It may not be a “Do You Believe In Miracles” moment on par with the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team, but the US men’s soccer team has just defeated world #1 Spain in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup (a major international tournament).

This is easily the greatest win in the history of USA Soccer and perhaps one of, if not the, biggest upset in major tournament history.  When I told a friend the score at about the 70 minute mark the skeptic in him immediately asked, and rightfully so, if Spain were playing with their best players?  And with the exception of Iniesta they were.  I like Iniesta.  He was the best player on the field in Barcelona’s win over Manchester U, but the absence of one player should not drop a team of Spain’s caliber down to the level of the US team (no offense to the US team). 

Of course it was below freezing and the US has a history of playing well in the deep freeze (there’s a reason they play qualifiers against Mexico in Columbus, OH in mid-winter), but stopping Spain’s 35 game winning streak…WOW.  The question now is whether or not the US can build on this win.  They  had a number of less than inspired efforts in recent qualifying efforts leading into the Confed Cup and those performances against Italy and Brazil in the first round didn’t exactly remind anyone of the ’28 Yankees (tried to find a US Soccer comparison but remembered there weren’t any). 

They got great play from Dempsey and Onyewu.  Tim Howard was back to his usual effort in goal (he needs to be on for the US to win, he is the only world class player on the roster) and they got another international strike from Jozy Altidore.  I don’t think a similar effort is required in the final (they don’t have to win), but they need to make a strong showing and play a confident game.  And that’s the most important thing the US has to carry over from this match…confidence.  They have finally broke through on the international stage, but because they lack the talent and depth of the top ranked teams, they will need confidence to keep them close until they can strike.  Now it will be up to Bob Bradley to instill that confidence within the culture of the US Team.

 

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