Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup: Mucho Disapointamento

Remember how nice I was to the US side after the Czech loss? Remember how I cautioned all of us to believe in this side, in the experience, in Landon Donovan, DeMarcus Beasley and friends?

I was wrong.

In the aftermath of this 2-1 disappointment against Ghana, regardless of how utterly absurd that penalty kick was, our team displayed an attack worthy of Iran or Togo. There was no creativity, no effort, it seemed as though we were the team playing with the lead for most of the match. Where was the desperation?

Our crosses were decidedly sub-par, Donovan's free kicks were abysmal, and our finishing rarely was on target. For the entire World Cup, our defense could not clear the ball effectively. Odd that such a simple task wasn't enough for our team, especially with a squad that shored up against the crossing routes that killed us four years ago. Today it led to both of Ghana's goals.

Bruce Arena was completely unable to rally this team, to instill any fire, to mix up any talent. If we were as deep as advertised, why was Beasley still playing when it was obvious he was unwilling to use his speed... ever? If Keller was as good as he was supposed to be, how come he could never make a key save? Memories of Brad Friedel stopping penalty kicks four years ago stir in my mind. Kasey failed to come out aggressively to stop Ghana on their first attack.

Of course, we were playing for the right to lose to Brazil in the quarters, but a win still was necessary against a lesser Ghana squad.

It seems to me that we became complacent as a soccer nation. I think it's time to shake things up. Arena has to go.

All is not lost. Good teams miss the round of 16 all the time (France last time out), and it is apparent that we were in the Group of Death (since the Czechs also missed out). In four years we will still have Donovan, we will still have Eddie Johnson, we may have Freddy Adu, we will have Oguchi Oyunwe (who I thought played very well every game). We need to reclaim that underdog mentality.

Let the soul-searching begin...

But hey, what about those Mariners?

posted by Gavin @ 9:09 AM  2 comments


At 11:19 AM, Blogger Big Ear Creations said...

I was in Ghana a couple of years ago for 7 months and this is going to be HUGE!!! Good for them!

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

Yes, congrats to a Ghana side that played their hearts out (although apparently with the ability to take as much contact on the pitch as Kate Moss). I'm sure the whole country is just going nuts.


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