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Not over the result, but over what we showed. You may recall my excitement over a 4:2 loss to Brazil in a 2007 friendly, but it was because then-coach Bob Bradley actually tried to go toe-to-toe offensively rather than playing the conservative empty-bucket "go for the draw" mentality. Otherwise, the only friendly that the US should celebrate a victory in is when we play Mexico, as that game is never truly a friendly. I do get why people want to note and celebrate the win, but to me, what's more important is that we're solving our outside back questions with Johnson and Chandler; Edu and Bradley look to be the starting midfield we need to control the tempo; Altidore is settling in at forward; Klinsmann is getting this team to try to take the game to the opponent, regardless of their class or talent; and we're not playing a more bunkerish-mentality with only the counter for an attacking option. I'm very happy with that, and if that results in 1:0 road win over the class of Italy, even better........
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." --Gandhi
I attended that game in-person, and yes, yes I do..... ;)
Ok, so you think professionals and their coach that are working on certain tactics, formation, development to prepare for a big tournament are going to set that aside and try to destroy the US because they want to show us up as a country due to our geo-political position?
Um, we've only gotten to the group stages in 2 of the last 4 World Cups (2010 and 2002. 2006 and 1998 were both miserable performances). And winning Gold Cups is fine, but it only entails beating Mexico on our own turf. That's nice, but it doesn't say much about our position in the world. Getting to the final of the Confederations Cup was outstanding, no doubt.
I don't disagree with much of what you wrote in this post that I quoted, but if Italy was up for the game as much as you suggested earlier, then this would be a game changer. But we've had more impressive results than this when something was actually on the line.
I've just had my U7 team play up at U9 for an entire indoor season - and watched them get the shit beat out of them in most games! They'll kick ass when the outdoor season starts though .
This exactly. Friendlies are about development, not about the end result. Get excited about how certain units/players worked with each other, not the score. If the exact same game were played yesterday, but Dempsey's goal hit the post, and Italy had a ball bounce one way instead of another which led to a goal for them, most of you wouldn't be posting about how excited you were. But we would have played just as well, and there would be just as much reason to feel optimistic about the direction of the team.
Having attended friendlies and Gold Cup games against Mexico, there is no such thing as "home turf" for the US. The only time we gain a home-field advantage is when we play a small venue like Crew Stadium for a World Cup qualifier where they can put in place ticketing rules that put tickets in the hands of US supporters while spreading out the Mexican fans to keep them from having a supporter's section. Mexico plays most of their friendly slate in the US for many reasons....outstanding support and money are at the top of that list.
Look, no one is acting like this is Spain '09...not me anyway. But to act like Italy didn't care before or during the match is off base as well.
But it's a small milestone in the progress of US soccer under JK. He said they went there to win and they did.
Now onto the WC qualifiers...
A friendly is a friendly, but comparing how Italy would approach a game against the US with how MSU would approach GVSU in the preseason is assinine. Are they going to push as hard as they would in a cup competition. No. However, I guarantee that Italy wanted to win, expected to win, and played to win. In addition, I will tell you that we are not popular on the continent and I would bet that Italy played harder against us than they would have against say Columbia or South Korea (who are similarly ranked) and yes it does have to do with their perception of the US.
Right, it's certainly not a real home field advantage, but it is relative to playing at Azteca. I was referring to the pretty good record we have against Mexico on US soil versus our record against them in Mexico.
True....it's a matter of comparing a crowd that is supporting one side to a place where bags of urine are thrown at our players. Add in the continued threat of kidnapping and even the Mexican NT won't play there unless they have to during qualifying......
I am. That was a meaningless friendly too .
And here I am with no down-votes left.
So you don't think MSU wanted to win, expected to win, and played to win against GVSU? In both cases, you had a "blue blood" team who was primarily using the game as a tune up for more important games (which means putting a priority on working on various formations, lineups, etc. over how to best exploit and defend the opposition). Meanwhile, you have the lesser of the two teams in each case trying to prove something. I had said that the gap is not as big between the US and Italy. I would use a mid-major for the analogy, but we typically play them in regular season games that impact our tournament seeding.
