SALVADOR — USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard may have made history with his performance Tuesday, but the problem was not him. The rest of the squad forgot how to defend.
Besides Howard (who WAS the defense),The USMNT performance today was dismal at best. Clint Dempsey, who I have viewed as a clutch member of this squad was virtually nonexistent all 120-plus minutes. The disappointing performance throughout the entire World Cup for Michael Bradley will be remembered four years from now as well.
Watching the USMNT and comparing the way they play to their opponents and to other matches, it’s clear that they are a relatively sloppy team with little finesse, and are focused on the attack. A defensive presence was minimal against Ghana and Portugal, and Belgium.
Their best defensive performance in this writer’s opinion was against Germany, where they ended up losing 1-0. They looked like a different team altogether, where Germany was struggling in the rain.
The finesse that rubbed on the USMNT against Germany clearly disappeared when they faced a relatively stacked Belgian squad. Four years from now, America should hope that Major League Soccer takes off even more to solidify a more experienced talent base that could help build a roster that more Americans can be familiarized with, and making the crowds to watch these games that much larger.
We can also only hope that star players are not missing from the roster due to the manager’s discretion, who must realize the value of defense and it’s importance in the game.
What this writer can say positively about USNMT is that the “success”–if you will–of the U.S. advancing to the knockout stage and the incredible marketing of the World Cup, many Americans have been drawn into the most popular sport in the rest of the world.
The support for the Yanks has been very impressive all across the country and in some other areas in the world. The ratings for the rest of the World Cup going forward will answer this for us.