Let’s be realistic and start by reducing expectations. The team has some very good players but not the world stars of the other countries. We don’t even have guys with blazing pace and athletic ability who are relative unknowns that can surprise people. The United States will work hard, play with tons of heart and count on a few of our experienced players to win some games. Listen, we can beat Ghana, even though all my former Ghanian players will strongly disagree with me! That game is crucial for us getting out of the group. We have little no chance at beating Germany. Yes, I know we beat Germany in 105 degree weather when they were on vacation relaxing in Miami. We also beat Spain the summer before they won the last World Cup. Let’s understand the World Cup is different. It is not a meaningless on vacation friendly game. Portugal is another key game for us. Portugal is not a top elite team. I know the Ronaldo factor is there but they are inconsistent on the national team level. They should beat us with little problem but we could get a point out of that game if things really went our way. The year Greece won the Euro’s they beat Portugal on pure organization. Soccer is a funny game – it’s like Yogi Berra says – “it’s not over till over”. However, even if we pull off the odd upset we can’t continue to do that the entire tournament. I would not be one bit surprised if we were eliminated straight away but we do have a small chance at getting through the group stage with some luck and great defensive compactness. If we get through and face a top team we will be out eventually. My point is we are not a soccer power yet. We have some good players but we are not in that elite group. Watching the soccer development system in the United States it looks like we are a long way off from becoming an elite soccer country anytime soon, Those reasons I could write an entire book on. Good luck to the team this summer because they always put in a great and spirited effort.
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