Tuesday, June 14, 2005

US Youth System

Im highly impressed by the quality of play presented by the Under-20 US National Team.
Did anyone see the game?
Lead by Freddy Adu, US had a very good display of tactical order and some brilliant technical individuals like Adu himself and Barrett who was quite a headache for the opposite defense.
Now, there is a lot to say about their opponent, they didnt beat just any team, they beat Argentina. Argentina, winner of 4 of the last 5 or 6 Youth World Championships, and producer of some of the best talent in the world. Players that played in this tournaments include: Saviola, D'Alessandro, Veron, Crespo, Zanetti, Cavenaghi, and others. It is no small feat then that the US was able to get a lead in the game and hold such offensive pressure for long periods of time. It could have been even better if Adu had put away an arguable PK. I say arguable because although there was plenty of contact i think that Adu had lost posession of the ball, as i say it was arguable either way and i think that the offense should have the edge when in doubt.
Adu stroke the ball perfectly, he was unlucky to hit the post and miss a golden opportunity to seal the game; however, the US had to keep fighting and working to maintain the slight lead.
Once again, im utterly impressed by this game and i couldnt stop talking about it for days. This is the beggining of something big for the US i think, the number of players increases every year and with such a large pool to pick from the US should be a world contender in a few years.
What i dont understand is the lack of coverage for such event. I dont know if i am just overreacting but i think this was a huge win for the US, probably the biggest US win this year and probably the biggest upset of the tournament. Perhaps my social circle is unique but i feel that the audience waiting for soccer coverage keeps growing and it is hard to understand why the networks are having such a hard time paying attention. ESPN made a good move by bringing ESPNDeportes to the US Carriers but it still not widespread and in the meantime FOX soccer channel offers 2 or 3 games a week. And you know what drove this increase in attention to soccer? The driving factor was a small cable channel, GolTV, 24-7 soccer.
What are we waiting to embrace this game?

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