The USA didn’t deserve to advance. What else can you say? Bruce Arena, known for taking chances and winning, turns conservative for the World Cup. Every match many felt he should have put more power up front. One of ESPN’s commentators, Eric Wynalda, felt it was time for US Soccer to think about a new manager. But you also have to fault the players. Beasley had an attitude. Landon showed up for 1 out of 3 matches. I swear I almost threw a cup at the TV late in the 2nd half of this match when Landon dribbled by a WIDE OPEN defensive hole in the box and passed to the far corner of the box. Weak foot or not, one cut and he’d have had a close shot. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the US had fallen into the same mindset that they had against the Czech Republic. It seemed they knew they couldn’t control the ball in the middle so made constant long crossing passes to the wings or punched the ball forward on long kicks where we lost the ball more often than not.
Yes, the penalty kick was garbage. Yes, Reyna made a huge mistake getting his pocket picked at the corner of the box. Yes the header hit the post. But those things are part of the game (just ask France) But my lord – how many free kicks or corners did we send wide or long or high? We wasted so many chances, there’s no way you win a match like that.
I’m sure we’ll all pick this apart in the days ahead, but let’s not forget we US fans have a lot of soccer to enjoy in the weeks ahead. But as any coach can tell you, it hurts to lose, but it hurts worse to lose when you don’t play your best. We did not play our best. It is as simple as that. I can only hope that this poor showing in the World Cup will cause everyone in US Soccer to evaluate where we are, what went wrong, and what we can do to be more competitive in the future. We simply were not competitive in the matches we played and it felt like we played an overly conservative game.
We did not lose this match because of the ref – we lost because Ghana played better soccer.