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Good Riddance, USMNT.

2009%2011%2014%20Superfans Good Riddance, USMNT.

USA Drop Out Of World Cup, And Frankly, Deserved To.

Weeks ago, when the USMNT secured a point against England, a real special feeling began to build around this group playing their hearts out in South Africa. A come-back draw against Slovenia and a late win against Algeria saw fans jump on the USMNT bandwagon, and grow fanatical about their new-found game and national team.

After the group stage ended, and USA was drawn against Ghana, I heard one USMNT fan make the statement that if USA did not reach the semi-finals, it would be a massive disappointment. It was as if this fan had completely overlooked the fact that Ghana would have to be beaten, as would either Uruguay or South Korea. The delusion that had grown so quickly in USMNT fans was quite staggering to me.

Landon Donovan’s last-minute goal against Algeria seemed to instil a kind of ‘USA against the world’ feel in USMNT fans. Players like Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Michael Bradley had all of a sudden become world-beating superstars in the minds of many USA fans. Even the players themselves were getting absurdly optimistic. Landon Donovan was already thinking about having a film made about his successes in South Africa, and he had also picked Johnny Depp to be the actor to play him.

Early goals conceded against England, Slovenia and Ghana show how over-confident this USA side must have been. I believe this side was in need of a reality check, and I believe the fans needed one as well. I wrote an article days before USA’s first group game, which addressed the error in overlooking Algeria and Slovenia. Fans commented and said that these games would be cake-walks, that they would be nothing to worry about, that maximum points would not be a problem. Even before the USMNT played, fans were completely delusional. Looking back, those two games were anything but easy. Slovenia, it has to be said, were lucky not to be beaten by Maurice Edu’s late goal, but don’t forget they had the USMNT down 2-0 at half-time. Algeria took everything USA could offer as well, only to fail in the dying seconds of the match.

This Ghana match is what the USMNT deserved. The team lacks any real technically gifted players, and the ones the do have – Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey – will not be enough to carry a team into the latter stages of this tournament. Ricardo Clark, Steve Cherundolo, Jay DeMerit, and Jozy Altidore should not be playing at a World Cup tournament – ever. If a national team is relying on Jozy Altidore for goals, who could barely get a game for Hull City FC and who were relegated from the English Premier League, then there is a serious lack of quality about certain aspects of the team.

It blows me away that many USMNT fans expected a semi-final finish because beating Ghana and Uruguay would be ‘so easy.’ A reality check please, and fast. It is delusion like this that deters the game in the USA. Fans jump on the USMNT bandwagon and immediately dismiss sides that they have never heard of. The problem is, outside of USA, football fans in Europe or in Asia or in Africa would have known very little about USA, not the other way around. American fans immediately take on the ‘our way or the highway’ mentality when it comes to their national team. The over-expectancy is a delusion that was waiting to be exposed, and now it has been. This is not a sport that America can simply just take over with players like Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. This is not a stage where America can just expect to dominate, like they do everything else. This is a World event. This is a game that is a religion in many countries around the world. This is a passion to people who have little more than pennies a day to keep them going. America and many USMNT fans do not understand the kind of passion and emotions that people outside of USA have for this sport and for this tournament. There will be no American cinderella story here.

USMNT fans that have followed the team for years and have seen what the national team are capable of and what they are not will know that beating Ghana or Uruguay or South Korea, for that matter, would not have been easy at all. This is the World Cup. These are the best teams in the World. In the whole World. Ricardo Clark and Robbie Findley are not players who can stand with the best of them. Benny Feilhaber and Jay DeMerit would not even make the C-teams of many of the sides participating in the tournament. It is shocking and absolutely delusional to think that this USA side – who relied almost solely on heart and determination to carry them even this far – would reach the semi-finals of this tournament, or even advance to the semi-finals.

It must be said, the USMNT made a fine show of things. They added a side-story to an already wonderful World Cup tournament. Sorry Americans, the show will go on without you.

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Good Riddance, USMNT.

  1. Matt says:

    Sweet opinion, dude!

  2. Geoff says:

    Wow, you sure do have a chip on your shoulder.

    Frankly, I’m proud of my team. I think hey absolutely desvered to get to the round of 16 and had the potential to go farther. Unfortunately they didn’t play well today and went out.

    Were they over confident? Maybe. I’m not with the team at all times so I won’t presume to know what they are feeling, like you are. But it’s arguable that confidence is needed in order to win any game. Whether you are playing Ghana or Brazil you need to be confident that you can go out there and win it and win it hard. If not, then you might as well not even take the field.

    Based on your “article” it almost sounds like you wish they’d have just accepted that Ghana was a better team and just not shown up, for certain that they’d be beat. You almost have a “why bother with this team?” mentality.

    • Dylan Thomas says:

      I don’t have a ‘why bother withthis team’ mentality at all. I just like it’s completely unrealistic and delusional to think ‘this team’ can progress so far into this tournament. Slovenia fans and Algeria fans and Australia fans all show up to support their team, but understand that reaching the quarter-final or semi-final is unrealistic and is a hope, not an expectation. I don’t think a lot of USMNT fans understood that.

      • erp says:

        All true. But saying “I told you so” does nothing but piss people off and make you look like a smug twat.

        Again, I’m not disagreeing with you. But show a little tact.

        It is a fact that middle America thinks of soccer as a great sport for girls and children below the age of 10. If we had one quarter of the commitment that Algerians and Australians have to this sport the Kobe Bryants, Michael Jordans, Tiger Woods’s and all the other world class athletes would be whipping your collective butts. We’d be in every World Cup quarter finals, and if we lost it’d be because we don’t give enough of a shit to care one way or the other.

        That’s not the world we live in, and it’s a reality that we face EVERY SINGLE TIME we try to talk about soccer in the workplace, at the gym, in bars, even at home with our families. No one cares about soccer. “Kickball” as they so often say on ESPN.

        So you’ll have to forgive us for being optimistic. It’s not every day that we get the recognition we deserve for all the hard work we’re putting into this beautiful game.

        • Dylan Thomas says:

          I don’t think there’s anything smug about it. Imagine if we were all Italian fans. As outsiders, we can look at that Italian side and see they just aren’t the team they were in 2006. We can see that reaching the final again is a very unlikely target for them this time around. But when we look at our own side, the USMNT, we feel so much optimism despite the relatively poor technical ability of the entire squad. Do you know what I mean? Outsiders looking at the USMNT will dismiss us like we dismiss teams like Slovenia and Algeria. I loved watching USA at this World Cup, but I never once felt like, despite their heart and determination, that they’d be pushing for a semi-final spot. They just aren’t that good.

          • erp says:

            Well, I am not naive, and I am not one of the pseudopatriotic morons you’re talking about and I still believe that we could have – should have beaten Ghana today. Could we beat Uruguay? Sure, with some luck and maybe a bad day from Forlan, but it is possible. Could we do it consistently? No.

            Beyond that, I think we’re dealing with such remote possibilities that it’s not even worth considering. But, we did take Brazil 2-0 into half time last summer, so it’s obviously not impossible.

          • erp says:

            And yet, despite your poopy-pants attitude we won the group. Comfortably ahead of England on goals. And ahead of the teams that took out Russia and Egypt. We were the winners.

            So, clearly, it is completely and utterly inconceivable that we would beat Ghana, and Korea/Uruguay. That could never happen.

        • We won our group with time ticking down on the biggest embarrassment in US World Cup history – maybe bigger than our 7-0 drubbing to Argentina in 1930 Semis. We won with Klinsmann breathing down Bradley’s neck. We eked it out, experimenting with players that may have been successfully lobbied onto the team by MLS officials in farcical last second staged tryouts.

          Stop wallowing in all the American disrespect for the game. We don’t need the inferiority complex. Stop the the pop psychology lesson, and stop with the woe’s-us-ESPN-doesn’t-respect-us wah wah.

          If you get harassed at the cooler for all the diving by a generic NFL fan – ask him to review the tape of all the phantom roughing the kicker calls that resulted in first downs, games won, and history made. Remind him those kickers were often soccer players.

