Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Taking on the Belgian Red Devils, it's win or go home

At 4:00 PM, the US Mens National Team takes the field in a Round of 16 elimination match in the World Cup. Recent viewership topped the final San Antonio - Miami NBA final.

That's saying something. Here's a pregame video saying a bit more. The US will need to "flip the script" a bit to move ahead. It may not have the experience but it has something unique and that special ingredient is what can carry them into the Quarterfinals.

This World Cup has been like no other. Defending World Champion Spain saw its several years domination unravel as it was summarily sent home on the first day any team was eliminated. Mighty Italy befell a bizarre bite leading to its ouster. Favored host Brazil barely scrapped by with a game Chile and Germany looked stiff and flat on defense against an engaging speedy Algeria before converting twice in overtime.

In short, this tournament holds more surprises.

Why not us? Realistically, it can go either way and Belgium brings a mix of superb talent challenging anything the US brings to the table.

In the end, the game can turn on anything: a Tim Howard point blank save, a Clint Dempsey turn with the ball in the box or a Jermaine Jones burst down the middle, Fabian Johnson tearing down the right or Demarcus Beasley doing similar down the left.

I believe...




Epilogue:

Tim Howard is beyond valiant in defeat setting a record for saves in World Cup history but the US falls 2-1 in overtime. It wasn't the amount of saves though, it was the quality. Most were absolutely insane.

The depth and technical skill of a superior Belgian team was evident and their talent carried them through although a last second chance gave the US a chance to steal this one in regulation.

The US Team demonstrates promise and losing some key players made it difficult to execute its game plan but injuries are part of the game and more depth will be a focus for years to come.

This is a team to be proud of and this tournament showed the development of the US National Team to be the best its ever been overall.