ESPN Hates Bowling

Well, as the great philosopher said, broken hearts are for assholes. Although if you had told me that Clint Monkeyfighting Dempsey would be crying after the US was eliminated from the Confederations Cup, I'd have looked at you and said, "Really? What an odd thing to say."

We're not deep enough to win major tournaments. Roughly half the time, we're going to have trouble holding onto leads against the top two or three teams in the world.

And right there the mental lug nuts slide off, the mental wheels come off, and the mental 1968 Volkswagen bus spins out into the mental Mississippi River, mentally killing all aboard. We're going to have trouble holding onto a lead against Brazil. I think a lot of teams would settle for that problem. No one else in the damn tournament even TOOK a lead against Brazil.

Should we have held onto it? Gee, I guess, probably. "Most dangerous lead in soccer" aside, though, how do you do that? We all realize bunkering would have delayed the inevitable. The Brazilian goals were anything but fluky. Really, we were in serious trouble once they scored to open the second half - DeMerit was in position, and Fabiano put it the one microscopic place that would have resulted in a goal. That's what he's paid to do. Wasn't like DeMerit was exactly stinking it up before or after.

Would Torres instead of Kljestan made a difference? Maybe, just maybe, in that we lose in overtime instead of the end of regulation. We didn't lose because of the substitutions, we lost because over the past year, Altidore and Feilhaber weren't getting playing time. They had to go out way too early.

How the hell should I know why? They suck against second division European clubs, play great against Brazil. It's better than "suck against second division European clubs, also suck against Honduras," but it's a lot more confusing.

And I realize this sounds like excuse making, but Brazil brings Dani Alves off the freaking bench. You know when we're going to have bench players that good? Next summer at the World Cup, that's not when. Sometime in the next decade, that's not when either.

The other reason we gave up three goals in a half is, although it sure looks like Bob found his starting back line finally, they still need playing time together. Egypt and Spain just wasn't enough preparation. C'est la guerre. Brazil's gain is (hopefully) Mexico's loss, in other words. Jay DeMerit, the Lord Mayor of Watford, sure looks like he's healthy again, which answers a lot of lingering questions. Bocanegra to left back, and let Spector, Cherundolo and Hejduk fight it out for right back.

Gonna be innesting to see who survives the great inner mid chainsaw fight/spelling bee. I think the incumbents as of this morning are Benny Feilhaber and Michael Smith. (Let's call him Michael Smith or Michael Jones or Michael Milutinovic, because calling him by his given name causes people to completely lose perspective.) A hairline fracture will delay the showdown between those two, Germany Jones from above, and Rico Clark from below.

And Brian Ching has to elbow his way back into the conversation, because while Charlie Davies might have limitations - and a propensity for multigame suspensions - I don't see how he hasn't earned the spot for now. Same with Altidore, provided he can, I dunno, play in the park on weekends to keep in form or something.

Conor Casey - look, that was the correct substitution. Corner kick a goal down, put in the big guy. I don't know if you put him and Brian Ching on the same roster, but that was the one sub against Brazil you can't really have an issue with. I hate the idea of starting him at any point, but I can see him on the roster when the situation calls for redirecting desperate free kicks and crosses.

Boy, did Landon and Dempsey put a spit-shine on their prospects. I think only Tim Howard is a more automatic start than those two now. Considering before the tournament we were going to just give Dempsey Fulham citizenship and forget about him, that's a remarkable turnaround for the rapper.

Alexi Lalas said something helpful at the end of the ESPN broadcast - don't go expecting us to stroll into Mexico and Winfield Scott all over the place. I'm aware that Mexico fans are fighting in the streets over whether this is the worst Mexico team ever, or just the worst Mexico team in living memory. Doesn't matter. They're a different team at home, and home in this case is a damn fortress. The only teams to have won in Mexico City are Costa Rica, the US Army, and the Spanish conquistadores. (How the Ticos did it without bullets, I'll never know.) Neither altitude nor temperature will be on our side...although we'll at least be used to those disgusting plastic horns. Seriously, don't be all disappointed with a draw. And if we lose, don't go back to screaming for Bob Bradley and Sunil Gulati to be fired.

Oh...too late. And it turns out I do owe an apology to commenter SFEarthquakes. I thought we'd seen the end of non-ironic calls for a new coach, but, not for the last time, I was hilariously wrong. Just no pleasing some people.

Anyway, I guess it's finally time to be clear. And I'm so serious about this, I'm going to recycle one of my favorite jokes, just to get the point across.

Suggesting we replace Bob Bradley for the World Cup is like suggesting we change the national anthem to "Sex Bomb" by Flipper. Maybe it's a good idea. Maybe it's not such a good idea. But it's not gonna happen, so there's really no point in talking about it.