  3. Yes, there’s a difference in talent. There’s also another difference:

    In England, there’s a public forum on Every Capello move.

    Here, American supporters tend to keep our mouths shut until it’s too late.

    Until we, as supporters, are willing to treat this game as seriously as the rest of the soccer world, the game is ripe for mismanagement on every level.

    It may not be cool to be a soccer fan in the US yet. But until it’s uncool to bite our collective lips until it’s too late, we deserve more of the same.

    Time to take the “passive” out of “passive aggressive”, US Soccer supporters.

  4. bayou says:

    I know what you mean about the newcomers, the meatheads chanting USA USA USA who didn’t watch qualifying or the Confederations Cup. Those fans are annoying. And you’re right, those of us who have been following the team for years knew that Ghana would be tough, something a dilettante fan might not get. I get that one good WC showing isn’t indicative of a trend, but I do see development and progress here with this team. Your tone is so harsh and bitter, as though you’ve been betrayed by this team and that is out of line. If you’re truly a fan, and a long-term one at that, then you should feel good about what this team has accomplished. Especially since you, like many other long-term fans, see and recognize the obvious short comings of this squad.

    • Dylan Thomas says:

      Oh, but I’m not a USMNT fan. I was hoping to see something fantastic at this World Cup from this team to make me believe that they are a top football team and that the game in this country can evolve to the next level, but I didn’t see it. I follow the team and I watch all the games, but I don’t support this team. So harsh and bitter, yes. But I don’t believe it’s undeserved. I think many fans and some of the players got way ahead of themselves. And I don’t think the side is technically good enough to compete with some of the teams in this tournament, or at this level.

      • Dan says:

        So Dylan who are you for, the team that is winning. If you don’t like the USMNT you obviously not an American. Your free to your opinion but I’ll support the USMNT til i die.

        • By support, do you mean withholding all opinion and blindly throwing in behind any coach, USSF President or wacky KFC business model that our entitled first division of the day is running?

          Don’t you think it’s important to have opinions, just to put a little pressure on the dudes in charge? To keep them honest enough not to run the game into the ground in order to recoup some speculators investment?

    • The Gaffer says:

      I know what you mean about the newcomers. If they act decent, I have no problem with them.

      But there was one twenty-something watching the USA v Ghana game next to me and was wearing a Marlins baseball shirt. When things weren’t going well for the US in the game, he started booing the US players. And then started shouting “you suck” at the screen whenever the US made a mistake. It pissed me off.

      Now that the US is out, he’ll probably not watch any more World Cup games. In this particular instance, good riddance kid.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Dylan Thomas says:

        Exactly. Exactly exactly exactly what I’m trying to say.

        • Michael says:

          Exactly?? I hate to tell you this, but that dude is you. Only difference is instead of a Marlins jersey, you’re wearing a Barca shirt.

          You make a few individual points, but as far as your attitude, you can stick it.

        • Paul says:

          But you didn’t say that very well, did you? You spewed paragraphs of ignorant drivel, making stupid claims about Dolo, DeMerit, and Feilhaber. You failed to make a distinction, as Leander Schaerlaeckens did with far more tacit and intelligence, between reasonable expectations for the team before the tournament (to get to the second round) and the opportunities and promise of the team after seeing how the brackets unfolded (the real possibility of getting to the semi-finals, assuming that the US played well against Ghana and Uruguay). Would games against Ghana and Uruguay have been cake-walks? No, but these were squads that were far more beatable than England’s draw of Germany and Mexico/Argentina. After all, the US was slightly favored against Ghana; if Bradley plays the right formation, the team plays better—and, given a slightly better effort, a different outcome, a victory, could have been achieved.

          Gaffer, I’m disappointed you allowed Dylan to post such a shoddy piece.

      • UpTheBlues says:

        Gaffer has it right here.

      • Maybe we should have a serious debate on USSF/MLS and figure out why we can’t get a proper league that grows support for the game between World Cups? That way, we’re not training newbs every 1200 days.

        It’s going to make me sick when Garber and friends start spinning this loss straight to the guy in the Marlins shirt, and babbling on about how “Americans love a Winner.” using that as a crutch for MLS problems.

        The biggest news of the day? Donovan broke Bert Patenaude’s 80 year old USMNT World Cup scoring record. I was watching the game in a noisy bar, so didn’t notice if anyone even mentioned his name. If the game was baseball, and the record was Cobb’s, things would have been different.

        There’s a lesson in there. MLS and USSF are so wed to using the “youth” of the American game as an excuse for their shortcomings -

        They can’t celebrate the past.

  5. Your Dad says:

    Go jump off a cliff

  6. Jared says:

    You’re completely right that Clark and Findley aren’t good enough. I and most US fans would be the first to tell you that. I think that if Bradley had stuck with the team the beat Algeria then the outcome today might have been different.

    I don’t think the US is relying on goals from Altidore anymore than England is relying on goals from Heskey. He has a role to play and it is as the outlet allowing the US midfield to move up for layoffs.

    Also, against Algeria the US had a goal disallowed for offside yet Dempsey was onside. Algeria would have been done if that goal had been correctly allowed.

    I hate the American “fans” who dismiss Ghana and Uruguay as much as you do. It’s unfortunate that the typical American attitude carries over into this great sport as well. Uruguay would have destroyed the US. Forlan has been sitting in the space that the US allows people to take wide open shots from and Forlan would have buried one early just like Gerrard, Birsa and Boateng.

  7. Scott McAllister says:

    Dylan, while I agree with your argument that there was a definite feeling of over confidence among US fans, media and players about this World Cup, your comment about Donovan planning to make a movie is taken far out of context. Rick Reilly fired a series of random questions at Donovan at the end of an episode of ‘Homecoming’ – which was taped prior to the World Cup (aired on ESPN June 10). One of them went like this, ‘In the movie, who plays you?’ Donovan responded, ‘Johnny Depp,’ through a sheepish grin.

    Questions like that are asked to athletes all the time, and LD clearly has no plans to make a movie about himself.

    • Dylan Thomas says:

      But you know what I mean. Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan talk like they’re world beaters. Just today Donovan said they were ‘naive’ against Ghana. Naivity and over-confidence lead to complacency. That’s the point I’m making. And many fans have been naive and over-confident as well.

      • doug says:

        dude, did you see Dempsey’s goal against Juventus? His goal to avoid relegation vs. Liverpool a few years back? And his nutmeg today was so money…

        Trouble is we haven’t got 9 guys who are as money as Donovan and Dempsey. Still though, we advanced further in this tournament than France or Italy… And I thought we had more good scoring chances than did Ghana. The chances just came to the likes of Findley and Altidore…

      • wjb13 says:

        you’re damn straight they talk like they’re world beaters. and that’s exactly what you want as a us fan. if they don’t think they can beat everyone in the world, then they won’t beat anyone. the players MUST have that belief. are you seriously whining that donovan and dempsey have a winning attitude, maybe even an overinflated one? seriously?

        if you had your way, there never would have been a miracle on ice, because the americans and their fans would’ve been too fucking humble and polite with the russians.

      • Proves that the brash, chip on the shoulder attitude was all PR. Kinda like MLS.

  8. philneezy says:

    Hey, Dylan!

    You really nailed it with this article.
    Only you could write something this brilliant.
    Until others see it nothing will change.

    Are we there yet?
    Rarely are your opinions wrong.
    Even when their factually wrong they’re right.

    Anyways, you should write more often.

    Could we produce better players to compete?
    Until then we won’t win anything.
    No one should have expected anything.
    Time will tell that you were right.

    Thanks again!

    • Dylan Thomas says:

      Expecting the semis? Relying on average – compared to some of the other sides in this tournament – players like Maurice Edu and Jay DeMerit and Clint Dempsey to make a big impact?
      Let’s all be a bit more realistic. Beating Ghana, beating Uruguay or North Korea, it’s all a lot harder than a lot of fans believed.

