A look back at U.S. Soccer’s landmark day

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Photo by Bernd Feil/ISIphotos.com

Three wins, eight goals, none conceded and plenty to build off across three levels of U.S. Soccer.

It's safe to say that Feb. 29, 2012, went about as well as it could have if you're a U.S. Soccer player or fan.

The U.S. men's national team took a big step forward under Jurgen Klinsmann's direction, withstanding late pressure to notching the most important result of the new era with a 1-0 victory over Italy, the first-ever win for the United States over the Azzurri. That result came on the heels of the U.S. women opening their quest for a ninth Algarve Cup with a 5-0 thrashing of Denmark, in which Alex Morgan continued to state her case to be a fixture in the starting lineup with two more goals.

The Under-23 men's national team capped off the day with a dominating performance in a 2-0 victory over Mexico in a pre-Olympic qualifying friendly featuring the top two U-23 sides in the region. With momentum and confidence building as all three teams approach an important stretch of matches — be it Olympic qualifying, World Cup qualifying or the Olympics — Wednesday can be looked back on as a key reference point going forward.

Videos of postgame reaction from players and coaches speaking after the triumphs of the men's senior team, U-23 men's team and women's team are after the jump:

USMNT POSTGAME REACTION

U.S. U-23 POSTGAME REACTION

USWNT POSTGAME REACTION

This entry was posted in U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Men's Olympic Team, U.S. Soccer, U.S. Women's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to A look back at U.S. Soccer’s landmark day

  1. Bradley's sons' son from the future says:

    20-30 years we will be winning our 1st WC and being a soccer power on the global stage. Mark it

  2. AC says:

    Is it just me, or is Michael Bradley speaking English with a tiny hint of a European accent?….Probably from speaking so many languages in Europe now…

  3. elgringorico says:

    Bradley Sr. and Bradley Jr. on the sideline coaching Michael III to the US’ first ever WC final

  4. AC says:

    Also have to give props to Caleb Porter….He really is turning the U-23 team into an amazing to watch group with their style of play.

  5. Judging Amy says:

    Some random thoughts in re: the Italy game…

    -IMO Josmer wasn’t as bad as the majority were saying in the 1st half. He was clearly hampered by the hand injury and did a decent job holding up play and laying balls off. Italy’s D is strong.
    -Team played nicely. Calmer on the ball overall.
    -Edu and especially Bradley played well. Fab Johnson might be the solution at LB. D as a whole was good.
    -Demps is in fine form.
    -Brek and D. Williams had trouble imposing their games but that might have a lot to do with Italy’s excellent wingbacks.
    -Can’t judge T. Boyd on a 10 minute performance when Italy’s pressing and we’re holding for the result. Hopefully he got his nerves out so we can give him a good assessment next game.
    -Specs looked pretty good when he came in.

    Positive stuff for the JK era.

  6. Joe Creighton says:

    Caleb Porter seems like a badass.

  7. elgringorico says:

    He could double as an assassin or something

  8. Can Alex Morgan be stopped by anyone? She seems to just score at will. On the Italy game, Bradley and Edu worked well together. The whole backline was solid, especially Bocanegra. I also liked the combination play up the wings and Altidore’s hold up play and passing. As for the U-23′s, that was some good dominating play for much of the game. The depth on that team is insane, especially considering that Shea wasn’t even there.

  9. Red White & Blue Porker says:

    Hopefully we get to see a rematch of these games soon with both team using their A teams.

    Was anyone surprised on how empty the stadium was for the Italy game? I guess they don’t care for friendlies over there.

  10. Idaho Brian says:

    It was very impressive to see the U23s come out with a dominating display as a very cohesive unit.

    I continue to read articles from sportswriters, (including comments from Grant Wahl, who I enjoy reading), which state that the USA hasn’t found the next Donovan or Dempsey in the pipeline. However, I think the future looks incredibly bright…we shouldn’t worry about finding another Donovan or Dempsey, I think the US has a solid core coming up through the system with their own unique qualities.

