennial contender, you obviously have to be a contender first. Even then, there are no guarantees. Ask Italy how great it is to be a perennial contender.

I hope it doesn't happen but I wonder what the national reaction would be to a flame out like in 1998. The expectations have risen but so has the understanding of the game and of the challenges this country faces. I'm not talking about how PTI and talk radio would respond but how the US Soccer establishment would react (or over-react).

Two comments:

1) Do you consider Belgium a fanciful dark horse? If so I think the gap between where they are now and where the US is pretty big. Their team is loaded with talent up and down the roster. They have guys on the bench who would be instant impact or even best players on the US squad IMO.

2) As for how the soccer establishment would react, I think it all depends on the group. Had we failed to advanced from this group with 1 point, I think many would have shrugged their shoulders and said it was kind of expected. Had we been in Belgiums group and got 0 points, I think it would have had a huge reaction. A lot of the expectations and fall out depend on the perceived quality of the group.

Fanciful dark horse was Scoob's term but I interpreted it as more about perceptions than expectations than what happens during the 90 minutes.

ok ignore the term and still answer my general question about Belgium. Do you really think we are only a couple of players away from a team like that or were you referring to another type of team?

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As a 10+ year coach of youth soccer, I applaud Klinsmann for searching out foreign players to play for Team USA.

How does this sort of thing work. Does a player have to have some kind of connection to the USA (either by birth or club affiliation) to play for the USA? Can they change their mind for future WCs and play for some other country instead? Or is this like college football where once you sign, you're essentially there forever barring a cumbersome transfer?

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What is a contender?

Since 1994, the number of times a team has been out of the Group Stage (out of 6)

Brazil - 6

Germany - 6

Mexico - 6

Netherlands - 5

Argentina - 5

United States - 4

Italy - 4

Spain - 4

France - 3

Sweden - 3

Belgium - 3

Switzerland - 3

Nigeria - 3

Portugal - 2

(after 4, the list is not all-inclusive)

The United States is closer to being competitive than I think we give them credit for - they need a "golden-generation" of a few players to be be considered real contenders, but that could come as soon as this cycle. Italy, long considered a contender, now has gone two WCs not getting out of the group - curse of Rossi. Spain has only gotten past the Quarters, once. England - yes overrated, but has only reached the quarters since 1994.

when I first see a list like this I immediately think that the US and Mexico have a huge advantage because they should qualify every time and have more chances to do something at the WC and then that thought is tempered when thinking about Japan and South Korea.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

Sue me.

When does Dodds put out his first VBD list?

What are you even talking about here? Howard didn't really have a good WC in general other than the Belgium game.

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As a 10+ year coach of youth soccer, I applaud Klinsmann for searching out foreign players to play for Team USA.

How does this sort of thing work. Does a player have to have some kind of connection to the USA (either by birth or club affiliation) to play for the USA? Can they change their mind for future WCs and play for some other country instead? Or is this like college football where once you sign, you're essentially there forever barring a cumbersome transfer?

1) A player must be a citizen of the US to play for the US. Does not need to be by birth, just being a citizen

2) Once you appear for any country at the full international level (not a youth international team), you are tied to them for life

3) If you appear for one country as a youth international but were not yet tied to them at the full international level, you can make a one time switch

4) To be tied, it has to be an official game, friendlies do not count

let me know if this is clear.

Edited by NewlyRetired

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Obviously, its contextual. The USA and Mexico benefit from a relatively easier trip to the World Cup (in theory, hi Mexico) in the first place. Perennial European powers also face the same advantage by virtue on not having to qualify against other perennial European powers. Which means that teams like Belgium and Sweden have to really work to qualify.

Those traditional powers are also traditionally seeded, so Germany rarely faces a team as good as Germany in their groups. There is a feedback loop there.

I actually think the Mexico streak is kind of incredible. They've had some average teams that were probably lucky to get out of the group and some great teams that got unlucky in the round of 16.

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As for this year - the US met, or exceeded, expectations.

Getting out of a group with Germany, and Portugal is an accomplishment. I don't care how you get out. Would it have been nice to have beaten Portugal, damn right it would have been. But I hope enough people got to see the number of crosses hit by teams in the run of play since that goal - and realize how incredibly difficult that play was to pull off. Give credit for Ronaldo for making the play, before you criticize the US for "allowing" that play to happen. The sheer number of crosses that are mis-hit, too hard, too high, too short, and the number of headers we have seen that did not go on target, and you realize Portugal made a great play.

It stings to not win that game, but credit goes to Portugal for not giving up and forcing the tie.

Could they have beaten Belgium? Yes. We played well enough that would could have found a way to win that game. But there is no shame in losing it.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

Regarding the bolded, I am unsure how many more times we can provide the exact same information to you.

In 3 of the 4 games the US were severe underdogs.

