Thursday, June 25, 2009

US 2, Spain 0-The Day After

Comments from the players after yesterday's shocker:

Coach Vicente Del Bosque says the Americans caught his side by surprise.

Coach Bradley says shutting down Xavi was the key. See HalaMadrid's entry for more analysis on Xavi.

Charlie Davies says that the Spanish backs were scared of his pace.

Iker Casillas demonstrates how to not display class in defeat, then throw his teammates under the bus: “In all sincerity, only one time in 10 do I think we would lose against them. But yesterday, they deserved to reach the final.”

Then: "It just goes to show that the team that plays better and holds better possession doesn’t always win. Luck doesn’t always follow you, so you have to look at positives."

And finally: "Defensively, we lacked the final 10 meters in front of goal. Those two absurd, rare plays cost us the goals."

For the record, all of those statements are of course totally true. It's just that making "well, we're still better, so there" statements right after losing has to be the worst, most petty kind of revenge.

Also on the sour grapes front, Capdevila thought a foul should have been whistled on the play against Altidore, winning the award for the single dumbest thing a Spanish player said in response to the defeat. Altidore would have gotten more resistance from a lawn chair.

Web Analysis

Five reasons Spain lost according to Eduardo Alvarez.

Martin Rogers says the US no longer have to be afraid to play top competition.

Shane Evans apparently will be taking ballet dancing lessons.

Carlos Bocanegra returned to lead the defense.

Grant Wahl ranks the victory fifth all time in US Soccer history, behind Mexico (2002 World Cup), England (1950 World Cup), Portugal (2002 World Cup) and Colombia (1994 World Cup). Jamie Trecker says it's the biggest victory ever. The NYT Soccer blog Goal asks the question but doesn't give the answer. I tend to agree with Wahl. We may have defeated a better side yesterday then the 2002 Mexico win, but a national side's "biggest win" should come on the world's biggest stage. The Confederations Cup is an official tournament afterthought. Everyone knows Italy won the World Cup. Who won the last Confederations Cup? It was Brazil. And I had to look it up, because I forgot. So maybe this could be the "best win", but I don't see how it could be the biggest.

This Guardian take describes the rise of the United States as a footballing nation.

Finally George Vecsey of the Times dubs the victory a "Miracle on Grass".

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