Everyone was all a buzz yesterday during the Confederation Cup finale on ESPN, and while the U.S. choked away a 2-0 lead, the team did it’s job by getting people excited about a possible World Cup run in 2010. One of the more opinionated people throughout the tournament was ex-player Alexi Lalas, and he sat down “On the DL” to talk about what it all means….
“It’s unrealistic, and unfair to a certain extent, for a team to do well in a couple of games – and very well against some very, very good teams – and then automatically say that we can win a World Cup.
“We can win a World Cup, but the reality is, tomorrow we can go out and play Spain and lose 5-0. Tomorrow we can go out and play Brazil and lose 5-0. On the day, the team was better than Spain, and that’s what’s the most important. But you also had an incredible perfect storm to get the team to that point. You can’t count on that happening in a World Cup.”
And what, as American soccer fans, and those who hopped on board this weekend to ride the recent success of the United States’ team, should we take from the Confederations Cup?
“I think the best part of this whole thing, in terms of the Confederations Cup, is that we’ve finally seen a positive message sent to not just US Soccer fans, but sports fans in general that even are coming to it late, that this is a team that when playing against the best, can bring a heart and a spirit. For a while, we weren’t quite sure.
While that’s obviously the right way to look at things, unfortunately Americans just don’t think that way. Even Lalas himself said earlier in the interview, that people in this country want things “right away”. Soccer is just setup so different than what the average American is used when it comes to Sports, and patience isn’t one of our stronger suits.
After all of the hype this run garnered, we still have to wait a year for the World Cup, and unfortunately if the U.S. Men perform like they did last go around….the Sport won’t really be talked about for another four years. That isn’t to take anything away from the performance of this team at all. But rather just the way things are, and always will be, when it comes to Soccer.
On the DL Podcast – Episode 199 (On the DL)
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