      • doug says:

        My take was that we had about a 30% chance of making the semis. I think it’s hard to argue that we didn’t get the easiest possible Quarterfinal imaginable. Having just three days after such an emotional win made things a bit more difficult. After being eliminated by Ghana in 2006, I don’t think the chief problem for the US at the Cup as a whole or vs. Ghana was overconfidence. I don’t think they thought: “Oh, these games are going to be cake,” or “Oh, we’re going to get to the finals easy as pie.” most of these players had been there already, and had had their teeth knocked out.

        I think the bigger issue was player selection. Findley should not have played at all post-Australia. And what did Buddle supposedly do wrong vs. Australia? Score too many goals? Too much of a goal-hog, Bradley didn’t like it… Clark shouldn’t have been given a chance, and should not have returned after the Gerrard incident. Vs. Ghana, you can see it clearly, he decides he’s going to dribble through Ghana’s defense… Awful.

        • erp says:

          This vid right here says everything that needs to be said about Ricardo Clark:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA_c1FClBMo

          Bob Bradley advanced the US team to the next stage. Now it’s time for him to move on.

          Jurgen Klinsmann, calling Jurgen Klinsmann to the front desk!

          • Daniel Feuerstein says:

            I’m sorry sir, Mr. Klinsmann has checked out early today. He will not be coming to the Front Desk, nor will he be making a return for a second interview for the job as US Men’s National Team coach.

            Let’s be a bit more realistic when it comes to who is going to coach our National Team please.

      • V. Lamb says:

        Actually, North Korea.. we could have beaten them. South Korea– that would have been a fight.

        And I get that your main point is the naivete of the USMNT fans. I would have been disgusted too, if I heard someone dismiss those fantastic teams. But I don’t think the USMNT deserved a title like “Good Riddance.” They treated the game with respect. A title like that would be better reserved for the French team, no?

  9. lowellfield says:

    Good riddance? I’ve read some smug, obnoxious blog posts, but this pretty much takes the cake. As a USMNT fan that didn’t think beating Ghana would be easy, it sucks to get lectured for arrogance I haven’t displayed. Maybe you should show a little humility and sympathy and shut the f**k up.

    • erp says:

      Amen. Wrong time, wrong place.

      Everyone loves to hate America. We’re the biggest, easiest target in the world. Every time we play some tiny country, the commentators like to spit out stats like “The US is 15 times larger than Ghana in population” nevermind that soccer is 1000 times less popular in the US.

      We held our own. We won our group. And we could have gone deep. See you smug bastards in Brazil, 2014.

    • Whatever. Seemed to me there was a plan from the top to display brash, chip on the shoulder, supreme confidence from the get-go. The media had to regurgitate it from somewhere. If you spoke up against that crap when it was happening, good for you.

      This team overachieved, but because of the out of control confidence spin coming out of US Soccer/MLS, the American game took another in a century of hits.

  10. JoeGinto says:

    I don’t know of any KNOWLEDGEABLE soccer fan who thought Ghana and/or Uruguay/S Korea would ever be a “cakewalk.” Will a Cup run that’s filled with last-minute heroics and the backstory of the US getting ‘screwed’ by the refs and overcoming those odds bring in some new fans? Sure. Those same newbies are likely to assess the opposition by saying something stupid like “Ghana? Who the hell even knows where Ghana is? Ghana sounds like a condition, not a country.” and then take another drink from their Miller Lite and put out their Marlboro Light.

    Using this backdrop to build up your straw argument is the worst kind of hackneyed writing. Was there a “path” to the semi-finals? Absolutely. Every team in the quadrant had to look at the other three squads and think to themselves “Hell, we have a chance here.” There is no Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany in this quadrant (though I think Uruguay is going to shock everyone by beating Brazil in the semis) so it’s absolutely logical that US fans thought we could have reached the semis. We COULD have. We DIDN’T. Some key errors in roster selection and lack of closing down by CB’s saw to it.

    I just don’t understand the point of this article. Fans who thought today would be a cakewalk don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ll also never come to this site. They’ve moved onto the NBA draft, or MLB or whatever-the-hell else.

  11. GaryP says:

    The actual USMNT fans have a great respect for the game and the world. Be careful to make the distinction more clearly.

    America is a very big place and there are lots of different kinds of Americans. There are plenty enough knowledgeable US soccer fans to fill the fan base of most European nations. We’re just scattered amongst a vast portion of the globe. How about you explain to me why I should respect someone who doesn’t comprehend that?

  12. Jeff says:

    Exactly. This article has no basis in reality about the true US soccer supporters. Sure, the johnny-come-latelys might have thought it would be easy. But this article doesn’t point to the knowledgable US fans who thought so, because they were not there.

    Seems somebody got a bug in the britches because the casual fans started to pay attention to the World Cup based on a good run by the States. Now that we’re gone, he wants to point to this idiots as representative of all of us.

    Did I look at the potential for a US push to the semis? Sure, what fan doesn’t take a moment to dream. Had we come out and played the entire 90 as we did in the second half up to the PK, we could have realistically won today. Beating Uruguary will never be easy for us, but also not impossible. On a good day, with a bit of luck, we have enough talent and ability to compete, and when you compete, results can go your way.

    But did I wake up thinking the US had it easy until the semis? No. Can this author show me any large segment of the true US soccer fanbase that did? I doubt it.

    Thus, it’s a horribly written article. He builds a weak argument, provides no actual facts or sources to back it up, then bashes US soccer, the national team, and the US fanbase on this straw argument.

    One final note: we don’t have the most talent of any nation here, but I think a Jozy Altidore or a Benny F. could find a spot on a few rosters in the original 32. Spain or Brazil? Nope. But I bet a North Korea or a Algeria wouldn’t piss on those two come roster time. Take the bitterness about the casual idiots and the overblown negativity about our national team, and let it go.

    • Dylan Thomas says:

      North Korea or Algeria would be happy to have Benny Feilhaber and Jozy Altidore, yes. But doesn’t that mean they’re clearly not good enough for the USMNT? I made a distinction between the true US soccer fanbase, who were quite realistic, and the bandwaggoners who expected so much and will now ditch the team, hence leaving soccer alone until it comes knocking again in 2014. Hoping and expecting are two different things.

  13. Nick says:

    What a ridiculous comment. It shows you are way out of touch with most serious US fans.

    I agree with JoeGinto that the knowledgeable US fans I know where very concerned about this game. Did they think the US could beat Ghana? Yes. Did they think it would be easy? Absolutely not.

    I also don’t get the venom spat at US players. This team is by far the most talented team the US has sent to the World Cup at least since 1990 and perhaps all time (with due respect to my former Coach Walt Bahr).

    No one coming into this tournament saw this as anything other than a flawed team. The US team had real problems at center back, left back and at forward. Still, the team also has some genuine quality, if not major World Class stars. Donovan, Dempsey, Howard and Bradley are all exceptional players.

    A US team that does not even play EPL players on its squad such as Spector and Holden is a far cry from that 90 Cup team made up of college kids.

    The US is not yet an elite soccer nation but we are steadily moving up into the 2nd tier which a round of 16 or 8 would imply. Moving to that top tier will be very difficult since we will have to put together a team with no real weaknesses, a couple of World Class stars and a coach that can effectively manage a team in this type of environment.

    I was disappointed that we lost to Ghana. I truly thought we had a solid chance to beat them. I also thought the team did not play particularly well and that Bob Bradley made some major tactical mistakes. Any time you replace 2 starter by halftime that is a massive admission by a coach.

    What amazed me was that the problem of Clark’s play at defensive Mid and Findley’s play up top came up repeatedly in prior games, was apparently solved and then we went back to creating the same problem.

    At the end of the day this has to be a disappointment because the US as a second tier team had a realistic (all be it difficult) chance to make it to the semi finals by having similar level teams like Ghana and Uruguay as the R16 and the QF opponents. It could be many, many years before the US will be presented a similar opportunity.

    • doug says:

      Amen.

      “What amazed me was that the problem of Clark’s play at defensive Mid and Findley’s play up top came up repeatedly in prior games, was apparently solved and then we went back to creating the same problem.”

