Monday, June 9, 2014

The US Fan's Perspective: From Cringing to Leaning Forward

Correspondent Scott is especially prolific lately:

I know it's not the World Cup yet, but USA's 2-1 victory over Nigeria in Jacksonville has convinced me that US Soccer has finally, truly arrived. I'm not saying they are going to win the World Cup, but I think it is safe to say that we can now play with anyone and play the game well - maintain possession, utilize quick, one-touch passes, create opportunities and counter.

Let's face it, it wasn't that long ago that as a fan I would lean back and cringe a little at how we might keep the ball or make a technical error (anybody remember Jeff Agoos against Jamaica?).  Fast forward a couple World Cups and now I lean forward each time we have the ball, in anticipation of what we might create.

Yes, there were still a few cringe-worthy moments, usually defensively, but even those are far fewer than a decade ago.  Quite frankly, there's no way a Jeff Agoos even makes the team now. To be clear, I mean no disrespect to Mr. Agoos, who gave his all for our National Team.  He is just a dusty example of when our all wasn't nearly enough. But now, playing our best and not making any mistakes, we really do have a chance to beat the best in the world. And with the formation change yesterday that left both Beckerman and Jones providing cover for the defense, allowing Bradley to create going forward, we might have found our best chance of escaping the Group of Death.
Add to that formation change the little matter of Jozy Altidore finally finding the back of the net, in emphatic fashion with his second goal, and my hopes have scooted just a little further along the Cautiously Optimistic Continuum.  For Jozy's second goal, his run, take-down, creation of space and finish were truly world class.

So while nobody can say for sure whether we will make it out of group play, I can say for certain that I will be leaning forward far more often than cringing.  I Believe That We Will Win!  Go USA!

This is farlieonfootie for June 8. 

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