USA -2, Spain – 0
The U.S. shocked top-ranked Spain 2-0 on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, ending the Spaniards’ record-tying 35-match unbeaten streak. Spain had won 15 straight matches and had not conceded a goal in 451 minutes.
The Americans advanced to their first-ever FIFA tournament final. Miami Herald
I had to post this, I just had to. I know it isn’t typical commentary, but I can’t tell you how excited I am – though I am disappointed at Spain because they did not trade jerseys after the game, a customary action.
This win doesn’t mean we are a world soccer power, far from it. We have another match to play before we even when this tourney and we still have plenty of kinks to work out as a national team.
All and all this was incredible because it was an upset. But, I think it does let people know what USA has a good soccer team (not football club, I’m ok with not trying to be like Europe). I love and respect this quotation from Spain’s coach, “We faced a team that played with good energy, was good in attack and was fast . . . we were surprised. The entire team was very dangerous.”
Yes, the USA plays the game differently – we have always done so, we did so when we beat England in 1950 – , but the way we play gritter, rougher, slower, and more athletic than mainstream football is apart of who we are. It is our style and honestly refining that style and playing it well is perhaps the best option we have to be continuously competitive. I hope that we begin to accept that and stop trying to play the European game.
Either way we are in a FIFA final, I hope this encourages American soccer players, quiets some of the cultural critiques of soccer, gives us more credibility on the world stage, and brings out more Americans who are willing to support their soccer team – not just say “we aren’t good”.
I could talk about some of the details of the game, but really the best thing to say is. . .
Well done red, white and blue; well done.
Here is video of the two American goals and other highlights.