Well, OK, maybe you can cry for me a little bit, Argentina.

There now, does everybody feel a little better?

The USMNT went nose-to-nose with what is probably the best team in the world and didn't lose. And considering that the boys in the Nike golf shirts were at the end of a brutal three game set - England in England, Spain in Spain and Argentina anywhere on Earth is a frightening prospect no matter who you are - most US fans are probably far from unhappy this morning.

The question is: Should they be?

An optimist will look at the fact that this was a tired out US side and call it a good result against a team of that caliber. A pessimist will point out that this was the third straight match where the US has failed to tally even a single goal.

The former will mention that the Argies took our main regional competitor, Mexico, apart at the seams last Wednesday (4-1), which indicates that, at the least, we've got a leg up on the Tri.

The latter will reply that the US hasn't been shut out in three straight games for almost a decade and, furthermore, in 54 games against the seven countries which have hoisted the Jules Rimet trophy (Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, England Uruguay and Argentina) the US is a less-than-impressive 9-38-6.

But hey, nobody said we had arrived, right?

What's more, it's arguable that the closest this match came to having something other than zeros on the scoreboard came courtesy of the US, with Dempsey barely missing the near post in the first half and Oguchi Onyewu taking paint off the crossbar early in the second.

And that's not to take away from the message that Tim Howard sent to Brad Guzan last night regarding who is going to be in goal for the USA for the next decade.

For Howard, this was a signature match, much like Kasey Keller impossibly stonewalling five Romario shots in 1998, prompting the famous "greatest goalkeeper in the world" quote from the Brazilian forward.

We don't yet have a similar quote from Argentina's Julio Cruz, possibly because he needed therapy after Howard denied him four times from point blank range.

Four times Argentine superstars Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero sent Cruz through and four times Howard hollered "Hey Brad, watch this!" before killing the shot.

In fairness, Cruz was only out there due to the absence of Riquelme who, in addition to being dangerous in front of the goal can combine with Messi (which we know he can) and Aguero* (which we assume he can) to form a partnership which will surely give Brazil some sleepless nights.

And that's the point for them; much as we focus and obsess on beating Mexico, the Argies have the same deal with Brazil, who themselves just finished a quick, S.U.M.-enriching junket to the US, barely getting by a surprisingly feisty Canadian side 3-2 before being dumped by Venezuela 2-0 a couple days later.*

Argentine Coach Alfio Basile, who has always favored a four man back line, is trying out a three man setup, both against Mexico, where it succeeded brilliantly and again last night when it looked downright shaky at times.

While it did free up an extra midfielder for service upfield and force Howard and Co. to perform a series of miracles it also exposed their outside backs, Gabriel Heinze and Nicolas Burdisso, who had their hands full against a US attack which nobody has ever characterized as "Brazilian".

As for the US, most of the talk today will center, rightly, on the offense. Our corps of up-front attacking options - with apologies to Tyler Twellman - boils down to Adu, Beasley, Dempsey, Johnson and Altidore, none of whom is likely to strike terror in much of anybody.

Except of course Barbados. God bless that lovely tropical paradise, which has obligingly gone down like a hooker on rent day by a combined score of 11-0 in the only two prior meetings with the US.

They're likely to provide a cure for our scoring issues, although whether it proves anything is a question we won't have an answer until, like Argentina, we meet the only other team that matters.

On to the quallies.

* Corrected