USMNT – Cups and cakes, cups and cakes, oh what sweet things Mother makes
Posted on January 31, 2013 10:59 am
My son was pretty stressed out after the US-Canada game Tuesday night. He’s not used to seeing the Nats play that poorly.
Of course, it was also past his bedtime.
Also, he’s two.
So that’s his excuse. I don’t know about the rest of you, though.
You’re speed-dialing your medical marijuana provider because the US Mint played a bad game in a January friendly? Where have you guys been? This is what the US does.
Sure, it would have been nice to…what’s that thing where the ball goes into the net and we get a point and the players celebrate? That. But this was the first public tuneup game after a tuneup camp – a camp that, keep in mind, was meant to explore the depth of our domestic pool. This is the same team we put out every January, just different faces and names. Sometimes it’s a big win, sometimes it’s a silly loss, sometimes it’s two hours of putting your wang in a pencil sharpener. But it never means anything. You weren’t using your wang anyway.
And if this game bummed you out, well, I got some terrific news about the Hexagonal – half the games, minimum, are going to be the same deal. Try to understand that ties on the road are good. Ties in Central America are wonderful. Winning is great, but optional. Getting the point – or, more precisely, depriving the other team of two points – is a highly positive and productive result. Do that, win at home, and we get at least one Hex game where we can play the B team.
“But we’re not despondent over the result,” I hear you say, because I have magic long-distance mind-reading powers. “We’re worried about what it says about our team. We’re worried about a coach who insists on playing three on five in the midfield without an overwhelming speed and talent advantage. We’re worried about replacing Donovan with nobody. We’re worried that Klinsmann is all German and no chocolate cake.”
Well, first of all, you really forced that last joke. Don’t try so hard. Second, Klinsmann says he’s only taking something like seven of this camp for the Honduras game. Assuming he calls up only eighteen players, that’s still an entire starting lineup he feels is better than what we saw. You owe it to yourself not to panic until we’ve bungled a game with Dempsey and Bradley on the field.
“But what if the fourteen players Klinsmann has in mind are all reserves for Borussia Scheisskopf?”
Then our MLS guys should play better.
Now, if you paid to watch the game…well, of course you have a right to be upset. Sixteen years ago (Jesus!), back when soccer on television was still pretty much not a thing, ESPN took time out to show a January friendly between US players trying to make Steve Sampson’s squad, and Sweden. I’m still not over it. I thought the sport had been set back ten years. Which, considering how well Sampson’s team would end up doing, it probably had.
The problem wasn’t so much the crummy game, but the poor effort for a wider audience. With road qualifiers relegated to a channel that’s, shall we say, still finding its niche, and Mexico about to be given the star treatment on the mothership, it would be nice if the US would realize it’s trying to win fans.
I have absolutely no problem with testing guys out – comes with the territory. Just close the doors, or don’t charge admission. It’s tempting to milk money from fans, and yeah, you do want to get the crest out there every once in a while, but this diminishes the product. We’re not NFL fans, we don’t deserve the preseason treatment. If this game did the Dynamo any favors, it was strictly in a club over country way.