Argentina’s 4 – 0 pounding of the U.S. in last night’s Copa America semifinal was a brutal barometer of the current state of U.S. soccer. It was apparent by Argentina’s lightning goal in the 4th minute that they were in another class. The blowout was the soccer version of a big brother forcing his little brother to punch himself in the face for 90 minutes.
It was an illustration of the massive gap in technical skill and precision between the U.S. and the elite level countries that consistently contend for international championships. On The Herd today, Colin said fans that make excuses instead of admitting the U.S. has a long way to go are just delusional.
“I always love American soccer fan, ‘Oh, it’s coaching.’ Really? Coaching? The last time Phil Jackson was in a Playoffs series he got swept. And he’s a great coach. Why? He didn’t have the players. You can’t overcome our lack of skill. Passing, dribbling. That was a rout.
You know why? Because you have an Australian guy that couldn’t make the NBA, and we have Durant guarding him.”
One of the biggest differences between the U.S. and a giant like Argentina is the importance that the media and public place on soccer. While America’s sports interests are divided amongst four or five sports, in Argentina soccer is a religion. Messi gets picked apart everyday like LeBron James or Tom Brady. If the U.S. loses the players rarely catch heat. Colin thinks if the U.S. is going to take the next step globally, the players need to be held more accountable instead of coddled.
“If Messi has a bad game, he’ll be criticized. They’re talk radio, they’ll beat up on the players and the coach. We don’t. Our suburban soccer players, they’re all super-duper. We give ‘em pats on the back, foot rubs, and orange slices.
Why won’t anybody say Michael Bradley’s completely pedestrian, and hasn’t gotten any better in two years? Why won’t anybody say that? Why won’t anybody say that Jermaine Jones made an idiotic, juvenile move against the last opponent, not allowing him to play in this game. Why does nobody criticize our players and hold them to the same standard we hold Tom Brady to. 50% of you think Tom Brady’s overrated. Everybody loves Michael Bradley. He’s average.”
Even after last night’s sound drubbing, the U.S run to the semifinals in the Copa America has exceeded reasonable expectations. They will face the loser of the Colombia and Chile in the third place match on Saturday.