Clint Dempsey said it best when reflecting on the U.S. Soccer team’s chances of reaching the semifinals of the Confederations Cup: “The odds were slim.”
Excellent analysis “Deuce,” now get to practicing. Hard.
The stars and stripes pulled off what can only be described as a full-fledged miracle Sunday afternoon. They needed a complete implosion by defending world champion Italy, coupled with a fantastic performance by Brazil, who had already secured its spot in the next round. Then the Americans needed a complete implosion by a surprising Egyptian team with designs on a berth in the semifinals. They needed all that just to have a chance to move on.
Well, it happened. The U.S. blasted Egypt 3-0 and Brazil destroyed Italy by the same score. That left the Italians and the Americans deadlocked with a -2 goal differential, but the U.S. advanced because they scored more total goals (4-3).
Just how they planned it all along. That Bob Bradley sure is a genius.
The Americans played with Italy for most of their opening game before losing 3-1. Then got absolutely embarrassed by Brazil, 3-0. Against Egypt the U.S. looked like a completely different team. They were confident, assertive, showed heart, toughness and determination. But most importantly, they finished their scoring chances.
Charlie Davies got the Yanks on the board in the 21st minute with his second international goal. Then Michael Bradley sent home a perfect feed from Landon Donovan in the 63rd, before Dempsey secured the 3-0 advantage with a header in the 71st. Then the U.S. had to hold on for more than 20 tense minutes, during which the Egyptians had several near misses.
As a reward for such a great win the Red, White and Blue’s gift will be the world’s top ranked team, Spain.
The Red Fury have been on an incredible run of late. They have reeled off an international record 15 consecutive victories and are unbeaten in 35 straight matches. Gulp.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.