USA lost to Paraguay 3-1 on Monday. The scoreline is quite deceiving to how close the game actually was. Paraguay scored their third goal in the 94th minute on a awarded free kick that was a complete dive. The USA had so many chances in this game and more shots and shots on goal than Paraguay. Their chances were so clear too, some of the ones missed were complete freebies. Towards the end of the game after a USA player missed a complete open header at the top of the six yard box announcer Ray Hudson, who was obviously in favor of the US, finally gave in and said, "this is absolutely pathetic," and it was. In addition, Paraguay's goals were not earned, they were given to them by the US defense and goal keeping.
"We gave them too many easy chances. When you give good teams and good players easy chances, they're going to beat you," said Kasey Keller, the veteran U.S. goalkeeper. "But this is why we're here to give these young guys experience. Unfortunately, sometimes you need to make mistakes to learn."
Keller was slow on getting to both the balls that eventually went into the back of "the old onion-bag." Keller brings up a the idea that we brought all of these "young guys" to the Copa America to make them more experienced and this is something that I have been angry about all week after seeing the squad coach Bob Bradley announced for the 2007 Copa America. I understand that none of our veteran players refused to play and I understand we are trying to make our young boys more experienced. If this is the case... then where is Bocanegra... where is Dempsey or Onyewu... or Tim Howard instead of the old and slow (even though I love him) Kasey Kelly... all of these players are young and will be on our 2010 World Cup team. I know none of our players refused to play on the squad like Kaka and Ronaldinho did for Brasil, but we still could have had our entire "young" squad down there playing and gaining team chemistry in an hostile environment, which we desperately need.
The fact is that the USA doesn't care about this tournament. They won the CONCACAF Gold Cup and that is apparently enough to make everyone happy and keep Bob Bradley's job safe. As long as we won the Gold Cup, which is basically put on by the US in the US, everything is good... but it really isn't because our global reputation as a respectable football team is steadily declining and it makes me angry because I know that if we were at full strength we could take on anyone in the world. I really wish we took this tournament more seriously even though I know a lot of our young guys are getting vital experience and showing the hearts of gladiators.