Monday, June 27

The Best Thing That Could Have Happened

"...To the United States Men's National Soccer Team

was losing 4-2 to Mexico."

Is the inverted start to the article in question.

The article then goes on to say that the goal of the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team should be to win a World Cup.

Sure, of course.
(And no argument that Coach Bradley doesn't keep the long-term in mind at all times)

But how?
By what paradigm?

That is, what IS American Soccer?

1. High Work Rate.
Seriously. The ability/desire to keep on plugging away. To fight on in the moments during which the French would fold. Full-tilt soccer. Not total football, but high-impact, full-tilt soccer. All of the players from the US already display this because they're from "that other sport" in the US. They're not football, baseball or basketball players. They're not even trackstars. Or homestar runners. They're soccer players. They've had to prove themselves over and over again to everyone around them because they play the forgotten game in the US. Often, w/r/t the players in other countries, "high work rate" is a euphemism for "not that talented". In the US? That is the entry fee to soccer. That is to say, you better at least work hard at that stupid no-hands sport you've chosen.

2. Linear Thinking.
There is one creative payer on the US team. He is Clint Dempsey. He is an outlier. In this context, he is *the* outlier. No one else sees what he sees. No one else in the US does what he does. We're massive fucking country and we can't produce another Dempsey? This, to me, says that we're either not trying hard enough or that the other Dempseys play other sports for more money. Or that the more athletic versions of him do. Or that we don't know how to produce/develop that kind of instinct/talent. Point remains that, for whatever reason, we don't produce savants at the game. At least not yet.

3. (F)Risky
That is, "not risk-averse". That is, we need to be comfortable losing 4-0 because we took chances that could have made us win 3-2. The balance of the game is in individual moments. Then there is all of this other stuff that develops/provides opportunities for brilliance. If we are fundamentally bad at brilliance (see lack of creativity above), we need more opportunities to possibly create those transcendent football/soccer moments. This will cost resources at other points on the fields which can then be exploited. Great teams will do this. 90 out of 100 times Spain, as currently constituted, will KILL us. But 90/100 is better than 97/100. And then we need to bang our collective head against the wall. Again.

our counterattacking style of play doesn't give us that many chances to win games, but fitness, preparation, and a firm belief in our identity has helped the U.S

Yes on fitness. Yes on prep. Yes on belief (though we don't know what that belief is *in* just yet).

Why the fuck are we playing a style that doesn't give us many chances to win games? That is something for the HUAC. The thing about los Norteamericanos is that we want to believe we can/will win everything. Ever. Why else would Rocky be big in America? No matter the odds, so long as we've got our girl and our curmudgeon, we'll fight until we die or win. We'll run stairs and punch meat to prove it.

I know, it is soccer/football. We can play for (tie/draw)s. They are part of the game. And, as an individual, I love that. But as an American? FUCK THAT SHIT. We're tied late in the game? PULL THE KEEPER!!! Even if you don't sub for him put the motherfucker UP. Win or lose, we go ALL IN. After all, Texas Hold'em was won from Mexico years ago by Davy Crockett losing big-time. Should we not embrace the style that is "All-in"?

The Spanish pass the ball. The Brazilians play the beautiful game. The English pack it in and counterattack.

Do we really want to be English? Forget it. Gamble a little. Gamble a lot. Play freely and with an aggressively high work rate. Play dumb but dumb like a fox. Play for the jugular rather than for a slow bleed from self-inflicted wounds.

Killshot = US Soccer.

By whom the killshot is received is irrelevant.

1 comment:

gapoole said...

In other words, why Swagger U. beat Pike at Sectionals '09. I mean come on, the "Pike-slayer" as a throwing choice?