      I agree. It’s just really hard not to question Bradley’s tactics. repeatedly. When he started Findley and Clark against England, we were aghast. It didn’t work out well. When Findley started again vs. Slovenia and was a flat-out embarrassment, we all thought he was done. But there he was today, out there shanking a golden opportunity at point-blank range, just minutes after Clark had coughed up a goal…

  14. Coach Pundit says:

    Dylan, I appreciate your candor. I think the US would have done much better had their manager understood the importance of defense at the international level. Well, now at least we know what we need to work on to improve. To tie an anemic England, beat Slovenia and beat Algeria was not the greatest of accomplishments, but this team accomplished the feat with a considerable amount of bad luck, bad reffing and bad defending. Unfortunately, in this environment we have to take a “what have you done lately for me” mentality.It’s going to be fun watching the rest of the tournament.

    • erp says:

      Sorry, the word “candor” implies fairness, impartiality. Mr. Thomas seems to have made up his mind about the USMNT and its fans “days before” this match. This despite the fact that we were able to break down the defenses of England, Algeria and Slovenia. Despite the fact that we *won* our group.

      • Coach Pundit says:

        Of course you’re right about that – but they played like shyte Saturday and looked just like they have so many other times. Horrible defending. Playing kickball when they needed to settle down and play football. HORRIBLE coaching. Same old USMNT. That they got to play the Cinderalla part again was fun. I hope US Soccer finds them a competent manager. We will see much more from this team in the future if the fools who run soccer actually decide to give the team that chance.

  15. Matt says:

    Wow. Gaffer, why are you posting this guy’s take hours after the match? At least let us pull our face up off the ground before we get kicked around some more…

  16. AC says:

    Ridiculous. American fans over confident? When the groups were announced the Sun couldn’t stop talking about how easy England’s group was. I realize the Sun is always rather asinine but the point still stands. America was providing an amazing opportunity to advance to the semi while avoiding all the big names. American fans were exciting and optimistic about this, we had a real shot. Everybody gets mad when the person next to you is yelling at a player and then has to ask you what offsides means but that’s the nature of the sport in America. It’s easy to feel smug when you’ve been a fan all along and these new fans jump on the bandwagon and have no idea what they’re talking about. USMNT is my nation’s team and I want them and myself to go into games believing they can win them no matter who they’re playing. You can say whatever you want about the individual players, it doesn’t matter, in the end they put on a hell of a show, got first in their division and shown that despite how much you hate them, can play toe to toe with any team in the world.

  17. JCT722 says:

    Starting Clark (who’s been in bad form) and Findley (who offers nothing but speed to international football) killed us today. And hardly using Buddle in this tournament, who may have been in the best form of all the players regardless of international experience, was the biggest waist of talent. Why couldn’t Bradley have just stuck with the players that got him through the 2nd half against Slovenia and against Algeria. He’s in his own world and refuses to set up lineups with his brain instead of heart. He does not use logic

  18. V. Lamb says:

    I agree with the article. The US had so much heart and camaraderie; it was great to watch. But even in all their massively entertaining games, they were still making a few technical mistakes that someone like Kaka or Rooney would not make even on a bad day. For example, missing the ball from a good pass, and controlling the ball could be worked on.

    Uruguay has been amazing. Both their defense and their offense are solid. Not only Forlan, but Sanchez too! Pure skill! It would have taken pure luck to beat them.

    As for people dismissing teams they had never heard of, it comes with being a newcomer. People who have followed soccer for a long time will just have to be patient while newcomers start to learn more about the great players, teams, clubs, etc, through exposure. And hopefully, the population’s interest in soccer will not wane so that people will continue being exposed to soccer facts such as “Never dismiss Ghana, Uruguay, or South Korea as ‘easy.’”

    Can’t wait until the USMNT’s passion matches the skill. And I think that we shouldn’t believe too much in being “Comeback Kings.” What was up with Jozy Altidore today?

  19. Jake says:

    Well Dylan, you get your brownie points for being a smarter fan than the newcomers. Why are you getting your panties in a wad about this? Yes you are right about our potential and probability of going far into the tournament. However, why vilify the latest fans to the game that we need for the future? IF you want to refer to some idiot 20 something like the Gaffer was next to, then ok, but don’t generalize about the entire new base of fans that we are getting.

    It reminds me of all the people criticizing Seattle for not having “real” fans. I mean how many years does it take to qualify someone to become a “real fan?” These so-called fake fans, don’t know the game, the players etc.. Its just ridiculous I tell you.

    Maybe this is just the way America is. We are sensationalistic and all want to see the latest , greatest on the TV.

    People, if we are ever going to grow this game to the point where we actually have a team of world beaters then the first thing we need to do is get butts in the seats.
    Daddy takes little Johnny to the game, Johnny grows up to play striker for Barcelona.

    I can tell you this much. When I grew up, my dad took me to NFL games and MLB. The fact that we have a MLS team in my city that I can take my kid too is fantastic and my kids will grow up, at the very least, knowing soccer.

    So, I am sorry that I find your article sort of knee-jerk after the loss today. I for one am proud of our guys.. They had some mistakes that cost them the game but they are a good team and I am looking forward to seeing how the next four years unfold.

  20. wjb13 says:

    this column is a waste–why? Because it takes to task the fans perspective and says the usmnt was delusional based on expectations of some random, supposedly real fans’ expectations that the author presents a supposedly wide-spread occurrence. As a long time fan of the US, who is aware of just how difficult it is to reach even the quarters–I have only heard new fans asking how difficult it must be to beat______whoever, not assuming the US will run over anyone.

    No, it isn’t delusional to think that the usmnt might’ve made it to the semis. Expect? Well, even if someone was expecting, you can never blame a fan base for being overly optimistic–it’s part of what makes a fan a fan. But again, I just don’t see the type of arrogance in the US fan base that the author seems to be creating. I say creating because it just doesn’t exist.

    This column is a thinly veiled excuse for US bashing and trying to rile up the recently eliminated Americans and nothing else.

    It’s a hit piece.

  21. US Soccer is not progressing. You can get all defensive about it – but doesn’t it need tougher love than that?

    • erp says:

      I do not necessarily disagree (we did make it out of the first round). But what is your point?

      • This One Guy in Detroit says:

        His point is that he has this ongoing windmill-tilting vendetta against MLS, which he is convinced could be bigger than the Premier League right now if only we had promo/releg and didn’t have single entity.

        He sees the entire soccer world through this prism, and every post of his — whether encountered here, BigSoccer, ESPN or any of the other gazillion places where he comes in to take a poop — must be read with this in mind.

      • You can be like the guy in Detroit, and give MLS until 2035 to sort themselves out while hamstringing our top clubs, our player development, our lower divisions, and thus, our USMNT, or we can sort them out ourselves.

  22. dk says:

    i sort of agree with some points there, the usmnt was somewhat overconfident, though as an avid fan, i noticed expectations ran too high. americans don’t know the sport well enough to understand how difficult the tournament is with recovery time and all that. it’s going to take at least another generation or 2 of soccer players before the US will get a roster that’s capable of actually asserting itself. i always admired the spirit, and the usmen showed some of that, though there’s been too much fortune such as coming back against algeria and england’s keeper. i will defend cherundolo’s performance however, his is one of the better on the team i’ve seen. bradley had moments also. i fault the fowards the most though. its incredibly weak and altidore did not look to make plays and was pretty sluggish in the ghana game. that and the defense made quite a few errors. feilhaber did okay in my opinion, coming in and really bringing in some energy, putting the US in good 2nd halves in the group stage. i was sort of surprised spector didn’t come in though. he’s got a lot of experience, plays for west ham, why wasn’t he put in for say bornstein? spector did well against spain. he made a crucial mistake against turkey in friendly but i was really hoping bradley would’ve used his depth in defense more.

