Tuesday, June 13, 2006

So What. Now what?


Okay, so Reckless Abandon needed a little time to put that loss behind us before we could move on and write a new post. And, that is what USA has got to do now—move on, completely put that loss behind them, and write a new post. Or better yet, win two games in a row.

Soccer is a team sport and everyone in the US organization has some responsibility for that loss. Now we're in a must-win situation.

All that happened is that we got our ass handed to us by a world-class team. That Czech performance is what international soccer is about, and it proved that the US is not yet good enough to not bring their A-game all the time. It's okay, but it is something that can't be denied. The World Cup is not CONCACAF. ESPN's Andrea Canales wrote a great article about how all of the secrecy and Arena mind tricks are bullshit because when it came down to it, the team didn't perform.

The only bright spots in that game were Reyna, Johnson, O' Brien, and Convey. Johnson was an exceptionally bright note, because after the Send-off series we were extremely worried that he could not rise to the challenge of European opponents and a World Cup. But, we think that he really did. He played confidently, he attacked, and he was one of the few dangerous players on the field for the US—one of the few that we are honestly proud of.

We don't care who Beasley was in 2002; he has been terrible in 2006. Reckless Abandon was worried about him in the Send-Off Series friendlies, but we thought he would rise to the challenge and the bigger stage when he got to Germany. In fact, this was what we hoped to happen with the entire team. The same team that showed up and lost to Morocco in Nashville stepped on the field in Gelsenkirchen.

So, now what? Honestly, we played so poorly and with so little reckless abandon in attack that we don't even need to think too much about planning our tactical chess match against Italy. That would be too much of the same bullshit that went into the Czech game. We need to get ourselves together before tactical subtleties will even be a factor.

So what Reckless Abandon now proposes is that the US says, "Fuck it, we're going to attack, we're gonna play with passion, and we have nothing to lose so we're gonna play like wild men." This is what must happen. Reckless Abandon prays that the following is Saturday's lineup, and that these players play in a way that makes us think they actually want to win the game.

We think the US should go in a 3-5-2 like this:

----------McBride--------- Johnson----------
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Convey ----------Donovan---------Dempsey
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---------O' Brien----------- Reyna--------------
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-----Lewis--------Pope--------Gooch----------
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--------------------Keller-----------------------

Who cares what Italy is gonna try and do to us? If we can't even play well, and if we can get some sort of attack going, it doesn't matter if we try and anticipate what they're gonna attempt to do us because they'll have their way with us anyways.

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