In 1 of the 4 we were even strength (not unsurprisingly the game we won)

It appears like you are trying to act like people (or yourself) felt like the US was favored in these games. I don't get it.

I guess it's something we have to settle for, covering the spread in a manner. At some point all the hype on how things will change with Freddy Adu (whooops) and with all the euro poaching has to pay off. Otherwise it will remain a fringe sport that is only half followed every 4 years or so.

The goal shouldn't be to go in as the 3rd best team in a group and be happy with 1 win over the 4th team. This is America.

Being happy with this is what leads to mediocrity.

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What's amazing to me is Belgium didn't even qualify in 2010. It can change on a dime. We just need a few of these young kids to be study (asking a lot I know) and we can start to see a total shift.

Also, I do think we are better than a lot of the diehards and trolls say we are. That was a whale of a schedule we played. Very few teams would navigate those 4 games with more than 4 points. And we advanced and came out of it -1.

Edited by Premier

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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).

but there is a difference.

The rest of the world was chasing one team in basketball.

The US is chasing maybe 8-10 top teams with 20 or so other countries all at an equivalent level as the US

I don't see the US being a true WC contender in my life time. BY that I mean that they would be listed as one of the favorites going into the tournament.

I am pretty sure they will make the semi finals before I kick but that is more due to the nature of a short form tournament than anything else

I think that the US will have a "Golden Generation" within the next 20-25 years. I don't think that will make them a perennial contender or anything, but I could see the US coming into a World Cup as a fanciful dark horse pick the way Belgium and Colombia came into this one.

The gap between the USMNT's current state and fanciful dark horse is pretty small. A couple of high profile players and/or encouraging pre-tournament performances would do this.

The gap between fanciful dark horse and perennial contender is much greater. To be a perennial contender, you obviously have to be a contender first. Even then, there are no guarantees. Ask Italy how great it is to be a perennial contender.

I hope it doesn't happen but I wonder what the national reaction would be to a flame out like in 1998. The expectations have risen but so has the understanding of the game and of the challenges this country faces. I'm not talking about how PTI and talk radio would respond but how the US Soccer establishment would react (or over-react).

Two comments:

1) Do you consider Belgium a fanciful dark horse? If so I think the gap between where they are now and where the US is pretty big. Their team is loaded with talent up and down the roster. They have guys on the bench who would be instant impact or even best players on the US squad IMO.

2) As for how the soccer establishment would react, I think it all depends on the group. Had we failed to advanced from this group with 1 point, I think many would have shrugged their shoulders and said it was kind of expected. Had we been in Belgiums group and got 0 points, I think it would have had a huge reaction. A lot of the expectations and fall out depend on the perceived quality of the group.

Fanciful dark horse was Scoob's term but I interpreted it as more about perceptions than expectations than what happens during the 90 minutes.

I probably shouldn't have used the term "fanciful." How I meant it was a team that has not traditionally been a contender arriving at a major tournament at a time when they're considered particularly stacked in talent compared to a baseline of where the country typically performs. For all the talk about how Belgium had developed talent, they might just be in a huge statistical fluke right now. They had a long run of not qualifying for anything.

Same with Colombia. They probably haven't been considered a major tournament contender since 94.

I think after the recent youth and Olympics results, nobody would have been surprised if Mexico had been considered a 2014 dark horse. They might be in a golden generation. And its up to Herrera to change the perception that they've screwed it up.

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There has to be some catalyst to get someone like a Michael Vick to play soccer instead of football. Don't know if the concussion issue in football will equate to this 20 years from now, but it might send enough talent into the soccer pool to get us over the hump to at least the semis.

This is something I've been curious about: how much overlap is there between "best available soccer athletes" and "best available other-sports athletes"?

Is it self-evident that if you could've taken Michael Vick, Chris Paul, Mike Trout, Wes Welker, etc. and gotten them hardcore into soccer from age 5 on ... they'd be world-elite soccer players? Or is the skill component of soccer so great that other American sports truly aren't cannibalizing from soccer at all?

Sometimes you'd hear, back in the 90s, that Michael Jordan would've been a sick goalkeeper because of his wingspan and short-area quickness. Not to mention his determination. Does that ring true? Because it doesn't seem any elite goalies are as tall as Jordan ... and I know other countries have athletes that size.

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I get how expectations vs. group and all that. And knowing that I know jack #### about this stuff I'm still not impressed.

Never felt this team was in control of any of the games and only manufactured chances when put on their backs.

If this thing didn't have the goalie of a lifetime they would have been out of it before Germany.

Ultimately I don't see this as anything but a failure.

that is fine. it is your opinion.

Most people understand how enormous underdogs the US were in every game but the Ghana game.

Portugal, Germany and Belgium have multiple single players with valuations higher than the entire US team.

How one can claim failure when they went further then most experts felt they should have is a strange take on this situation.

