The "What If" Game Wins No Matches

By Justin Gotchall on June 7, 2012

“Should have”, “would have”, and “could have” were the words on the minds of tabs of the U.S. Men’s National Football team in regards to their international friendlies against Brazil and Canada this past week. Last Wednesday ended in an entertaining, but frustrating, 4-1 loss to a very attack-minded and exceptionally talented Brazil team, and this Sunday saw a tense 0-0 draw against a tough Canada team. What happened to the team that beat Scotland 5-1 on May 26th? Something has just been off for the team, a bit of bad luck, sterner opponents, and slightly off execution and placement has left the team, and the fans, wondering “what if?”

The Brazil game is a great example of simply how exceptional the team can be, and how with a little bit more luck and precision, the team can compete with the top-class teams of the world. The term ‘friendly’ in regards to these matches is amusing due to their very competitive nature, but while the U.S. is doing well in their friendlies, it never hurts to keep in mind that the competitive games will be very different. The Brazil defense was tight and solid, and they were determined not to be scored on, and their keeper had an incredible game for them. At least three goals were stopped simply because in they were in right place and made the right effort. Onyewu’s header at the end of the game would have been a goal if he had placed it slightly lower, and in the future, the teams needs to make these “should haves” and “would haves” into facts and goals. The game could have been won, and if they’re going to win the World Cup, the USMNT needs to be ready to beat teams like Brazil. The team that demolished Scotland are still there, they just need to finish their chances and we could see the US make a sincere effort towards winning the World Cup in 2014. The first step in that is to win their qualifying matches, the first of which is this Friday, June 8th, against Antigua & Barbuda.

US vs. Scotland: 5-1, 5/26. http://www.ussoccer.com/media-library/videos/us-men/2012/05/120526-usa-sco-highlights.aspx
US vs. Brazil: 4-1, 5/30. http://www.ussoccer.com/media-library/videos/us-men/2012/05/120530-usavbra-highlights.aspx. Two goals were stopped by a marvelously dedicated keeper and defense. Bradley’s header was stopped too. Onyewu’s header smashed off the post.
Us vs. Canda: 0-0. 6/3. http://www.ussoccer.com/media-library/Videos/US-Men/2012/06/120603-USAvCAN-highlights.aspx Castillo came close to a miracle goal early on. Dempsey came very close. Bocanegra came very close with another header over the post. Clarence Goodson’s beautiful rocket of a header was miraculously saved

I'm currently a student at the University of Oregon, a philosophy major. I love a lot about Eugene, and really thrive on the community found here.

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