Blogs & Opinion

Feeling the heat

USA excel in the pressure cooker, says Alex

Features Posted 25th June 2010 view comments

There are no better stories on Wall Street than the kid who had nothing fighting his way to the top and making his fortune.

Serena and Venus Williams make the imagination come alive because their tennis was played in the bad areas of Los Angeles, not the prim and proper country clubs and tennis academies that most professional tennis players found themselves playing in as youngsters.

USA: Celebrate qualification in style

USA: Celebrate qualification in style

And Americans love the drama, too. Whether it's Michael Jordan firing in the last-second shot in the NBA Finals in Utah in 1998 to a driver winning in the last lap of Daytona 500 to a baseball hitter thumping a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth (heck, even Brandi Chastain taking off her top after scoring the winning penalty in the USA women's victory in the 1999 World Cup was a sporting highlight), the American viewing public never seems satisfied with a comfortable win.

"USA supporters must be emotionally exhausted - and they haven't even played their second round game yet!"

Alex Ferguson
Quotes of the week

They want the biggest heart attack possible, please. And this year's World Cup has given American fans just that. They must be emotionally exhausted - and they haven't even played their second round game yet!

And while the names Jay DeMerit, Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan don't roll off the tongue when you're talking about members of a potential World Cup winning team, if you were looking back to the 1980s, you probably didn't think that an American ice hockey team would have a prayer of conquering the mighty Russians, either.

It's not that the USA was ever a horrible team on paper. They've beaten Spain, are ranked in the Top 20 in the world, they have an excellent goalkeeper in Tim Howard, and most of their starting XI play in the top divisions of European Football.

But it was just that they weren't meant to be as good as the world superpowers. Heck, one of the players will even play the 2010/11 season for free (defender Oguchi Onyewu for AC Milan), because he injured his knee and was out of the 2009/10 year of battle.


But frankly, we'd swap all of the pomp and circumstance of our 'better-on-paper' teams for what the USA has in abundance - and what we haven't seen a lot of from 2006 finalists France or Italy this tournament - self-belief.

This US team will keep coming back at you, even when you think you've got a game won. They were comprehensively outplayed by England, yet managed to scrape out a 1-1 draw. Sure, most of that was thanks to the appalling goalkeeping of Rob Green, but where would they have been without the amazing goalkeeping of Tim Howard?

Then there was the USA-Slovenia game. Overjoyed, I told an American fan that his team was losing 2-0 to the Slovenians, but then had to watch on, in disbelief and admiration, as the Americans picked themselves up and went on to draw even at 2-2.

And by the end of the game, the streets of New York should have been in celebration after Maurice Edu's goal went in, but the goal was disallowed. Why, exactly? I'm still scratching my head about it!

In the Algeria game on Wednesday, the USA were favourites. Algeria hadn't scored all tournament long, and despite some horrible finishing by Altidore and plain bad luck, it was 0-0 in the 92nd minute.

And now? The USA finds themselves as favourites to beat Ghana on Saturday night, and America is ready to explode if they do just that.

Anyone fancy a bet on them not doing it? I don't!

Comments (2)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Mark Crawford says...

Think alex is right,but I think they will get put out next round,

Posted 14:29 25th June 2010

Mickey Haugh says...

Well said. Although "comprehensive" may have been a bit shall we say "generous" to the English side in the first game. The USA showed desire and heart through out the group stage. Something VERY MUCH lacking in many of the European, "if I show up, I should win" nationals.

Posted 14:02 25th June 2010

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Dwight Yorke

Yorke: United spree could win title

Radamel Falcao can fire Manchester United to the Premier League title this season, says Dwight Yorke....

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp - United's Galacticos

Jamie Redknapp says Manchester United may emerge as the new “Galacticos” after their heavy spending....

Guillem Balague

Balague - Falcao wanted Real deal

Guillem Balague says Radamel Falcao spent the summer desperately trying to join Real Madrid....

Latest News RSS feeds

Falcao dominates deadline day

Hull were the most active club on deadline day but it was Man Utd's signing of Radamel Falcao which grabbed headlines.

Villa confident on Cleverley

Aston Villa are confident of signing Tom Cleverley on loan from Manchester United, according to Sky sources.

Arsenal wrap up Welbeck deal

Arsenal have signed Danny Welbeck from Manchester United for a fee believed to be in the region of £15-16million.

Deadline Day done deals

Keep up to date with all the completed deals with our list of all the movers on Transfer Deadline Day.

Yorke: United spree could win title

Radamel Falcao can fire Manchester United to the Premier League title this season, says Dwight Yorke.


Transfer deadline day: Hit or miss?

Transfer deadline day: Hit or miss?

Every fan hopes their club can produce the best signing of any transfer window. Sometimes a new arrival can indeed prove to be a masterstroke but sometimes that latest signing can also develop into an expensive mistake.