The Groundsman’s Shed

Team USA: Beijing Bound by groundsman
March 21, 2008, 12:47 pm
Filed under: 2008 Olympics, Canada, football, Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Maurice Edu, soccer, USA

The US U-23’s are either speedskating, or celebrating a ridiculously dominating 3-0 win over their normally friendly neighbors to the north (and Owen Hargreaves’ true national side), Canada.  The victory featured two scores from Freddy Adu, a quiet evening from team captain Maurice Edu, as well as some impressive playmaking from SoccerballGoldenchild Jozy Altidore.

The Olympic qualifying win is kind of a big deal for the players and fans because the 2004 team (featuring Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley) did not manage to make it this far– and this new crop of young players appear to have a lot of the skill, the speed, and perhaps most importantly-the big game experience that teams from the United States have lacked over the years.  These guys were not just drafted from their college teams like many of the players from the Bruce Arena days.  USA has players with overseas experience, players with MLS starts under their belts, and players who have been brought through the system of playing in international tournaments with the U-17’s and U-20’s.   Those years of playing time in front of international crowds and against a diverse collection of teams with varying styles of play should (and that’s an important operative) be a big factor in differentiating this team from past US teams.  

All of the above said, it’s also important to note just how unexpectedly hard the road to Olympic Qualifying has been for this US team.  With the amount of individual talent and experience on the squad, a 1-1 draw with Cuba should have never been in the cards, but a distinct lack of cohesion between the players has been the biggest let down facing Peter Nowak’s side. 

I won’t lie- I’m just as excited about the U.S. team being in the Olympics as I am about the U.S. team’s friendly against England.  Yes, the Olympics is a world-wide display of true dedication and athleticism, but the star spangled bikini wearing part of me really just fantasizes about beating the English at the game they invented on May the 28th in Wembley Stadium.  I’m that petty, it’s true.

What’s Next: United States U-23’s v. Honduras U-23’s


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Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

Comment by sandrar

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