Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Belgium 2 - US 1

Belgium's field players were clearly superior to their US counterparts, so the US lost despite Tim Howard's heroics. As usual, the US can't manage possession. Not only was Belgium winning nearly every challenge and fifty-fifty, but we couldn't pass accurately at all.

It's somewhat puzzling that despite our large population, huge number of youth players, and substantial resources, we can't play better soccer. Of course it's true that the best US athletes go into (American) football and basketball, but those elite super athletes in the Pro leagues are mostly not suitable for soccer. Lebron might be all but unstoppable in the box, but can anybody imagine him running 90 minutes in the heat and humidity? The potentially great US soccer players were probably really good high school wide receivers, defensive backs, and basketball guards who were too small for the Bigs.

I also suspect that US youth soccer is too organized and too badly organized. The really good future players are playing on playgrounds, not in leagues. My kids played in youth leagues at 5 and 7, I think, but they played 11 vs. 11. At that age, they ought to be playing 3 vs 3 or maybe 5 vs 5.

Of course it was a great game - with chances for both sides.