I’ll just list the recent histories of the teams that played today and you tell me the team that won.
Ranked #1 in the world
Hasn’t lost since 2006
Their roster of 23 players includes 22 who closed out their 2008-09 season with clubs that qualified for either UEFA Champions League or Europa League.
Ranked #14 in the world
Has been struggling with lesser competition from small island nations.
Only four players were with clubs at the end of the season that qualified for European tournaments.
Have a guess?
What a showing for the US mens team today in South Africa as they shocked the world with a win over top ranked Spain. Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey each scored goals as the Americans advance to play either Brazil or South Africa in the finals of the Confederations Cup.
“I can’t explain it any more than you can,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “Sports is funny sometimes, but when you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.”
Despite being outshot by 29-9, the Americans stacked the box on defense and got a foot on most shots headed towards goalie Tim Howard.
Altidore got the scoring started in the 29th minute on a deflected ball and a bad directional guess by Spanish defender Carles Puyo. Dempsey slammed the door in the 73rd minute on another ball in the box that Spain failed to clear. Today proved that when you get the ball into the goal area, things are going to happen. I had to wonder in the first half if the US could keep up the pace for 90 minutes but that is exactly what they did.
I had zero faith in this team moving out of the first round when I saw the schedules a few weeks ago. After losing two of their first round games, they were all but dead but a freakish series of events got them to the semifinals. Today was a great day for soccer fans and has hopefully restored some luster that has been missing from Team USA.