There are a number of ways to look at last night’s stale, uneventful national team match at BBVA Compass Stadium.
I am still digesting the entire evening from the perspective of team, individual players, fans, marketing and truth.
The best part of the night was when the U.S. came on to the field and got a strong roar from the crowd but that was never reciprocated with performance on a night where we realized the U.S. just did not have the idea and break-down capability against a team that played little.
No excuses here, the ball moved too slowly off players feet, ideas were limited, and few chances were created against a young, Canadien team that defending with five in midfield and relied upon a moment of “DeRosario” , magic that also came early.
Five players earned their first caps and this gripped some with fear to play conservatively and lessen the desire to try things or bring an air of unpredictability.
Having listened to Jurgen Klinsmann there is no doubt throughout the course of the camp he was happy with the attitude and progress of players.
Still we must remind ourselves that the U.S. National team that takes the field in Honduras is a completely different team with different challenges but will include 6-8 of these players from last night on the roster.
The crowd of 11,737 was limited and the game had limited marketing and buzz leaving a lot to be learned .
One solution that might be endearing to fans would be to create tickets priced to put for lack of a better word “butts’ in seats to expose fans to the national team. it could also earn U.S. Soccer more respect in that they will not get criticized for having fans pay premium prices for a team devoid of European stars.
There are no guarantees of goals and exciting soccer when you buy a ticket and this was not the first nor the last listless game at BBVA Compass, still it was an opportunity both for coaches, players, fans and the City of Houston and the sport of soccer.
This one fell flat and should be taken with a grain of salt from the playing perspective. Little soccer wise was learned.
Just some food for thought. Tomorrow Mexico will play with a squad comprised of Liga MX players against Denmark and will draw over 40,000 fans in Arizona.
Tomorrow night we break this game down both from a playing perspective and from lack of attendance and it’s impact. I will want your opinion on SOCCER MATTERS ESPN 97-5 brought to you by MEMORIAL HERMANN IRONMAN SPORTS MEDICINE INSTITUTE at 7pm.
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