February 27, 2024

With a young team, the USA is trying to forget the shock of missing out on the 2018 World Cup

SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – One of the most famous videos in American soccer history doesn’t show a goal, dribbling or beautiful play. Type “Alexi Lalas rant” into YouTube search to see it.

In the midst of a surprise exit from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the country’s historic defender has mercilessly criticized one after another of the team’s key players. Historical names like him.

“Tim Howard: The game against Belgium [pelas oitavas de final do Mundial de 2014] Completed three years ago. You must now defend yourself. Clint Dempsey: Yes you are a national team legend, now you must be a leader. Jose Altidore: So this is the best you have? It’s not good enough,” he said, taking the comments live on Fox Sports.

“I didn’t mention everyone because you weren’t fit enough to mention. That includes you, Wonder Boy.” .

Warning doesn’t work. A few days later, the USA lost 2-1 to last-place Trinidad & Tobago. It was the first time since 1986 that the team had not qualified for the World Cup.

Four years later, the North American team guaranteed a resumption of what should be the idea of ​​”soccer” development in Qatar, started by a team that kept Alexi Lalas in defense and went to Italy- 1990, unexpectedly, in 1994 at home in the round of 16 against Brazil. fell

During this period, the selection had memorable campaigns. It reached the quarterfinals in 2002. Defeated 1 to 0 by Germany. In 2014, the best match of that cup came against Belgium in the Round of 16. Lost 2-1 in overtime. It was a game cited by Lalas, in which goalkeeper Tim Howard made 16 saves, a World Cup record, and later received a congratulatory call from then-President Barack Obama.

Backed by Pulisic, the United States is at a transitional stage. A survey by the Statista website shows that the group may have the lowest average age among the 32 categories. At 24.5 years, it is much shorter than Argentina’s, perhaps older, 27.7 years.

A chance to qualify for the round of 16 is real. Their debut against Wales on November 21 should be a more decisive match. Iran will be in Group B alongside top-ranked England.

Despite being young, there are talented players like Tyler Adams (23, Leeds United-ING Midfielder), Weston McKenney (24, Juventus-ITA Midfielder), Gio Reina (19, Borussia Dortmund-ALE Midfielder) and Tim Wee (22). , forward for Lille-FRA and son of former world great George Vee and Sergino Test (21, full back and defender for Milan-ITA).

This roster may inspire hope for fans, but there is pessimism in coach Greg Berhalter’s work. The complaint against him is common to other coaches, some of whom go to the World Cup: he is too conservative and defensive.

In the two friendlies played last month, not only the results but also the football were a disappointment: a loss to Japan (2-0) and a draw with Saudi Arabia (0-0). 180 minutes only reinforced the problems seen in the past. Defenders were prone to mistakes, midfielders struggled to move the ball forward with pace, and errors in crosses were common.

“I don’t care,” Berhalter said. “It’s a process, a work in progress. You can’t compare the intensity of two friendlies with World Cup matches. Despite the draw, I think we played well against Saudi Arabia.”


? Group: B

? Confederation: CONCACAF (Central and North America)

? Cup participation: 10

? Best Place: Semi-Final (1930)

? Coach: Greg Berhalter

United States Games in the first round

Day – exam and time

21. November – Wales, 4 pm

25. November – England, 4 pm

29. November – Iran, 16 hours

X-ray of the seat

? Name: Christian Pulisic, 24

? Position: Striker

? Club: Chelsea (ING)

Sources: FIFA and Graphic News