  11. bryan says:

    such a great day! for the Olympics, i would be tempted to do this:

    Gyau, Jozy, Adu
    Mixx, Morales, Corona
    Johnson, Opara, Williams, Chandler
    Hamid

    Johnson an over-aged player. Even with Shea not included and with no Dempsey or Bradley as over aged players, that team is still nasty.

  12. buff111 says:

    Bottom line, a good day for US soccer.

  13. vivalosburros says:

    Sure was a fun day of watching soccer. It is days like yesterday that make it enjoyable to be a soccer fan in general.

  14. downintexas says:

    There already is the next Donovan and Dempsey, it’s just a matter of time before one of the younger guys steps up and delivers. Although skill set like Donovan is rare. If Donovan was not an American he would be starting on a top level team

  15. MC Pharaoh says:

    really? because I easily think by 5 years we could possibly field a team equal to the quality of Italy. That U-23 game, we were very good & didnt have alot of talent even on display…

  16. 2tone says:

    Dempsey’s stock is skyrocketing. Would not be surprised to see a bug club swoop in and buy him this upcoming summer. I want to see these guys from the U-23′s be in the rosters for the USMNT friendly’s in May. Gyau, Adu, Diskerud, Boyd, Shea, Agudelo, Gatt and Corona.

    Look out world here come the Yanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Gnarls says:

    I’d split the difference. I see us contending in 2022. Road trip to Qatar, boyyyy.

  18. RK says:

    Project 2010!

  19. 2tone says:

    “big club”

  20. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Both sides were pretty close to full strength, barring a few injuries. Regarding attendance, it wasn’t surprising. Poor attendance is de rigeur in Italy, be it Serie A or their national team. They might have drawn better if they were playing Germany or Brazil, but not by much.

  21. Gnarls says:

    Not sure how his passport affects his ability to start on a top level team. He’s proven to be the best man on the pitch with Everton. If he had made a permanent move in 2010, who knows, maybe he’d already have moved on to a top flight team in the EPL – if Everton isn’t high enough for your standards.

  22. away goals says:

    The italian team is nowhere near winning a world cup either.

    forza new zealand

  23. Eric says:

    Outstanding day for USA soccer. Looking forward to the U-23 tournament later this month.

  24. ChrisB says:

    Certainly a great day of soccer! I have to say the new kits looked a lot better “in action” I don’t really care for the collar though

  25. marco says:

    Big gamble by Klinsmann, highline with no pressure on Pirlo, and he rolled a seven. Although Lalas thought it the ‘cats meow’, I hope he never tries it again.

    Klinsmann, bring Porter in after the Olympics, the next Low.

  26. papi grande says:

    it has been said and written a bunch of times already, but it never hurts to repeat the positives…howard was rock solid as always. back line bent on a few occassions but never broke. fabian johnson looks promising. bradley was the MOTM and he should be an automatic starter when games matter. edu complimented bradley very well. dempsey is on a super torrid hot streak. altidore played well AT TIMES, in the second half. his first half performance left a lot to be desired.

    one negative that i think needs to be pointed out…klejstan was horrible as far as defending the wing when he came on and we were defending a 1-0 lead. he got smoked TWICE, once by a pirlo pass, the other time he was just lost. not sure he has a spot on the national team as a wide midfielder. he does not have enough speed or defensive prowess. he is either an attacking center mid on this national team or he is not on the national team…and i know we are stacked in the center of the park…so i am by no means saying he is a starter…just that his position is attacking center mid.

  27. Luke says:

    I also wouldn’t be surprised to see “General” Bradley move to a bigger club in Italy. He only signed a 2 year deal and with yesterdays performance and if he keep up his form at his club the rest of the year, I think it’s a real possibility.

  28. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Can’t believe i have not seen article yet with “Leap” in the title. Cheesy but accurate.

    Giant Leap Forward…instead of big step forward.

  29. GW says:

    Everton is a C+ to B – team in an A + league with an A+ manager.

