U.S. 2 – Spain 0

June 25, 2009

In case you missed the greatest ever victory by the men’s US soccer team, the NYTimes has a great article summarizing the significance of the game.

Spain was the #1 team in the world, having gone unbeaten for 35 wins and ties and won their last 15 outright. The US had been very generously ranked at #14, probably higher than we deserve considering we play in a relatively week North American conference where our biggest opponent is Mexico. Spain has a dozen players who are household names all over the world: David Villa, Torres, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Fàbregas, Sergio Ramos. The US has a bunch of guys who play for mid-level European clubs and then a handful of standouts from the MLS.

Sure, this was a one-shot win, but something more than a fluke, a sign that American men’s soccer has grown some teeth and believes in itself. The team next has to play Brazil in the Confederation Cup Final (2pm Sunday, ESPN), which no one dreamed we would ever be playing in, and Brazil didn’t look unbeatable against South Africa this afternoon, only winning on a beautiful indirect kick by Dani Alves in the 88th minute (out of a 90-min game), who came off the bench just to plug one, it seems.

Time to start dreaming.

One Response to “U.S. 2 – Spain 0”

  1. Guy Shalev Says:

    It’s a generational thing. Even if soccer isn’t considered a “serious sport” over there, it’s what all the kids are playing. You don’t have to be very tall to play, or massive, you don’t have to be an elite to keep playing for fun, so there are loads of players, and as they mature, there are more professional players.

    And still, football 😉

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