  23. Nick says:

    Dylan and MLS Talk,
    HOW DARE YOU post an article titled “Good Riddance, USMNT”. These young American men did nothing more than represent our country on the pitch. They played to the best of their ability. They carried themselves with respect and inspired us all. Unlike the French, their conduct on and off the field was honorable. In defeat, they were complete gentlemen. They acknowledged Ghana’s players, showed graciousness, and walked away with dignity.

    If you want to post a title ripping on naive USMNT fans, that’s fine. But I find your title “Good Riddance, USMNT” to be disgusting. Befitting only a disgraced team…which the USMNT is not.

    I hope that MLS Talks says good riddance to Dylan Thomas as a writer.

  24. Greg says:

    I suppose that the author of this price thinks that by puking drivel like this on a keyboard and sharing with the world he’s somehow rising above the fans and team he chooses to belittle.

    Either that or he’s trying to drive page views to a site that doesn’t get much traffic?

    And a counter to that – I’m not sure what the point was – I would argue that most of your readership are soccer fans, and supporters of the USMNT. From that angle it doesn’t make business sense to kick the team when they are down and ostracize the supporters that are here.

    In the end pessimists like this writer and his fans have no place in US soccer. We dint need blind opimism either, but we do need confidence (Whig is building), and optmism/hope (which most Americans seem to be born with)

  25. eplnfl says:

    Well the writer of this piece could seem less happy about our departure. He is right that the WC in South Africa has been a great show. If FIFA has done anything right it was going to South Africa for the games. It has helped the appeal of the games to the US television audience that we get to see a country and a people so rich in their cultural and traditions and with wonder landscapes that we do not regularly see on American television otherwise. Well done South Africa and we have more to come!

    Well done to the USA team and it’s coaches for making the run a memorable one for the USA fans and public. Each of the group games leading to the historic group victory helped bring soccer to the front pages of American newspapers and top stories in other media. In my 50 plus years never has an American Mens Soccer team had such media attention and general public interest.

    Yes, the American talent level is not on par with that of the best teams in the world. Did the US team and certain players lack certain skills that a Brazil or Spanish side would not be faced with. Yes it did. Did the US focus too much on the group stage apparently so. Could we have done better, yes, but overall it was not bad given our talent level. Most world rankings had the US ranked about # 15. That seems about right.

    The defeat to Ghana hurts. To those who have followed this group since back in 2007 when Bradley took the team to a Gold Cup win in Chicago yesterday was the end of a long road. Would another victory and a quarter-final appearance been nice, sure. Beyond that even the best of fans would of been living a dream. The most disappointing thing about the end when it came is that may be one or two more games/wins would have cemented the sport in the public minds. It may have any way time or ESPN’s marketing punch will tell and if it has this group of American’s who did so well with so little will have achieved great things.

  26. James says:

    Who are these great world class game changers on Ghana?

    Who are the world class game changers on Uruguay?

    People got excited for good reason: with the win over Algeria they won their group (a first for the US since the change to 4 team groups) and they drew a relatively easy quads to the semis.

    But, this is the World Cup and just about anything can happen.

    Yesterday, the two major flaws on the roster (up top and on defense) burned the US.

    Nobody said that the US was a lock to make it through to the semis. Although, that noted American homer, Cesc Fabregas, did pick the US to make it that far.

    People got excited with the lucky draw vs England. People got fired up with the phantom call vs Slovenia. And people were drawn to the edges of their seats and then elated with the late goal versus Algeria.

    And even the Ghana match went to Extra Time. It’s not like the flawed US squad went in a one sided blowout.

    Now the question is where does the USMNT go from here and can they improve the squad between now and 2014?

    But, at least we’ll always know that we topped the group over England!

  27. Mike T says:

    Wow Dylan you are right, how could this team possibly think they had any chance of beating the likes of Uruguay or S. Korea. Oh maybe it’s because this same group of “overconfident” players beat the best team in the world
    (Spain) and pushed the second best team (Brazil) to the brink just one year ago on the same pitches they were playing on this week. After the confed cup success and winning the group why shouldn’t these guys have been confident they could win. As a coach I wouldn’t give you a dime for any athlete that doesn’t think they can beat anyone on any given day, because it happens all the time! Supreme confidence is what makes the professional athlete who he is or he wouldn’t be a pro, so ease up on the criticism of ego. And as far as the casual fan is concerned, that is what makes them casual, a lack of knowledge and experience. You media types are always bitching about growing the game, well it is that very casual fan (which we all were at one time) you castigate and belittle that we need to convert to passionate fan in order to see that growth. People like you denouncing and insulting them isn’t going accomplish anything for the game here.

  28. jose says:

    we need more real fans and less casual every 4 years world cup fans. im f*cking depressed and to make matters worse the galaxy couldn’t win either. im so glad we are in the crapcaf, lol.

  29. Craig says:

    I have to admit as a Canadian with English/Irish roots I wasn’t really backing the US side. But that said I am a FAN of the sport… I don’t really take ANY side. I love to see the best of the best battle it out on the pitch and the better team win.

    Team USA impressed me. They really did. I know they did not have the deep talent that other world teams had yet they showed heart and more so, determination. I cheered loudly as they got through the group stage and even sided with them/for them against a tough Ghana.

    Yet unfortunately they were beaten by a better team. I respect their efforts and as stated above truly believe that if America got their act together they could certainly produce the BEST team in the world.

    I was truly hoping for the good of the sport in the USA that they went all the way. That would have indeed generated a wagon train of followers and sponsors and probably made the MLS a LOT of money.

    Can the USA compete at this level? Yes. Can they WIN? Most certainly NO. Not yet. Not until they respect the sport and generate the kind of talent they are known to do in almost every other sporting category.

    Good article – a little unfair but certainly true.

  30. andrew says:

    This article is incredibly patronizing. I don’t understand why bloggers think they have the right to write stuff like this, it’s as if he’s a better fan than the rest of us.

  31. Jason says:

    I want to see Bradley get the boot. His tatics in the Ghana game were awful. Starting Clark and Findley..come on dude. They were horrible. And for goodness sakes can we get defenders who are better than Jay Demerit. He was horrible too. This guy can’t judge where a ball in the air is going to land and how far its going to bounce for his life.

    For a new coach I guess the consensus is Jurgen Klinsman, but what about Roberto Martinez as a suggestion?

  32. Willie says:

    Kudos on calling it as it is… there are fans and then there are FANS…However, I see nothing wrong with bandwagon jumping in support of your country. It’s a show of solidarity; of allegiance.

    Team USA played as well as can be expected and really got as far as expected.

    I’d like to see the fans BACK UP their position and invest a little more time in translating ‘kickball’ to the world stage through that support. Only you can do it.

  33. ChivaDeCorazon83 says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for a couple of months now, and all through out, i’ve felt this blog has a “the sky is falling” mentality. In fact, my first few days reading this blog I would say to myself, “let’s see how the sky is falling today.” After reading this post, I say good riddance to you all. The negative highly outweighs the positive at this particular site.

  34. Adam from Japan says:

    As an American growing up outside of the US (and currently living outside of the US), I can tell you that not many people take the US too seriously when it comes to soccer.

    Does the USMNT have a couple of solid players? Yes. Did the US win their group league? Yes. Does winning your group league really matter in the end? No. The only thing that matters is holding that trophy overhead in the end. That, and playing with respect and dignity.

    The reaction that I’m hearing from Americans regarding this exit from the WC is similar to the comments I heard from Americans when the Canadian Hockey Team beat the US at the Olympics for the Gold: ‘we won our group’-’we beat them in pool play’, and ‘it’s not our main sport’.

    I think it would help a lot of people see things in perspective if they could spend a few years living outside of the country to get a broader perspective. Is there anything wrong with being in-love with your country? No, but it would be good to see things outside of the States and to experience the WC from a different angle.

    I live in Japan, and every time there is an international game (friendly or competitive), it’s on TV. They analyze it, talk about it in the news, and it’s what people talk about around the water cooler. My landlords living in the apartment below me and they were up at 3 in the morning to watch the Japan v Denmark game. They weren’t the only ones: people were packed around public TV screens all over Tokyo, wearing the NT kit and holding a bag with their work clothes in the other so that they could go to work/school after watching the game. Would you see people doing that in the US for soccer?