    The US can certainly live without LD but you and dntexas like most US fans, underestimate just how exceptional Donovan is.

    He was named the best young player of the 2002 World Cup, the only American ever to be so honored.

    Look up the award and check out the list of players. It is quite exceptional and it may be a very long time before another American ever wins it.

  30. GW says:

    marco,

    Everyone knows about Pirlo and everyone tries to stop him. Few people do. Name me the US player who can shut down Pirlo?

    Had he been available I would have sacrificed Donovan for the job. Theoretically it would have been Dempsey’s job but then who would do our scoring?

    When you get as many offsides calls as the US did it’s not just luck.

  31. GW says:

    “so i am by no means saying he is a starter…just that his position is attacking center mid.”

    Which is why he has not been called in except for injuries. Maybe he gets a move to a bigger club and gets better. But until then, at his best, and I like Sacha, he is currently a second line player for the US.

  32. Eurosnob says:

    I share your excitement about this young group, but I also think that these youngsters will be best served by staying together in the U23 team and doing great in the Olympics. Sure, a couple of them will be called up to the USMNT, but I don’t think Klinsi will gut the U23 team and introduce 9 youngesters to the first team right before the WC and Olympic qualification games start.

  33. Eurosnob says:

    Don’t underestimate the Italians. Quite a few Italian teams looked pedestrian prior to the WC, but won the WC. Nobody expected Italy’s 1982 team to win the WC until they got hot after the group stage, beating very strong squads from Brazil, Argentina and Germany. Italy generally punches above its weight in the world cup – last WC is more of an exception, but their squad was too old and the coach was too loyal to his players that won the WC four years earlier.

  34. CroCajun says:

    Why would Shea not be included?

  35. CroCajun says:

    I think I’m going to watch the replay on ESPN3 again tonight of the Italy game.

  36. Dave says:

    Bradley only plays because he’s Bob’s son.

  37. Matt C in tampa says:

    Just noticed it but that photo at the top is a bit creepy…

  38. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    I will agree that Porter is going to have to tinker with the full-backs, but I wouldn’t bring in F. Johnson at LB to do it. Valentin was not comfortable last night, he’s better as a CB. Kitchen was solid as well. As a left back, (Sarkodie was OK on the right) Chandler could serve but maybe Lichaj is who get’s tapped…(heck, maybe Dunivent!)

  39. away goals says:

    You’re right of course. But I don’t think the squad italy put on the field yesterday would challenge for honors, european or otherwise.

    We’ll see though. They do always manage a suspicious win or two en route to a final.

  40. JCC says:

    “20-30 years we will be winning our 1st WC and being a soccer power on the global stage. Mark it

    US Soccer Fans = Playing same broken record since 1990.

  41. Robert Daniels says:

    She especially scores on me, all the time…

  42. Chef says:

    No over age players
    Shea, Jozy, Gyau
    Mixx, Adu
    Corona
    Morales, Opara, Williams, Chandler
    Hamid

  43. Roberto says:

    AHAHAHAAHAHAH really? never neither England…It’s just not gonna happen, one win and you get all big headedevolution happens for everyone so teams with more history always ahead.. thank you for participating though.

  44. JCC says:

    To be fair every fan wants their team to win the World Cup one day, but it’s the hyperbolic talk after one win or loss that drives me nuts. It’s either “we’re gonna be the best ever!” or “we’re the worst team in history! Fire (insert coach’s name here)!”

  45. Ian says:

    The difference, I feel, is that soccer is hitting a vein with American kids now, with FIFA and MLS and the popularity of soccer with Nike and Adidas. Hopefully it turns kids on at an early age, athletes that would otherwise play other sports. Basically, tapping a larger resource.

  46. Ian says:

    This is a little out of left field, but Abby Wambach seems like a good interview. I appreciate it when athletes say something worth hearing, rather than run through the same ol’ lines.

