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In moments of turmoil and confusion such as these, it is always best to turn to Dubliner Derek Keogh, the well traveled and worldly-wise soccer analyst for the massive Proven System apparatus. I asked him: Derek, what did you make of the US team's bravura performance in the Confederations Cup? Are we almost there yet?
"A Sleeping Giant stretches and rubs his eyes!
There is a freshness about this US squad. There is the voracity of youth, there is the class and experience of Carlos Bocanegra and Landon Donovan. I particularly like the cut of Mike Bradley's jib in midfield and Jonathon Spector is a quality fullback.
They have quite simply taken the game of football, stripped it down to its basics and worked on the simple things. Finding space, accurate passing, quick breakaway attacks, defending in numbers, getting close to the opposition in midfield to starve the supply to the oppositions strikers. They have cut the Fancy Dan razzmatazz out of their game and become a proper football team, where everyone plays for one another. Very little ego and — God help me for saying this — they have become worthy underdogs.
But the biggest strength by far is that the team are playing like a Premier League TEAM. They have a system that is hard to break down and one that can attack on the break very successfully and skillfully. They have finally reached a level where they can be taken seriously as a first class International outfit. If the US media can somehow overlook any xenophobic issues they have regarding soccer, they may just have the biggest story in World Football on the cusp of breaking."
The American mind is not, in general, a patient one. Lord knows mine isn't. The very concept that it has taken forty years of continuous effort to build something like a competitive world power in soccer is enough to cause many Americans to wonder exactly what is the matter with this sport? Couldn't we change some rules or something? Maybe allow for the use of oak bats or Segways? But no — we're going to do this the right way for once, and maybe as soon as next year.