And sorry, but I don't believe that Italy would try any harder against the US than against Colombia or South Korea. They might even respect them more due to a couple of players on each of those teams. If anything, it would be because they do perceive the US to be better than those countries, not because of some geo-political hatred. That's just absurd. They're professionals and they see players as fellow professionals, especially ones that they have played against in person or seen on film against top competition in European leagues.
Both teams brought comparable representations of their player pools. Italy approached the game in the same way as the US. As this isn't some rivalry game, that aspect doesn't apply. Yes, the US looked at this as more of a litmus test for where they are, while Italy looked at it like another friendly against a good opponent, but not a litmus test (for them, that'd be Germany, Spain, etc.). Once Italy went down 1:0 in the 55th minute, they did kick it into another gear as losing at home in a friendly, regardless of opponent, is an embarrassment for a team like Italy. And in this sense, holding the lead for 35+ minutes was an outstanding challenge for a team to face in a friendly. Getting such a test on the road is a learning situation you want in a friendly. We passed it. Good for us........
I take it this win was more significant than the recent losses to Belgium and Costa Rica? Up to 31 in World Rankings now though, which is good.
I don't think comparing GVSU to the US national team is even close to an accurate analogy, that is my point. I'm sorry you don't believe that teams will get ramped up more against the US, but it happens. I think it has more to do with what happens to them in the press if they lose to the US than the players' actual political views. Coaches and players in major European countries (England, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, etc.) know they are going to get hammered in the press if they lose, regardless of situation.
In that we played well and seem to be understanding what Klinsmann is asking of the team....it is. I think I'm fairly representative of the supporters of the USMNT when I say I was struggling to see the path where our player pool could do what Jurgen was asking of them....and the friendlies against Belgium and Costa Rica last September were good examples of those doubts. The friendly against Slovakia in November showed me that there was growth and understanding, which I continue to see. Yesterday was another step in that process.
You know enough about soccer to know that our defensive issues are really a matter of player selection and settling the defensive midfield. We're finding answers there. For the US to take another step to winning games past the group stage (Mexico '02 was an exception as we knew them well and we were better) is an issue of finding a new approach to creating offense. For the Arena and Bob Bradley years, our approach against good teams was to counter and push for set-pieces. We're playing with more creativity now...one-touch passing, movement, ball control, etc. And we're actually seeing players growing in their comfort with that approach. And that some of those players aren't just named Dempsey and Donovan, well, that's exciting........
Interesting. So now it's NOT due to geo-politics or any dislike of the US? Now it's the fear of the press that drives them? So would the press not hammer them for losing to Colombia, since they play much harder against the US than Colombia? And what of the fear of the press reaction if they have a disappointing Euro because they didn't use their friendlies to prepare for the tournament?
Post of the thread so far..great synopsis Heathens.
...If only we could have had weeks of endless handwringing over who the US captain would be for the Italy match...
Calcio fans know that Italy is notoriously lackadaisical in friendlies. It is frustrating, but ultimately friendlies mean nothing and are somewhat useful for trying different players and/or formations/tactics out (and money). Italy again wasn't playing like it mattered, for the most part. If you look at their recent performances, and Euro qualifying, you can see. It really doesn't mean anything negative for them. The link between midfield and attack wasn't there tonight with the main players missing, and the offside runs were frustrating.
To beat Italy, in Italy, IS still a good accomplishment for the US. Even with them not playing with full effort, they are a quality team, and the US made the most of their couple of chances, and played really good defense. Bradley played great, and I know the US was also without some key players. It was an accomplishment, and the US should be proud, despite it being a meaningless game.
Are you serious dude? You are bat shit crazy...
World Rankings have more bullshit than the BCS.
Dude tired of this round and round with you. You equated the US National team to GVSU. So basically you're equating a top 10 team in Italy to about the 400th best team in the world. We'd have to be about as good as Bermuda for that to be true.
Playing the US is definitely bigger than playing Columbia for all involved for a number of reasons. Sorry, but its true.
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