  47. swoopy says:

    “Michael had an outstanding game,” said Klinsmann afterward. “Half a year ago, he had a difficult situation with his club. When he told me he was going to Italy [to join Chievo], I said, ‘Michael, this is exactly the step you need now, to go to Italy and learn the whole tactical side of the game, to really read the space and read the game in advance. You will learn a hell of a lot.’

    I (heart) Klinsi

  48. Ian says:

    I know this is shallow of me, but I’ve never liked Sacha ever since I saw Chivas play on ESPN, and the audio caught him yelling “F*** you, F*** you” to someone on the other team. Not the kind of guy I want representing my country.

  49. UMF 89 says:

    I love SBI….all I read on this site is when will the US be an elite football team…I said it before and I will say it again…all you young pups who post on this site take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. I graduated college over 20 yrs. ago and fell in love with soccer when the only place you could watch it on TV was on PBS’ Soccer Made in Germany before cable TV!!!!!! Think of it this way…what is the rate of improvement in the US players soccer IQ…two examples….Dempsey…he will be 29 soon but his road to improvement Furman, MLS, Fulham, USMNT has be 10+ yrs. and over above his techical ability his biggest improvement is his movement and seeing the game. I mean see and moving like the top players in the world do. MB….is what 24? MLS at 16? Holland, Germany, Italy USMNT that is 8 yrs. The ESPN crew nailed it he is so much more under control after one year in Italy the rash tackles etc. have been greatly reduced…why? MB has the soccer IQ to learn the game on the level of the best player in the world and apply it to his game the way it is played in Italy…I do not know who the next or first world class player of the US will be but the rate of improvement of how US players understand the apply the game mentally will grow by a factor of ten in the next decade…I will enjoy the process!!!!!

  50. Trent Hill says:

    The Senior team was impressive, yes.

    The U-23 team was dominating. Gyau has serious wheels on him, Mix had a commanding performance that should’ve shut the doubters up, and Agudelo had good reflexes. Adu looked like he was proving he belonged on the senior team–hard to believe he’s U-23, but he’s been playing professional soccer for 9 years.

  51. Warren says:

    True, but point it aiming to produce another Dempsey and Donovan is wrong target. Target is a full squad of players on their level.

    We are not there but quality and depth is improving.

  52. Warren says:

    Thinking same thing, I checked Dempsey and Bradley transfer market prices today.

    Dempsey’s at $18m.

    Bradley’s dial hadn’t moved back up yet from ~$2.8m, but I agree his stock is rising.

  53. Warren says:

    +1

  54. WK says:

    Though I suspect its still some years away, we are really going to miss Bocanegra’s fight, skill and leadership when he hangs up his boots. He’s been one of the Nat’s better captains, IMO.

  55. WK says:

    That’s a good idea since Porter has such a great knowledge of the game and looks to continue his winning ways based on the progress with U-23′s so far, but… Nat’l team coaches tend to be a little older yes? I wonder who is the youngest WC coach? JK maybe? Maybe Caleb needs a few year’s managing some professionals first.

  56. pancholama says:

    Dig it man – right on. I grew up playing HS soccer in the 1970s in New Jersey – I summered in Mexico and had uncles and cousins and grandparents who had played professionally at one point or another or just plain loved the game like crazy, and I lived in Brazil as a kid – so I kind-a knew what I was doing. Sort of. But we had no soccer on TV, no internet, no DVDs and training videos, etc. – the amount of soccer knowledge US kids have access to now at their fingertips, and the opportunities to train and play with good coaches, and quality competition are growing exponentially every day. So the ploddingly slow progress we experienced over the 80s and 90s and into the present is accelerating on a log curve – good things are coming, yes brothers, good things are coming, good things.

  57. pancholama says:

    Ay!

