Some thoughts on the major players in the 3 games played by the USA in the World Cup this year.
Coming in: Touted as the "leader" and spark for the US squad.
Going out: Totally and completely uninspiring. Didn't look for the ball, didn't take the ball. And when given opportunities to attack, passed to someone else.
Coming in: Speedy attacker who made a name for himself after WC 2002 and some amazing performances. Expected to score and break open the defenses of opponents.
Going out: Looked tired, worn out and completely worthless. Lackidaisical almost in his performances. Should not have even been on the squad.
Coming in: Touted as "probably the best goal-keeper in the world" by many. Having been passed over and playing backup in previous world cups, this was supposed to be "his" chance.
Going out: Did he even make a real save? Granted, some shots were totally the defense's fault. But excuses or not, keepers are there to be the last defense, to make great saves, to keep the other team frustrated. Keller did none of that, and he looked old not doing it too.
Some thoughts on the play in general by the US squad:
Overall I think the squad pretty much just sucked. They had the talent, they had the training, they had the speed. Bottom line is they choked massively. Almost every game, with the exception of the first 20 minutes of the Italy game, the team looked like they didn't even want to be there. There was no creativity whatsoever in their passing game. Their offensive tactics were non-existant when they figured out that the other teams knew (and defended well) the attempts to go to McBride over and over and over again.
After the Czech game, I think the coaches for the US should have made WHOLESALE changes to the lineup. Give some of the younger guys a chance to come in and do something. I am just completely overwhelmed at how UN-EXCITED the US squad looked during the whole tournament. Nobody had any spark, nobody played like it was the World Cup….and worst of all, nobody did anything about it.
I blame the coaches for not ripping some ass when it was clear that the players were not fired up. But ultimately I blame the sorry ass US players, for wasting spots on the team where we could have had people who gave a damn.