USA Soccer Disappoints...Again. - Fueled by Sports

USA Soccer Disappoints…Again.

My jaw dropped. Literally. I figured (hoped really) after Robert Wood scored the game-tying goal in the 108th minute, that at the very least we would be heading to a shootout…then Paul Aguilar had to go and ruin it. I had just sat down from quickly running into my kitchen to get food, and as I was in my present state of thinking we may actually win this thing, and only seconds after taking a sip of my sweet tea, Aguilar put what felt like the final nail in the coffin. Let’s be honest, if you’re a true fan of this team, in these sorts of matches it always seems we start these games already playing from inside the coffin.

We want to believe that “this” team is good enough, that we can win games that matter. Sure we’ve looked good in international friendlies against the elites of the world, looking at you Germany and Italy,  but those games are called “friendly” for a reason – they don’t matter. Sure you can play well, and maybe even win now and then, but in the end it’s really just a scrimmage. Ask any athlete about the difference of playing well in practice and playing well in an important game. To an athlete the next game is the most important game. The games in the past don’t matter. Playing well in practice and your last game, doesn’t mean it’ll carry over to when the games matter most – the next game.  [Patriots fans turn away] – 2007 Patriots lost their most important game that season. Even they would agree.

It just always seems that our US Men’s National Team loses their most important game. This game versus Mexico is a game they should have won, but any fan always expects that

It’s been several days since the loss, but immediately every fan, critic, and media person jumped to a Game of Thrones “who’s going to die next” mentality, as they do after every loss.

{Side note: If you didn’t understand the reference to GOT, it may be time to subscribe to HBOGO}

It’s easy to blame Klinsman. He’ll most likely be around through the World Cup 2018, but that doesn’t rest well with many fans. He’s had the gig for long enough where folks are expecting results in the important games. I understand the argument, but Klinsman has the highest win percentage (56%) than any coach in the last four decades. You shouldn’t blame the coach without passing the blame onto the players as well, because in the end the players play the game. Sometimes, I think managers are used as scapegoats when a team is doing poorly and not enough responsibility after a loss is placed on the players.

This team is loaded and has talent that teams from years past wished they had, but it always seems they come up short. Maybe it’s because we haven’t caught up with the rest of the world yet. Maybe it’s because we’ve caught up to where the elite teams were, but they’re even better now. Maybe it’s because we just win games that don’t really matter. Whatever the reason, and maybe there’s others out there, this entire team is to blame.

As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I understand being pulled in time and time again, only to be disappointed. You’d figure we’d learn not to get too excited and learn from our past, that this time will be different. But that’s what makes us fans real fans, we believe that this time, this team, will be different. That’s why heartbreak hurts so much, and victory feels so freaking good.

And this fan will continue to watch and root for this and every future USA men’s soccer team, despite whatever disappointments come our way.

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