Good morning and happy Thursday, sorry this is getting out a little late to all of you readers but hopefully you had a great week excited for the Fourth of July. It seems only fitting that as we approach the Fourth of July we talk about the US soccer team and they're amazing run down in Brazil. While the in result against Belgium may not have been the one we all hoped and dreamed about. We really have a lot to be proud of from the perspective of both the players and fans.
The US was drawn into the "group of death" back in December and many wrote that the US had no hope. In May when the roster was trimmed to 30, then 23 many said that klinnsman had thrown in the towel and was simply building for 2018. But yet. Here we are in July still simmering over what could have been in an extra time match the the US lost to Belgium in the round of 16... Further than any pundit, expert or analyst would have ever thought. The young inclusions in the roster (3 players under the age of 21) all made key contributions in the US run. While many a former player may critique parts of the US roster or strategy, the moral of the story remains the same... The US out played their expectations and announced to the world that they belong.
It was the US that fans who were stranded without a team jumped on to support. From the local brazilians to many a European side, players and fans a like marveled at the US's resiliency, grit and the loud roar of the American outlaws. In the minds if the rest of the futbal world, the US finally arrived. They went from the equivalent of an NCAA mid major who always is in the tourney but never makes a splash to a team that, come 2018, will be one everyone hopes to avoid.
The US may not be title contenders at this point in this their stage of soccer growth, but they are growing. And their players are getting respect from abroad. No one in the world can say that Tim Howard's performance against Belgium was not the strongest goal keeping performance we have or likely will see in Brazil. Players like Michael Bradley abd Clint Dempsey showed why the succeed in the top leagues in Europe. Players like Omar Gonzalez and Matt Beasler may soon get the call to move to Europe to ply their trade, because they showed that they belong based on their play. No, this hitter taste in our mouthes from a win that could have been are not pleasant, but the sweet taste that will follow, the sweet taste that comes from arriving at the global stage and that comes from overwhelming support within our own country... That was well earned.
T.O. Signing out