Sweden 1-0 U.S. – Grudgingly Acknowledged

For the record, the U.S. Men’s team (Yanquis) lost to Sweden today…and….well, so what?

On one level, the general silence on this seems refreshing; that goes double with regard to “what-it-all-means” freak-outs.  What does this mean?  Not a lot.  We lost to a decent European team in Europe; that’s not new.  And had we won, even in a blowout, that wouldn’t have meant a lot either.  Put it this way: if the people that tuned into this game witnessed some kind of turning point in U.S. soccer history, would they know it?  England coming out of its shell to play the Magic Magyars this ain’t.

By posting previews this morning, I incurred the obligation of recording the results for posterity – at least that’s what my stupid brain is telling me.  So, here’s the best item I saw today: USSoccerplayers.com’s running commentary.  Even there, the problems they’re describing – problems with scoring, possession, building the attack, etc. – shouldn’t be news to the kind of person who found this site.  Something else they (whoops…Ian Plenderleith and J Hutcherson) touch on – finding the next generation of reliable defenders – strikes me as the biggest dilemma for the National Team program.  Or, put another way, that strikes me as not just the most immediate dilemma, but the one Bob Bradley or anyone else has a chance in hell of solving in the near-term; the stuff with scoring, tactics, etc. – that’s just part of the learning curve.

We’ll get there.  At least I think we will.  But I also doubt a friendly will serve as the occasion for telling us we made it.

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