Thursday, October 14, 2010
USA vs. Ireland (Ireland by a mile)
The USA is lacking in quality games as apposed to our European counterparts. Since I follow the Republic of Ireland (typical European team) I want to compare the 2 teams. Following the World Cup the USA has had 3 pathetic friendlies. Yes pathetic since they are friendlies. The game is an experiment for Bradley to see who can play when the important games come. More on the “important game later”. Ireland on the other hand has played 4 meaningful and competitive games. Ireland will play another 6 meaningful 2012 Euro 2012 qualifiers in 2011. The USA will play the Gold Cup in 2011. The games are only competitive in the knockout rounds. So if the USA makes the final they will play 3 so called competitive games.
To further examine the competition Ireland will be playing 4 games against superior nations. They will play Russia and Slovakia in home/away series. The 3 other nations (Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra) will severely test Ireland. These so called lesser teams have quality players. Andorra for example has 7 players playing in the Spanish league. Imagine if Guatemala had 7 players in the Spanish league. They would probably be Central American champs and be a real threat to win the Gold Cup. The yanks will play NO ONE ranked higher then themselves. Every nation in CONCACAF is ranked much lower than my yanks.
To take this a step further all of the so called competitive games the yanks will play will be on home soil. That right….my Yanks will be playing the Gold Cup on their home surface which gives them a HUGE advantage. Ireland has to play at 5 hostile venues against better competition.
This has hurt the development of US soccer. The interest is just not there even when the USA played Columbia the other night. There was under 10,000 in attendance. The game was hard to watch in the first half. The USA had no scoring chances. They looked like misfits in the 1st half. Ireland could not experiment with such games or they would be eliminated from Euro 2012. There was absolutely no flow to the game. I bet if the Yanks played Ireland with that pathetic display we would have lost by multiple goals.
I am here to state I think that Ireland, a middle of the road team in Europe, has a much better team than my yanks. I know the FIFA rankings claim that the yanks are 18th and Ireland is 33rd but ranking are garbage.
Imagine if someday my yanks had their players playing in the English premier league. Not just the bottom teams but the top teams like Manchester United, Manchester City and Everton. These players are not just on the team but are starters for the English Premier League teams. I am not just talking the USA 11 starters but imagine the entire 22 man squad playing in the English Premier league. Wow…now that would be a team that could beat most European nations. Actually we would be Ireland. That is Irelands team and they are only a middle of the pack European team.
My yanks can keep playing friendlies while the rest of Europe plays competitive game against much better competition.