Football is a funny game. The US Copa America Team played Argentina toe to toe for 65 minutes on Thursday night, yet lost by the lopsided score of 4 to 1. Yesterday the highly touted US Under 20 National Team was thoroughly dominated by South Korea in the U-20 World Cup Opener but managed a 1-1 draw. US Coach Thomas Rongen has a lot of work to do before the US faces Poland who shocked Brazil yesterday on Tuesday.
The injury to Bolton’s Johann Smith has devastated this team, forcing Jozy Altidore to play alone up top, while receiving supporting runs from Freddy Adu, and Sal Zizzo. Michael Bradley played well for the US but seemed to lack the energy he brought to the full national team in the Gold Cup. Every 50-50 ball seemed to go the way of the Koreans, who also had plenty of opportunity to build up and sustain their attack.
From my perspective the best US players last night were Dax McCarty of FC Dallas who entered the game for goal scorer Danny Szetela in minute fifty three, and Goalkeeper of Chris Seitz of Real Salt Lake. McCarty was strong on the ball and broke up many promising Korean attacks. Seitz had a rocky start to the season with RSL eventually giving way to Nick Rimando between the Salt Lake posts, but he was outstanding and focused yesterday and he single handedly won the US a valuable point.