    Japan is carefully optimistic about getting through to the next round, but before the WC most fans were not even thinking that they would see the team reach the first rounds of knockout play. They weren’t dissing their own team, they were voicing an opinion, just as Dylan did about the USMNT. Most people in Japan would like to see Japan get through to the round of 8, and getting to the semis would probably cause near-riots across the nation. If they were to win, things would go absolutely nuts over here, since people don’t look at it like ‘yeah, we’re Japanese, we’re supposed to win everything that we try our hand at’. That’s the kind of attitude that the world sees in the US, which is why people aren’t that upset that the US is out of the tournament (except in the US, of course).

    Ghana -> supported by a whole continent.

    US -> supported by some in the country.

    Different amounts of significance there.

    • Greg says:

      I’m confused by this reply and the author of the post since they seem to be listening to people that claim that the USA should have won the world cup because we’re the USA and we deserve it. Huh?

      That sentiment was never once uttered among the dozens of close friends and supporters of the USMNT that I regularly commiserate with regarding our national side. We all knew this side had issues, and yet they were able to overcome them to a large extent. In the end our team was punished for a few mistakes … honestly if the ball bounces slightly differently we could all be looking forward to the next match against Uruguay.

      Let’s contrast that to an English side that are supposed to win every tournament they are in. I won’t bash the England squad, but I will query how many goals did “world class striker” Wayne Rooney score? How about the rest of their vaunted team? A total of 3 goals on the tournament? Maybe if they had a Landon Donovan they would have doubled that total?

      There is a subtle difference between optimism and cocky, and that difference seems to be lost on the article’s author. This USA team was optimistic as were their fans. The author “heard” that as cocky and I’m surprised they were able to write such a piece given the huge chip that must be weighing on their shoulders.

      (can you tell I have some passion around this?)

      At the end of the day, thanks for the forum and discussion … I just wish that we could all be a bit more optimistic … after all, life is short, and we really do need to celebrate every day we’re given.

    • We’ll see the ratings tomorrow, but suffice it to say that only 4 million fewer Americans tuned in to US – England than Brits. Yes, the significance, in relative terms, is less – we have other pro sports. But we can support a much better operation than the sham that USSF is running. Gulati is taking supplemental paychecks from Bob “NFL” Kraft. Even if you don’t see the fishiness in that, I think USSF has a lot of work to do – maybe enough that the President shouldn’t be a part timer, with two other jobs?

      Can we please stop blaming ourselves, and take a quick look at the system?

  35. JCT722 says:

    I don’t have A lot of time on my hands to post on forums or to read up on all articles on every website so I tend to pay attention to the most informative and/or positive articles/forums. Although I do listen to every podcast that you guys offer (my 13 year old listens with me as well), which are among my favorites, thanks to this negative, disrespectful, non patriotic, kick the team and it’s newbie supporters in the teeth while they’re down writer and article (which I am shocked that you posted) I believe that my time on this site is wasted. Thanks and good bye.

    • The Gaffer says:

      JC, every one is entitled to different opinions – as you and the readers are.

      Just because you don’t agree with Dylan doesn’t mean you should stop visiting this site, but again it’s completely up to you. I wrote a positive piece last night about the USA World Cup performance, so we’ve offered a fair balance of opinions, I believe.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Greg says:

        Cheers to you Gaffer for being the contrast, I think the point is that there is no reason to write such vitriol on a blog that is supposed to discuss and celebrate the game in the US (unless this is talking about a different Major League Soccer?) :)

      • JCT722 says:

        Point taken Gaffer. You, Richard, Kartik and Lawrence have had a big influence on my improving knowledge of the game outside of the US. In fact EPL Talk was my first podcast and is among my favorites. I’m all for opinions and spirited debate but I do have to say that Mr Thomas’ article was not something I expected from this site (MLSTALK). There are already plenty of sites out there that bash US soccer and US fans. We don’t need the site that was made for us to bash us. What’s the point of that. Thanks for the response. How’s Aaron Ramsey’s recovery coming along?

  36. joe says:

    How’s England doing against Germany today? There’s a country with delusions of grandeur. Go fuk yourself

  37. Jammer says:

    I don’t know anyone who “expected” the US to reach the semifinal. But drawing Ghana and Uruguay on your road to the semi-final was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the US had a reasonable chance.

    Does anyone not know the US is the underdog in this sport? Are you kidding? That is what makes it fun to cheer for them.

    When the team comes back from behind or scores late must-score winners three games in a row, they and their supporters are naturally going to feel that they have some momentum. (However, it also left them too fatigued compared to Ghana, whose group games had nothing like the same pace.)

    It is the team’s determination, and their luck, which has been inspiring. To have legitimate goals disallowed and battle on to win anyway. Anyone who doesn’t know the US lacks technical skills to be the favorite wouldn’t be on this web site.

    Why would you say good riddance to one of the most determined and hardest fighting teams in the tournament? Do you hate underdogs that much? Or are you jealous because your preferred team doesn’t have half of the desire? Do you realize we topped England in the group stage, a team with 10x the talent level?

    Imagine the Indianopolis paper headlining “Good riddance Butler. It was delusional to think you could have won.” That would be equivalent of this piece. Why would the editors want to kick their fans when they’re down? Why not congratulate the team for its admirable run to knockout stage? Poor play, MLStalk, poor play.

  38. Scott says:

    Good Riddance, England!

    Jermaine Defoe’s soft goal against Slovenia seemed to instill a kind of ‘England are actually good’ feel in their fans. Players like Gerard, Cole, Milner and James had all of a sudden become world-beating superstars in the minds of many fans.

    Frank Lampard, Matthew Upson, John Terry, and Wayne Rooney should not be playing at a World Cup tournament – ever. If a national team is relying on Wayne Rooney for goals, an affirmed head-case without the intestinal fortitude and smarts to play at the highest level without Sensei Fergie pulling the strings, they deserve every measure of the Teutonic butt-kicking they received.

    And that Fabio Capello… How naive. You think just because your central defenders are borderline competent in an overrated league the EPL that their up to the task in a World Cup? This is a World Cup. These are the best players in the World. Blah, blah, blah.

    See how easy that is? Go troll somewhere else, Dylan.

  39. beegold says:

    Dylan Thomas is actually the worst kind of American soccer fan. One that doesn’t want anyone new to intrude on his little fiefdom as the “lone voice in the wilderness” of American soccer. Instead of a thoughtful and reasoned comment about how the many of the casual and first time were unrealistic in their expectations, he decides to treat us to angry, spiteful, and derogatory rants about how sh*tty US players and supporters are. I get it. It’s never been more in vogue that to bash the States. But maybe, if Mr. Thomas and the rest of his soccer snob mafia took the time to educate the casual and firts-time fans instead of merely dismissing them as jingositic Neanderthals who will lap up anything if it is clad in the stars and stripes, perhaps soccer could gain real traction in this country. A place where I might remind you does produce world class players, unfortunately only three of them play for the U.S. (Rossi, Subotic, Ibisevic, Joseph). As for the Gaffer, I am very disappointed with your choice of writer, I am a loyal reader and listener and I welcome well reasoned and thoughtful analysis and criticsm on the USMNT (a la Kartik, Trecker, and Farley) and I often agree with most of it. But this was none of that, this was tabloid, yellow journalism at its worst, and I am seriously considering stopping my patronage of your site, podcasts, and sponsors, and seriously considering all of my friends to do the same. Shame on you Mr. Thomas for writing such material, and shame on you Gaffer for allowing this on your site.

    • Willie says:

      Shame on you beegold for your ‘censorship’ mentality. The whole point of blogs like this is to hear others opinions and to discuss them. 76 replies??? That to me (as I would think Gaffer as well) would seem like a damned good post!

