Friday, June 23, 2006

US World Cup Team: Time to move on

I'm sure that most of us soccer fans were disappointed to see the US fail to make it out of their group in Germany; though most of us werent surprised at it. The US team drew into one of, if not the, most difficult groups in the opening round.

But the real disappointment comes at the rather unspectacular end to so many bright though not brilliant careers on the team.

Brian McBride wont be back, Claudio Reyna wont. Eddie Pope and anyone else selected for the 1998 team likewise. Surely after the 2002 performance we'd hoped to see the team improve on their steadying and gritty influence.

One we cannot say that about is Landon Donovan... though if his performance is any indicator of our future fortunes, we have cause for dismay.
Donovan easily took on the role of face of the US team from McBride since '02; yet it is now McBride, again, who personifies the team.

Bruce Arena has to share some of the blame for this, the US having only 4 shots on goal in three games being the result of his conservative tactics. But he had little to work with..only Eddie Johnson had any real goal-scoring success in the qualifying run-up.
Let's face it.. we dont have much to choose from and banking on Freddy Adu to pull us out of the swamp is a little much. But, right now he, along with Johnson, is all we have.

So, I'm thinking that the entire team needs to be scuttled and remade. Anyone who was on the 02 team needs to be told that they will have to actually work HARDER to make the team than a newcomer would.

If for no other reason than to send a message to Landon Donovan.

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