One Giant Step Backwards

Torres-Destroyer-300x249

Even Torres scored….

There is a lot that can be said about the USMNT’s “performance” against Spain on Saturday, but almost none of those words would be positive. In fact, the backlash of that game could potentially dismantle the team’s chances at the upcoming Gold Cup. While missing their top stars (which is completely baffling outside of Landon Donovan’s exclusion) a Spain team initially comprised of only 5 players that started the World Cup final completely dismantled the US defense and midfield.

Spain dominates every team they play possession-wise, and all USMNT supporters knew that possession was going to be at a premium when the game began. That said, fielding a less than full strength squad against the best team in the world probably wasn’t Bob’s finest idea (and if you know me at all, I think he NEVER has a good idea). Instead, Bradley decided to start with an ultra defensive lineup of misfits, some of which could (and should) have seen their last game in a USMNT kit on Saturday.

It may have been a mistake to schedule such a high profile match just 3 days before the start of an important tournament, but after its scheduled you still need to honor your agreement. Instead of saving face and “resting” his top players, Bradley blatantly exposed just how big the drop off the USMNT second rate players are compared to that of a footballing nation like Spain. Players that don’t regularly start for La Furia Roja showed no different style or poise than the like of Iniesta, Xavi and Pedro, while second rate Americans like Spector, Klesjtian and Rogers looked as though they didn’t even want to be there.