The U.S. Men’s National Soccer team plays Brazil tonight in Landover, Maryland. America hasn’t exactly been an international force in soccer (also, we should really get on board with the rest of the world and start just calling it football), but we’ve been doing pretty well by ourselves this year. We’ve won all four of our games in 2012, and last Saturday we kicked the bejeezus out of Scotland, beating them five to one (that’s like winning 60 to 10 in American football).
The team is now coached by Jurgen Klinsmann, the man who took Germany to the World Cup semi-finals in 2006. He talks a lot about changing the U.S. strategy to a more aggressive, proactive style, rather than a reactive one. And whatever he’s been doing seems to be working, at least so far.
But Brazil, a longtime soccer powerhouse, presents a much more serious challenge than previous competitors like Scotland or Venezuela. Commentators have speculated that Klinsmann’s team can’t afford to be as aggressive as they have been, because they don’t want to risk letting Brazil exploit gaps in their defense.
Personally, I wouldn’t put my money on the U.S., but the match will definitely show how far we’ve come, and how much farther we need to go.
The game starts at 8 – you can catch it on ESPN 2.
America lost 4-1, proving that we’ve still got a long road to international recognition. Keep on kicking, team.