  58. KC says:

    A look back?
    I remember it like it was yesterday………

  59. pancholama says:

    Yeah – and if you look at the replay of the goal Dempsey scored – look at the lead up.
    It’s Bradley settling the ball in the mid-filed, and safely conducting the sphere, dribbling close to his body – medium tempo – looking up and reading the field – making a good pass to Johnson – who then picks out Altidore in the box. Jozy settles the ball, looks up and says, “Clinton, brother, good to see you! D’ya wanna tango?”
    Bam! Golazo!

  60. Adi from Oregon says:

    A look forward – even though the US Men soccer teams had a great successful Wednesday, the US National Womens team needs similar improvement! Yes, they also won but do NOT play technical enough to be at the highest level, as they used to be. The USNWT also plays a MAJOR role in making soccer more popular, even as mothers of future men/women soccer stars!!!

  61. Paula says:

    WTF is up w/ Agudelo’s hair?

  62. UMF 89 says:

    Amen Brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Neruda says:

    Indeed. The women’s did what we’d expect because after all they are world class. I only hope the mens team didn’t over achieve and that these results from the mens teams become expected in every friendly and qualifier.

  64. Brett says:

    We were better than Italy when we played them in the 06 World Cup if you ask me. We got screwed in that one.

    It felt so good to beat them, yes, but nothing matters except winning a World Cup and Olympic gold. Spain win was epic. But Confederations Cup doesn’t mean jack, and neither do FIFA date fixtures where we 1-1 draw with Argentina or shock upset a team in Europe.

    I’m actually more stoked that our U-23s, made up of mostly unproven players, bossed a fairly solid Mexican youth side. I have been a Mix believer for a while. I’m not sure I like him more than Holden, Bradley, and the others in that “engine” role. but he’s great for depth in that position for sure.

    The women. Eh…

  65. Dennis says:

    Gotta agree. There was a time when it was earth-shattering news if the USA somen lost. They were more athletic, and more skilled than any other team. A few other countries have caught up, Germany both physically and technically, China and Japan Technically and probably tactically. Brazil and Mexico have skill. I think the USA dominated so much that tactical awareness was just not part of the equation, they simply were so much better. Now the USA needs to be more tactically aware and since they can no longer dominate possession at 80-90%, they need to learn how to defend better as a group.

    Still despite that fall from infallibility, they have remained one of the 4 or 5 top national teams in the world.

  66. Dennis says:

    That and all the guys on the U-23 team have years ahead of them to get better. I am most worried about the lack of depth in defense. We have maybe 6 backs, counting Johnson, and Boco, Dolo and Goodson are getting long of tooth and another, Onyewu, seems to have begun getting injuries and slow recovery that comes with age. It usually takes time for backs to learn the tactics and patience needed to defend well. I hope some of those young guys are fast learners.

  67. PetedeLA says:

    Ha!

    If that were true Bayern Munich would never have let him go.

    It’s a nice idea, and it shows you are a true fan, but I have to strongly disagree.

    He can’t really dribble past people without loads of space.

    His body isn’t powerful enough to push players off like Dempsey.

    He’s great on a team like Everton where they’re just talented enough to play possession soccer against mediocre teams.

    Donovan’s game requires space. Top teams are not afforded that space by their opponents.

    When he was at Bayern Munich he got stifled by the double marking. Top players are capable of dealing with this.

    I’m not saying Donovan isn’t a very good player.

    But he doesn’t have the talent level of someone like Iniesta, and his body isn’t powerful enough to wear defenders down like a Valencia.

  68. Chuck says:

    Trying to make people see he is the next Neymar…

  69. swoopy says:

    Very true, but Timmy Chandler is young, Fabian Johnson is young; I have yet to see Lichaj look lost on the international stage. Ream, I’m going to give him a chance to improve in all phases, is also pretty young.

    I’m less worried about the back line than i was before the Gold Cup, and I do see a stacked U23 team with consistent cross-level coaching bringing kids along and grooming them for bigger things.

  70. PD says:

    All I want is for the USA to beat Ghana. I kid….

    I want to see a true gold star on a US men’s jersey as much as the next fan, but as good a day at the office as US soccer had yesterday that’s a far cry from predictions of a golden generation and winning the world cup.

