OK, so maybe this is harsh. But if you want to be like European football fans then dammit you've got to act like European football fans.
And if the lovely assist on Nani's fifth minute goal was not enough, he stuck around long enough to wander around the box admiring Ronaldo's lovely cross while paying absolutely no attention to the opponent on his back shoulder. Never saw him, did nothing to impede him, didn't, in short, do his job.
Michael Bradley has been taking a lot of heat over coughing up the ball but anyone who watched his post game interview with the brainless, clueless bag of ego known as Jeremy Shaap knows, the guy was so utterly gutted that it's hard to criticize him. He got his pocket picked by a world class player. Happens.
Still in all, the guy who deserves to be handed a plane ticket, even more than the aforementioned Pride of Stoke City, is Omar Gonzalez.
We'll ignore for the moment that fact that there was apparently an initial indication from the referee that he intended to add four minutes but after Klinsy subbed Gonzalez for Zusi on 90 minutes he changed it to five. It's the type of move any coach would have made: young fresh legs, tall center back who can a) run his young fresh legs off like a lunatic for five freakin minutes and b) get back in front of Howard and use his head to clear crosses.
Simple job. Couldn't handle it.
There he is, after being in the game for all of four and a half minutes, jogging - JOGGING SLOWLY - back towards his goal as the best player in the world, finding himself one on one with a 32 year old defender, is clearly lining up a cross. Number seven did everything short of wetting a finger and sticking it in the air.
HEY! OMAR! The best player in the world is about to cross the ball into your box- think maybe you'd like to, you know, HURRY a little bit?
Is the Galaxy fitness program that bad and Omar Gonzalez can't run for 4 1/2 minutes without needing to take a play off and catch his breath OR is Omar Gonzalez a lazyass OR does he simply not know his job and was confused about the game situation?
You can object all you want but in the end it's one of those three things.
Now it would be churlish of me to mention that two guys who DO know their jobs, Parkhurst and Goodson by name, were available for the position but blooding Gonzalez so that he'll be a better player in 2018 is apparently more important that actually doing well in THIS World Cup.
In which case US Soccer should have told everybody that this was the developmental team before we all raced out and bought shirts.
Now in fact there was other blame to pass around; apparently Yedlin didn't get the memo and was actually trying to get a ball into the box at 93 minutes. Another kid - five caps - apparently doing on-the-job training for Russia 18 when, obviously we really ARE going to win the Cup, but it's OK; the kid's speed really had the guys in red reeling and it's just a shame his brain hasn't quite caught up with his legs.
And there's some question as to whether of not Jermaine Jones communicated with Cameron that he was passing his man off, which is pretty inexcusable but again, it happens and Jones is doing a terrific job overall so fine.
I also know that criticizing Timmy Howard marks you as someone deserving of slow death but, well, the guy tends to go down quicker than a bus station hooker with overdue rent.
It's the style currently; you see it every day. A striker carries the ball in, the keeper charges out of his box and throws himself on the ground. Now it's true Howard seems to make a fetish of it but still, he's far from alone.
But when you jump too soon, or when the hitter pump fakes, you end up laying on the ground waving a hand in the air before the ball is ever launched. Horrible.
I won't get into the last goal and how Brad Freidel would have caused massive bodily harm to anyone and everyone who stood between him and that cross; Howard wants his defenders to handle those, and, well when they're busy admiring Christiano's hair and ignore the forward on their back shoulder, he's going to end up eating one.
(And of course Keller was widely acknowledged as a Dracula keeper)
Point being, there's so much blame to spread around, from Klinsy all the way down the line, that there's just no point.
Bring on the Germans. Or, rather, Germany. We've got plenty of the former already.
Would have been nice to get Deuce, Beasley and a couple other guys a day off, but the US never does anything the easy way.
It was interesting to hear Jurgen dump on FIFA for cleverly handing Germany an extra day's rest on top of a cushy travel schedule, and he's right that the organizers of these events always seem to give the advantage to the big name favorites whenever they can.
Who can forget a tired Italy getting sack-stomped by Spain at the Euros a couple years ago. One day's rest is a big deal to these guys.
I'll leave that one aside though; the way to get the big boy advantages is to become one of the big boys: it's a harsh rule, but somehow fair I guess.
However, I would like to ask one associated question:
Since Brazil thought that building a stadium and hosting matches in the middle of a jungle was such a grand idea, how's come it is we don't see Brazil actually playing there?
It was nice to see the US become part of FIFA World Cup history as one of the two participants in the first-ever World Cup water break.
FIFA spent the last two years developing a policy which would allow referees to call 30 second water breaks at 30 minutes of a half or as soon thereafter as there was a break in play.
Then they arrived in Brazil and told the referees not to call them because it might screw up the scheduling for TV.
Then, after the Italy game when some players reported literally hallucinating due to dehydration, the Brazil players union took FIFA to something called Labor court, fought it out with FIFA's lawyers and came up with a policy which mandated breaks if the temps went over 89F. The prosecutors had asked for 85F but the judge rules they hadn't proved the difference was important. Or something.
They also asked the court to delay 1:00 PM matches due to heat stress but the court ruled that everybody knew it's always hot in Brazil in June.
FIFA will face an automatic $90,000 fine for non-compliance, so the referees decision yesterday was an easy one.