Switzerland 0-1 U.S.: Seen Through Others’ Eyes

Due to the necessity of negotiating for TV time in a one-TV household, I passed on the U.S. v. Switzerland in exchange for tonight’s LA Galaxy v. Red Bull game. Helping with my decision to forgo negotiations on this occasion was a personal belief that this game didn’t mean all that much. One, it was Switzerland, and, two, the need to win in Europe seemed the chief talking point going in, a detail about which I’m not particularly bothered. I mean if we’re obsessed winning in Europe, let’s just schedule friendlies against San Marino or Liechtenstein and let the good vibes come…whoops, let’s scratch that last one and make it Iceland

Given the trade-off, I had to make do with match reports – and, as always, the Web provided.

The relative quality of the game hung around as a major talking point and the very first item I read, an Associated Press feed ESPN picked up (yesterday afternoon), mentioned a lot of booing; such things make me think I didn’t miss all that much. It could be that our men’s team (hereafter, the Yanquis) offended the typically low-key Swiss, but, Soccer Source’s Mr. Baker, who reads German (hmm…part of a fifth column? get a tap on this cat), revealed that the Swiss team inspired much of the disgust.

The Yanqui media, while generally agreeing our team barely deserved the loving tap on their collective butts, found some welcome details to highlight. Jeff Carlisle, writing for ESPN, seemed most impressed with the defense, including the gaffe-plagued Oguchi Onyewu; elsewhere, Goal.com credited Freddy Adu for brightening a dreary, rainy affair. My Soccer Blog’s Mike H offered a vague echo of that, noting that the Yanqui adoption of a “sense of the unexpected” allowed the eventual break-through. Even the occasionally grumpy Ives Galarcep generally praised the effort, singling out Adu and Clint Dempsey on the plus side and Taylor Twellman on the negative. Topping the “happy talk” category, however, was USSoccerplayas.com – though that might have resulted from the decision to post the report from U.S. Soccer Communications…

Seeing as we won, the minus side of the ledger doesn’t show much. I’ve already mentioned Twellman, who few people seem eager to see in Yanqui blue (or white, or red, or exploding, denim stars) again. Fullback Files’ report of bulleted excellence doesn’t so much go negative as it ponders the kind of player the U.S. produces: “thuggish defenders” and “two-way central midfielders,” with the implication being that said production has its limitations. No, I think the sternest report came from American Soccer Daily, who, upon reviewing the evidence, opined that “neither side particularly deserved to win.” And yet, we did.

So, what did all y’all think? As noted above, all I know about this one came from what others’ told me. And, the best thing I read/saw all day was the snapshot of the team “frolicking” in the pool. There’s just this great “summer house in Greece” feel to the image. Thanks for that goes to The Beautiful Game.

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3 Responses

  1. JB:

    Loved Clint shouldering the Swiss central defender to the soggy turf, while dribbling, mind, before playing the seeing eye through ball for young Freddy.

    I was never that big a Dempsey fan during his time at the Revs, far too much petulance and pouting.

    He has remade himself entirely at Craven Cottage, pressures opposing back fours, which he virtually never did stateside, is willing and eager to bang into central defenders, John Terry, we’re thiinking of you and your cheekbone here, yet still retains that penchant for the odd moment of daring, swashbuckling skill.

    Clint and Someone Else, or perhaps Flying Solo, in 2010, that’s a certainty…

    Well impressed with Edu as well, did not look at all awed during his first international on foreign soil.

  2. In defense of Clint’s time with the Revs, I’d humbly suggest you’re thinking more of his second, “get-me-the-friggin’-heck-out-of-this-league” season, as opposed to his breakout year. Dempsey did what the team asked and more.

  3. Mmm…bad choice of verb. Replace “thinking” with “recalling,” as in “I think you’re recalling his second year…”

    And I could still be wrong…left that out too.

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