Greg Lalas has a new column up about the USMNT’s recent performance against Denmark and how the future of the team looks bright because of the infusion of youth:
there was the United States’ stylish 3-1 win over Denmark on Saturday. In fact, that win was so impressive and got me so jazzed about the U.S. national team again, that I truly believe that the likes of Justin Mapp, Jonathan Bornstein and Ricardo Clark can take this team to unprecedented levels. They’re going to seriously challenge for the World Cup in 2014.
Go ahead. Send me your e-mails calling me a buffoon. Send me your rants about how this was only Denmark, not Italy or Germany or Brazil, and how it was Denmark’s B-team. Send me your vaguely threatening notes about how Americans always over reach with their predictions and how we don’t know anything about soccer.
I don’t care. Because these kids — the average age of 18-man roster was about 25 — have confidence in their abilities, their first touch, their gumption, that has never existed in so many American players at the same time. Mark my words, the United States is going to cause all kinds of havoc at the 2010 World Cup and is going to challenge for the World Cup trophy in 2014.
That’s pretty bold. I can’t say I disagree for the most part. While I didn’t think the Denmark match showed the USMNT playing that well together, it was refreshing to see younger players stepping up. It’s only been one match, however if Bradley does keep infusing new blood into the team I agree it will help things along, so when 2010 comes around, we really have exposed as many prospects as possible to international play, giving the USMNT a better idea of who really should travel to South Africa. Honestly, it is impossible to read much of anything into ONE performance. Lets have this debate in June!
That said, Greg makes an excellent point later in his column:
with three and a half years until the next World Cup, the entire U.S. soccer system is about development.
It better be given the shambles things were in after 2006!