    Keep in mind teams like The Netherlands and Portugal and Mexico have NEVER won a World Cup. NEVER. Spain JUST won their first. That is an insane statistic when you consider how huge soccer is in those respective countries. I don’t think there is anything is domestic sports that comes close to the difficulty of winning a world cup (unless you’re Brazil, Germany or Italy).

    In spite of the great progress the US is making, Spain and Germany are very much in the ascendancy, France and the Dutch have a championship potential with many of their rising players and I won’t discount Argentina until Messi retires. Plus, emerging countries like South Korea, Japan and Ghana may very well make history before the US does.

    Personally I’ll be ecstatic if the next 12-24 years see the US rise to be a perennial factor in the elimination rounds of the tournament with a reputation for playing confident classy and skillful style of soccer. I think it’s absolutely within grasp. But I also expect that we’ll need a few bites at the apple before we win it all (unless we manage to host the tourney).

    I also think we are watching what will go down in history as a very special generation of players, both those who are nearing their peak and those about to follow. I think this generation will be the giants on whose shoulders future champions will say they’ve stood on.

  71. g-dub says:

    Deuce’s movement right before the layoff was also top class. Watch the way he reads the play as the cross is coming in and fades away from the defender to open the gap for the layoff and strike. That’s the type of subtle class that is learned in the world’s top leagues.

  72. g-dub says:

    When I came up the only soccer I could find on TV was early Sunday morning on public access television, when there was a grainy Serie A game broadcast for the local Italian American community. Good times. Then we walked to church uphill both ways in the snow.

  73. oscar_in_fw says:

    We won’t start seriously competing for the World Cup trophy until a few years after:

    (1) Youth development programs rival those of the elite soccer powers

    (2) Youth and Professional coaching rivals that of the elite soccer powers.

    (3) Presence of “Streetball” skills (a la Dempsey) are actually nurtured and become the rule, not the exception for selection of promising youths for development programs.

    We still have a ways to go

  74. JD in FL says:

    +1 it’s a shame that the women’s game hasn’t achieved professional stability in this country. Most interviews the give reflect positively on the women and the national team.

  75. hogatroge says:

    Well, you can play that card in 10 years.

  76. danny says:

    i noticed that too. just a hint.

  77. whoop-whoop says:

    It’s not really a gentleman’s game and I am ok with that. The vast majority of top footballers came out of a working class background. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard guys yelling F U in a match. Is it admirable? No. Does it happen like…. every game? Pretty much. That’s just da boys being competitive. I’m much more interested in how a guys plays /whether he is a dirty cheapshotter etc rather than what he says. Truth be told… if say… a guy comes in studs up on your kneecaps, he well deserves that and more. I’d have no problem shaking a guys hand who had said that to me in the heat of battle after a match…. but that’s me.

  78. syght says:

    Nice, where’d you get the figures?

  79. Ben says:

    He is one serious dude. He owned that presser.

  80. Ben says:

    Boca always plays well. He can read the game very well, but his technique is somewhat … limited.

  81. TerkyJerky says:

    I don’t get why people keep leaving him out of the starting lineup. Every report I’ve read from these U23 camp has said Shea was the best player their and look to be in his own level. Yet I see almost everyone who make their line up leaving him out.

  82. Adi from Oregon says:

    You have provided an excellent recap of how other countries have caught up and now are challenging the US power-house, national womens team. Even though defense is important to concentrate on, it is even more important for the US to play intelligently and more technically to keep the other team from putting pressure on the defense in the first place.

  83. Ben says:

    What annoys me about that is that Dempsey was never in the pipline. No one saw Dempsey as a teenagers and said: “Ten years from now, best US player, scoring winners against Italy.” Landon was a golden ball winner at the U something, then a 19 year old Donovan absolutely tore up a World Cup, even giving the Germans a lot of trouble, so yeah. But then what happened? An absurd overvaluation and competitive increase that was probably too large and immediate. I like where a lot of these guys are at their ages. How once you get to a certain age, maybe 22-23, minutes are going to be a concern,

  84. Ben says:

    Rapinoe is worth the admission I’d say. She is class.