      • beegold says:

        Willie, I am all for free speech. Mr. Thomas has the right to write what ever he feels like and the Gaffer can post whomever he wishes; just as every one (inlcuding me) who disagrees with the comment can voice what an absolute flaming jackass he appears to be. So keep your shames to yourself and leave the shaming to me.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Who said he’s American? Who said he’s an American soccer fan? Dylan, I believe, is Canadian and has every right to speak his mind as a fan of world soccer.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • beegold says:

        Just color me foolish. I incorrectly assumed that because this is a website dedicated to a(n) (mostly) American league that the writers would write from that perspective. I apologize for assuming he was an American and I hope he takes no offense at the assumption, I know how sensitive our neighbors to the north can be when accused of being American. As for the comment, I am very disappointed in the choice of writer and post. You can place whatever and whomever you wish on your site. And judging from the comments, I am not sure if I am in the minority or not, but the absolute vitriol and bile directed at casual fan by the self appointed “Defender’s of the Faith” in this country leaves me a bit cold. I would prefer a site that welcomes all soccer fans regardless of their level of expertise or relative interest. If that is not what this website is about perhaps I need to look elsewhere for my material. Look, I enjoy railing against Bob Bradley, Sunil Gulati, and Jonathan Bornstein as much as the next guy, but let’s try to keep the dsicourse civil, shall we and no devolve into extended bouts of name calling and unreasonable schadenfreude.

        • dylan thomas says:

          its just an article, move on.

          • beegold says:

            If you don’t believe what you write then why write it. At least have the courage of your cinvictions. Or was this merely a cheap ploy to whip up the readership? What a joke, I was actually taking you seriously. I had no idea the commentary was meant as satire. In that case, well done, the joke went completely ovevr my head.

      • beegold says:

        Just color me foolish. I apologize for assuming he was an American and I hope he takes no offense at the assumption, I know how sensitive our neighbors to the north can be when accused of being American. But that was immaterial to my response. I reiterate that I am surprised and disapointed about this comment. Even more so because I thought this site was immune from the vitriol that the “Defenders of the Faith” in this country routinely spit at the first time and casual fans. Apparently, I was wrong. The sense of superiority and unbridled schandefreude present in the comment by Mr. Thomas, I find distasteful. I understand that you feel the necessity to defend him instead of admitting a mistake, but perhaps you might consider the appropriateness of the tenor and tone of an article before you decide to post it. I hope this doe not cost you any readership, although I fear it might. I am still undecided.

        • dylan thomas says:

          No, I absolutely do stand by it. I just feel like you, and some other readers, are taking it a lot farther than you really need to. I said something none of you wanted to hear. You’d all rather I wrote a fluff piece about how nice the USMNT are and how they did such a great job. Well that’s rubbish. There was an article written just before mine by the Gaffer, that praised the fans. I wrote a piece with the opposite opinion, and I stand by it. I understand many will disagree, and that’s fine. But it’s just an article. It’s not the end of the world.

          • beegold says:

            I agree that it is not the end of the world. But I disagree about your supposition. My favorite soccer writer is Jamie Trecker, safe to say he has few nice things to say about US soccer. However, your piece was merely a mean spirited attack article, with little merit. You want to write a piece talking about the failings of the US set up, go right ahead, you want to write about lack of fan support for MLS or the racism of fans in Europe, go right ahead, but to attack fans because they have slightly unrealistic expectations is assinine. Fans are supposed to be delusional, that’s why the World Cup is the #1 program on TV. News flash: most people don’t watch because they expect their team to lose. Besides I would rather have fans that care too much and might be a little delusional than fans that are apathetic.

  40. Cavan says:

    Both terrible and worthless. Go back to trolling bigsoccer forums or something. There was no point made. It read the way the knuckledraggers tried to provoke me as a kid by calling me “soccer fag.”. As a fan, I’m not in control. I don’t have the soccer talent to make it as a professional and change the National Team’s fortunes myself. My choice is to be a fan and support. No different than you.

    Like most fans, I enjoy reading another fan’s technical analysis. Your piece wasn’t technical or anaylitical. It’s just trolling. You’re no different than the old dinosaurs who get warm and fuzzy inside writing bad newspaper columns about how much they hate a game that millions of Americans love.
    Since I contribute to a blog (not soccer related) I’m usually highly sympathetic towards other writers. You’re the first writer of a blog I read who I call o hav their posting account deleted. Your piece was just bullying and just a way to make yourself feel good at others’ expense. Go back to the playground and stop writing about soccer. While you might be a fan of the game, you lack any perspective about life or writing.

  41. James says:

    This is just a poor article and many of the opinions expressed in the comments are also pretty disheartening. This was like reading what John Harkes must constantly be thinking.

    I think fans saw a favorable draw. Instead of playing Spain, Germany, Brazil, the Dutch, etc., we saw that we drew Ghana and then the winner of the South Korea/Uruguay game. I don’t think anyone thought of these games as easy, but it is certainly true that the draw opened up for us in that we didn’t have the chance of playing a favorite until we hit the semis. Uruguay are quite good and I expected them to do as well as they have, but it is normal to feel optimistic when you see that draw.

    There is a generational shift happening in US soccer. Younger fans are more likely to have started really paying attention in 98 and 02. It’s unfortunate when one’s team loses, but when that happens is it really helpful to stand to the side and mock fans who thought the team could’ve done better and won more games? Not really.

    It’s unfortunate we lost. The game could have gone either way and in the end, poor defending hampered us one too many times. That’s one way to look at it, I guess.

    The alternative is to basically say fuck you to everyone who isn’t the right kind of fan who acts in the right kind of way according to your bizarre standards. I know which approach I respect more, no matter which team we’re talking about.

  42. Ray says:

    Frankly, someone saying “I told you so” is a big douchebag and a twat. But the thing is, that big Douchebag and Twat is certainly very right, and a lot more intelligent than the rest of the USA Supporters. USA dosen’t deserve TWAT.

    Good job with the article Douchbag. YOU sir, are VERY right. (No Sarcasm here, although it may seem like it).

  43. Ray says:

    I’d much rather see Wayne Rooney act like crap up foward, rather than Jozy Altidore. WTF was Altidore doing on the squad anyways? Alexi Lalas saying “THEY ARE JUST NOT THAT GOOD” about the England squad. Well Alexi, you could have pointed that to the USMNT. Americans with big heads, and all they have to answer to it is by calling England “Crap”. England may very well be “Crap”, USA Supporters, but remember; Team USA is in the same toilet as England.

  44. Ray says:

    Why do people keep thinking Tiger Woods is an athelete? Because he’s black? All of a sudden he’s somehow a better athlete than US National team players?

    I’ll take Jozy Altiodre over Tiger woods any day when it comes to Athleticism.

    Seems like USA fans talk s*it, then lose, then claim that the sport is not taken seriously anyways.

