A Drastic Shift for Team USA

Two losses in a row. For this, Bob Bradley would have met his untimely demise on twitter. Calls for his head, for major change, for a certain German out of California. A coach’s favorite has been downright unimpressive in back to back games. But now this German is here, and he is in control. Yet two losses in a row?! HireBobBradley has already popped up on twitter. Robbie Rogerstein has shown what most MLS fans have known to be true for years. So do we panic yet? A certain president promised change, and we rallied behind him and hope. What most people forget is that true, long lasting change takes time and effort. Especially when you are rebuilding the core beliefs of a system from the ground up, which is what Jürgen Klinsmann is currently tasked with.

Many of you remember World Cup 2010 as we watched an American team full of promise

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A US soccer fan’s life in the past was spent on the edge

win their group for the first time ever at the World Cup. What many people forget is that to get there, the US came through a brutal stretch of qualification where they did not dominate games against opponents that needed to be and should have been dominated. The US played very reactive soccer, mastering the ‘Bend but do not break’ defense and slicing and dicing opponents with killer counterattacks. The US was known for their steely demeanor, an incredible will to win and the ability to capitalize on mistakes while minimizing their own. That and Tim Howard’s sheer beastmode ability made them a threat to beat any team on a given day at the international level. Spain likely remembers this quite well from the Confederations Cup. However, they were never a team who would come out and tire you out by pinging the ball around, probing and possessing while seizing up small gaps with incisive passes and perfect runs. If you were facing the US you did not need to plan around the US attacking strategy, as they were constantly defending and reacting. Out of this rose no real attacking style or identity, and although they were fun to watch, every game was full of tension. You never knew if the US would score as no true offensive game plan leading to consistent, good chances surfaced. Certainly Charlie Davies injury changed the ability of the US to impose the game on their opponent, but the true definition of a good team is depth. Leading up to the World Cup it was amazing how many people pointed out the large number of irreplaceable parts the US had. You could point to almost half the starting eleven where the drop off in talent between the starter and sub was immense. Could a team really compete on the international stage consistently without an identity and with so many breakable parts? As we saw after Steve Cherundolo’s injury in the Gold Cup final, it was clear they could not. But certainly losing games against mediocre opponents isn’t the way to reconcile these problems is it?