  85. ACS says:

    I think we are good on set pieces for a while. Between a healthy Holden and Mix I think we are in good hands.

  86. Jason says:

    I hate to be negative, but I thought Jozy Altidore was horrible as usual, especially in the first half. Yes, he got an assist by trapping the ball and side footing a pass to Clint, the same as any other 10 year old youth player is taught, but he still lost most balls played to him, and didn’t fight hard for any 50/50 balls.

    Yes, he got a penalty drawn on him, but he did it by flopping, as usual. In a friendly, I would rather see him fight hard for the ball instead of flopping.

  87. CroCajun says:

    If you read his interviews I think a lot of Donovan’s struggles early on in his career occurred between his ears.

    LD is a complex guy and he isn’t motivated by the same things most athletes are. He doesn’t care about money and fame as much as being wanted and beloved.

    He’s a sensitive cat.

  88. b says:

    Gyau usually plays on the left though. Gatt plays on the right. And was not released by his team. How soon we forget…

  89. Neruda says:

    He lost some balls but comparing him to a 10 year old YSL kid is silly. It was a nice play and one the old Jozy probably wouldn’t have made. Also his foul just outside the box was due to his attacking with the ball at his feet and giving the defenders a change of pace and a chance for teammates to get involved. There was no flopping it was just aggressive defending by Italy that got some legs tangled.

    You may never be satisfied with Jozy even if all he does is deliver assists and earn dangerous set pieces for the US.

  90. jpc says:

    can we stop with the historic nonsense. It was a friendly against a good team. That makes it a good win and a good building block for the future, NOTHING ELSE. Historic wins are wins you will be talking about in the future. How pathetic would it be if the US fanbase was talking about our victory over Italy in that friendly. We all want the US to be elite, so let’s start acting like it.

  91. dave says:

    All US teams should play on Feb 29th every year!

  92. RNG says:

    Speaking of accents– or speaking style– it’s clear that Caleb Porter has gone to the Bob Bradley school of flat-affect style post-game talks.

    Which is funny considering his coaching style is so different.

  93. Stewart says:

    anyone know if this match will be aired again? my recording failed and I really wanted to watch the game but I was not able to watch it live. I contacted ESPN but they were not planning to reair the match.
    Stewclarke@hotmail.com

  94. Haha his hair is probably the least exciting part of that U-23 game. Other than that it was a great game.

    I had the same feelings about the polo/varsity jacket shirts that the senior team wore too. They both look ridiculous.

  95. is it not still up on ESPN3.com?

  96. Excellency says:

    I like Carlos Somoano’s game. He took over from Porter and won the NCAA his first year as head coach.

    There are coaches who look good and then there are coaches who win.

    It would be interesting to see a piece written by somebody comparing Somoano with Porter.

    Klinsi is a Caleb Porter type of guy, I think.

  97. SBI Troll says:

    He’s motivated by Bianca

  98. papi grande says:

    i appreciate what you position, but with all due respect, this is not AYSO. pretty sure callups are chosen regardless if the player has a potty mouth.

  99. Francois says:

    +1, fantastic post.

  100. #3 is really key. The reason the US is so good at basketball is that people play streetball/pickup all the time and can do things at an individual level that players in other countries can’t do. I know the US has lost their basketball dominance in recent times, but I think part of that is US professional being indiffernt to the international basketball game … and the international game having different rules than the US (even college and NBA has different rules!)

  101. Agreed. On any given day, the US can beat anyone … they’re just inconsistent. That will come with the foundation that has been laid and the things Jurgen is implementing. Once we get better overall players as a team, we can hopefully become a consistent top 10-15 team. Once there, you need some luck in the WC. See Netherlands (has not won one yet), Spain (just one!), and England (hosted at home and got lucky).