Wednesday, May 28, 2014

United States National Soccer Team’s Success Incurably Dependent on the Fusion of Eleven Independent Individuals Functioning as One.

By: Vidda "JibJab" Grubin

One warm-up game, against Azerbaijan, and the true nature of the 2014 United States Men’s National Team, a team only three weeks from lacing up its collective boots and stepping across the World’s touch line, is an undisguised undertaking. And, perhaps, this naked endeavor is not such a horrible thing.

Knowing one’s true nature is undoubtedly a precursor to success.

The 23 men chosen by Jurgen Klinsmann are, undoubtedly, not going to run circles around any of their competition. They are, though, going to pose a considerable threat to any team they face, if the red, white and blue clad footballers can grasp the madness within the collective method.

Stars and stripes players flying past opponents, as if the opposition is nothing more than cautionary cones lining the edge of a summer highway, will be rarely seen on the sun drenched pitches of Brazil. Speed, the kind normally in high regard amongst touchline bosses, is in short supply within the American soccer squad. And, perhaps, this lack of velocity is not such a horrible thing.

Northern Brazil in the North American summer of 2014 will, certainly, be uncomfortably warm. How teams adjust to this languid heat and humidity will more than nominally affect the outcome of many games this June and early July.

Driving the ball from one end of the pristine fields to the other at a cohesive, controlled tempo will be sought after by many of the teams striving for the world’s most coveted prize. Jurgen Klinsmann seems to have chosen a collection of players well suited to this enviable task.

No doubt, the American strikers must round into highly efficient form. No doubt, the American defenders must be clever in giving only the space they choose to give. No doubt, the American midfield must keep the lines in front and back linked tightly. No doubt, the American wingers must step up and find not a small bit of magic to unlock the buzzing penalty areas they will face.

The first step has been taken. Twenty three players have been chosen with the goal of functioning as one. The next step is up to those players. Will they present a near impossible puzzle to their opponents? Will they find the key to the sacred white rectangles dripping with twine?

Brazil, for twenty three men, is a dream not far away. Blink and the dream will arrive. But how will it end?

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