Project 2010: Success or Failure?
Coach Bob Bradley said it best…and nearly every member of the U.S. soccer team echoed that statement: “We have to get better.” In light of the U.S.’ 2-1 loss to Ghana in the Round of 16, that statement is absolutely true.
Okay…I know the goal of this team was to get out of group play…and considering some of the powers that did NOT achieve that (hello, Italy and France)…they succeeded. And, yes, I know this morning somewhere in London or Munich there will be millions of soccer fans who will feel what we felt yesterday. An empty feeling…we’re done.
The U.S. certainly had their chances…the difference was that Ghana, a team that had played three games in the group stage and had not scored one goal in the field (yes, they scored twice on penalty kicks), did make the most of their chances.
Why, oh why, does the U.S. fall behind early in what seems to be most of their matches? Ghana scored an early goal in the first half…and in the first 15-minute extra time. How many times could the U.S. pick themselves up off the mat and get back into the match? Unfortunately, Asamoah Gyan’s goal less than three minutes into the extra time the end for the U.S.
I stated I thought the U.S. would win 2-1…and that a shoot-out was a definite possibility. Well, I was close…but not close enough.
Kind of like the U.S. I do not believe I will ever see the U.S. have an easier chance to make the semi-finals in a World Cup tournament. They were higher-ranked than all the teams in their bracket. They were getting shots on goal…they were playing well when they really needed to. Project 2010 was not as successful as U.S. Soccer had hoped. But, if your goal was to get out of the group play…maybe it was.
I am not satisfied, as a fan, knowing this team should have been playing Friday afternoon against Uruguay…in a match they would have had a great chance to win. But for now, I guess we need to focus on the tournament as a whole and enjoy some great action on the pitch.
And, to any friends in England and Germany, the U.S. fans feel your pain. One of these great teams is heading home in about two hours!