Did you come in the tournament thinking the US were one of the better teams or something? If so then I can understand the failure item. This US came in as a lower middle of the road team in the 32 teams.

I think confusing the term "not impressed" with "failure" is where things are going wrong. You have every right to be unimpressed but failure by definition means that you had expectations beyond what most did.

Maybe the hype wasn't there, but you gotta win 2 games somewhere in the tournament to really say you did anything. This just has all the markings of a Dallas Cowboys season. Beat the teams they were favored to beat and then drop the rest of the games and then cry about HOW CLOSE WE GOT IF WE ONLY GOT A BREAK!!!!!11!!!! Maybe you only won one game because you just aren't that good. Cream has a way of rising to the top.

Regarding the bolded, I am unsure how many more times we can provide the exact same information to you.

In 3 of the 4 games the US were severe underdogs.

In 1 of the 4 we were even strength (not unsurprisingly the game we won)

It appears like you are trying to act like people (or yourself) felt like the US was favored in these games. I don't get it.

I guess it's something we have to settle for, covering the spread in a manner. At some point all the hype on how things will change with Freddy Adu (whooops) and with all the euro poaching has to pay off. Otherwise it will remain a fringe sport that is only half followed every 4 years or so.

The goal shouldn't be to go in as the 3rd best team in a group and be happy with 1 win over the 4th team. This is America.

Being happy with this is what leads to mediocrity.

You spelled everything correctly in this post. So it has that.

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You would think 2nd generation hispanic immigrants would start to show up in spades. I mean look at France, these don't look like the guys you would think would be sauntering down the street in a beret with a baguette.

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As a 10+ year coach of youth soccer, I applaud Klinsmann for searching out foreign players to play for Team USA.

How does this sort of thing work. Does a player have to have some kind of connection to the USA (either by birth or club affiliation) to play for the USA? Can they change their mind for future WCs and play for some other country instead? Or is this like college football where once you sign, you're essentially there forever barring a cumbersome transfer?

Here's the fifa rule on national eligibility

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/81/10/29/circularno.1147-eligibilitytoplayforrepresentativeteams_55197.pdf

Andy covered the basics above

Edited by Ted Lange as your Bartender

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Should we use this thread to track all US and perspective US players during the club season?

I wouldn't mind.

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What's amazing to me is Belgium didn't even qualify in 2010. It can change on a dime. We just need a few of these young kids to be study (asking a lot I know) and we can start to see a total shift.

Also, I do think we are better than a lot of the diehards and trolls say we are. That was a whale of a schedule we played. Very few teams would navigate those 4 games with more than 4 points. And we advanced and came out of it -1.

That's what I mean by the feedback loop. I forget who was in Belgium's 2010 qualifying group. But let's look at Sweden this year. They finished second in a group headed by Germany. They then had one more chance to qualify, by playing a home/at home series with Portugal (and a healthy Ronaldo). You can be a great team and still not even go to the World Cup out of England.

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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

To put it simply, no one cares about Olympic soccer. That's a bit of hyperbole but Olympic soccer is far, far dwarfed by confederation tournaments.

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You would think 2nd generation hispanic immigrants would start to show up in spades. I mean look at France, these don't look like the guys you would think would be sauntering down the street in a beret with a baguette.

I think we are 1-2 cycles away from this.

If you look at the make up of the younger US national teams, they are loaded with hispanic names.

It is going to be tricky figuring out how to blend all the various skills sets together.

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There has to be some catalyst to get someone like a Michael Vick to play soccer instead of football. Don't know if the concussion issue in football will equate to this 20 years from now, but it might send enough talent into the soccer pool to get us over the hump to at least the semis.

This is something I've been curious about: how much overlap is there between "best available soccer athletes" and "best available other-sports athletes"?

Is it self-evident that if you could've taken Michael Vick, Chris Paul, Mike Trout, Wes Welker, etc. and gotten them hardcore into soccer from age 5 on ... they'd be world-elite soccer players? Or is the skill component of soccer so great that other American sports truly aren't cannibalizing from soccer at all?

Sometimes you'd hear, back in the 90s, that Michael Jordan would've been a sick goalkeeper because of his wingspan and short-area quickness. Not to mention his determination. Does that ring true? Because it doesn't seem any elite goalies are as tall as Jordan ... and I know other countries have athletes that size.

I can't really speak to this specifically, but someone mentioned earlier that Odell Beckham was a standout youth star in soccer.

I'm sure it's not a 1 to 1 correlation, but if you're pulling from a significantly deeper pool of elite athletes then the chances are much better that you're going to find one that is also a good soccer player. We saw how much of a difference Yedlin's speed made out there. I would wager that most 4.3 40 football guys wouldn't make very good soccer players, but if even 1 or 2 of them did it would be a big difference.

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