  45. Pundit Coach says:

    Ray – 4 letters for you…

    E…..A…..S…..Y

    hahaha Arrogant English

  46. New York Outlaw says:

    Dylan Thomas,

    If you hate American Soccer fans, then why do you write for an MLS blog? You hear one USMNT “fan” make a statement about the semis and then proceed to make a sweeping generalization. I hang out with some of the most passionate and longest-serving USMNT fans in the country (the AO-NYC). Not once did I hear anyone say we were guaranteed a win over Ghana but we did believe we had a good chance as Ghana had struggled to score from open play and in recent years, we have given better sides than Ghana (England, Spain, Brazil, Argentina) tough games. During this Cup, I heard from many bandwagon friends-American and even Canadian, Scottish, Nigerian, etc-who thought this team could make it to the semis just like Cesc Fabregas said. Is the Arsenal captain also a fool? Your taking out of context in relation to Landon and having a film made about him is also galling. He was asked by Rick Reilly before the Cup and to suggest Landon said it after the Algeria win is the sort of writing/commentating we expect from Fox News or British tabloids. You claim USA fans as arrogant when talking about Algeria and Slovenia but mention nothing of our other group opponents who’ve been arrogant since the draw. The majority of their fans and papers assumed EASY and that they would have no problem with us, the Algerians, or Slovenians and even after they did, some papers proclaimed the Germans were scared of the Three Lions. That is an arrogant fanbase. We are nowhere near. Maybe you hear Tony Kornheiser compare population stats but that guy is an idiot and not a soccer fan. I agree with your sentiments about Ricardo, but Steve Cherundolo does play some good balls and has been a leader in the Bundesliga for years. DeMerit handcuffed a world-class Rooney for 90 minutes. You criticize Dempsey in one of your replies as if he’s a nobody, forgetting his goals for Fulham like one against Juventus, a team with World Cup players. Jozy is fucking 20 and you’re saying he should never again participate in a World Cup? I understand your point about ignorant newcomers but even us grizzled veterans had hope because at the end of the day, this was probably the kindest draw in terms of the knockout round we were ever going to get. We didn’t have to face a Brazil or Holland until the SEMIS, hence the hope. Yet, you castigate us but aren’t you just as wrong as us? What if we had made it to the semis? This is football. This is why we love this sport. Anything can happen. You saying we had no chance is just as stupid if not worse than us believing. If it came down to talent and the squads on paper, how do you explain FA Cup upsets, Denmark 92, Canada 2000, Greece 2004, Iraq 2007, South Korea and Turkey 2002, us ending Spain’s unbeaten run, beating a fantastic Colombia in 94, or finishing 4th at Copa America 95? If there was no point in believing, why support most teams? Should we all just be fans of Brazil, Barca, the Lakers, Yankees, etc? If we didn’t believe or have at least a little hope, then we aren’t really fans and this is coming from one of the most pessimistic people around. One last question: which national team do you support and why?

  47. New York Outlaw says:

    Dylan Thomas,
    If you hate American Soccer fans, then why do you write for an MLS blog? You hear one USMNT “fan” make a statement about the semis and then proceed to make a sweeping generalization. I hang out with some of the most passionate and longest-serving USMNT fans in the country (the AO-NYC). Not once did I hear anyone say we were guaranteed a win over Ghana but we did believe we had a good chance as Ghana had struggled to score from open play and in recent years, we have given better sides than Ghana (England, Spain, Brazil, Argentina) tough games. During this Cup, I heard from many bandwagon friends-American and even Canadian, Scottish, Nigerian, etc-who thought this team could make it to the semis just like Cesc Fabregas said. Is the Arsenal captain also a fool? Your taking out of context in relation to Landon and having a film made about him is also galling. He was asked by Rick Reilly before the Cup and to suggest Landon said it after the Algeria win is the sort of writing/commentating we expect from Fox News or British tabloids. You claim USA fans as arrogant when talking about Algeria and Slovenia but mention nothing of our other group opponents who’ve been arrogant since the draw. The majority of their fans and papers assumed EASY and that they would have no problem with us, the Algerians, or Slovenians and even after they did, some papers proclaimed the Germans were scared of the Three Lions. That is an arrogant fanbase. We are nowhere near. Maybe you hear Tony Kornheiser compare population stats but that guy is an idiot and not a soccer fan. I agree with your sentiments about Ricardo, but Steve Cherundolo does play some good balls and has been a leader in the Bundesliga for years. DeMerit handcuffed a world-class Rooney for 90 minutes. You criticize Dempsey in one of your replies as if he’s a nobody, forgetting his goals for Fulham like one against Juventus, a team with World Cup players. Jozy is fucking 20 and you’re saying he should never again participate in a World Cup? I understand your point about ignorant newcomers but even us grizzled veterans had hope because at the end of the day, this was probably the kindest draw in terms of the knockout round we were ever going to get. We didn’t have to face a Brazil or Holland until the SEMIS, hence the hope. Yet, you castigate us but aren’t you just as wrong as us? What if we had made it to the semis? This is football. This is why we love this sport. Anything can happen. You saying we had no chance is just as stupid if not worse than us believing. If it came down to talent and the squads on paper, how do you explain FA Cup upsets, Denmark 92, Canada 2000, Greece 2004, Iraq 2007, South Korea and Turkey 2002, us ending Spain’s unbeaten run, beating a fantastic Colombia in 94, or finishing 4th at Copa America 95? If there was no point in believing, why support most teams? Should we all just be fans of Brazil, Barca, the Lakers, Yankees, etc? If we didn’t believe or have at least a little hope, then we aren’t really fans and this is coming from one of the most pessimistic people around. One last question: which national team do you support and why?

  48. BigBlueAL says:

    This article makes it seem like Ghana won 4-0 and it was a joke to think the USA could beat them. The final score was 2-1 and it went extra freaking time.

    Plus the writer is Canadian apparently so he must be bitter that Canada is stuck trying to qualify for WC in an impossible federation unlike the USA. Oh wait thats right they are in CONCACAF!! Maybe one day they will actually make it to the final stage in WC qualification for once then in another 40 years get lucky and finish 3rd and qualify for the WC in 2054.

  49. American Arnie says:

    WOW!!!

    I think this post has degenerated in a way that COMPLETELY validates Dylan Thomas’ criticisms… have you all gone mad? What started as a VERY blunt (but true) comment regarding the USMNT and it’s so called fans has turned into an onslaught of insults. I am an American and proud of it. I have to say I am not proud of many of you.

    Who cares if Thomas is a Canadian? What does that have to do with anything? He has valid points and makes them. I certainly didn’t agree with everything ANY sports commentator blurted out but I can say that I NEVER responded with such hate.

    This is a SOCCER (football) blog. Let’s leave it there.

    This was a truly ripping and warranted post and while I don;t support it – I do support Thomas’ right to his OPINION!!!

    Onward – looking forward to 2014!!!

    And I really think the MLS should organize a USA / GHANA match as a promotional opportunity to keep boosting the sport.

    WE are a country of GREATS – want to shut people up? All we have to do is WIN! Not moan!

  50. lastguyoffthebench says:

    I do not support this team, because most of the fans are clueless and obnoxious. When Cherundolo is your option as an “attacking” back, that is just pathetic. Landon scored 3 goals, but was non existent for most of the games. If you thought he had a great tournament, you are crazy. They are one of the most unorganized teams in the back, and most of the players lack any technical ability to take people on 1v1.

    It’s kind of hard to be successful on the World stage when you can’t defend, can’t finish, and have trouble possessing the ball.

    Bradley, however, is the future of USMNT. I support him. The guy is a beast with great vision. He plays some sick, difficult balls against the grain.

  51. derek says:

    I haven’t bothered reading all of the comments, but I think your statement that USMNT fans “expected” to reach the semi-finals is dead wrong. For me personally, I was confident that if they played well for 90+ minutes each game, they would have a chance to win against Ghana and Uruguay. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to put together 90 minutes of solid play in any of their games and that’s why they are going home. With the talent level we have, anything less than their best will not be good enough.

    If you’ve had a few beers, and someone sticks a microphone in your face and says “How far can the US go?” What would you say? I think most would say something like “USA all the way baby!” Supporters of all teams outwardly hope for the best. That doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of the reality of the situation.

    As for the mainstream sports fans in the US, just be happy they turned on the TV and watched when the US played. That’s progress, and the sport needs that progress to continue in the US if we are ever going to get to a point where we have a real shot at winning the World Cup.

  52. Stephen Baynham says:

    Yeah, what kind of asshole would just immediately expect to do well at the World Cup when their team doesn’t have fundamentals down?

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/05/29/england-has-a-chance-rule-south-africa039.html

    You’re pretending that talking up your team is an American phenomenon- it isn’t, it’s a football phenomenon. At the end of the day, the US performed well- we finished further than South Africa, France, Nigeria, Greece, Slovenia, Algeria, Australia, Serbia, Denmark, Cameroon, New Zealand, Italy, Cote d’Ivoire, North Korea, Switzerland, and Honduras.

    Not to mention all of the countries that didn’t even qualify.

    When you’ve got mid-tier countries like England talking about taking it all the way, to rag on America for talking about the semi-finals is really petty. I think maybe you’re used to us being a bottom-tier country like yours, and that’s really not the case anymore.

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