What Must America Do In The 2014 World Cup After The Hexagonal?
The United States Men’s National Team [USMNT] ended its Hexagonal after defeating Panama in their final World Cup Qualification match. It has not been an easy road for the USA which started 2013 with a loss to Honduras.
The year was marked with victories interrupted by a loss to Costa Rica and a draw against Mexico. The team eventually rose from 32nd place with 736 points in January and is currently in 13th place with 1040 points in the FIFA Coca Cola Rankings.
It survived rumors of players questioning the US Coach Jorgen Klinsman as reported by Sporting News with an h/t ESPN-FC. US Soccer has not looked any better since its loss to Ghana in the 2010 World Cup.
What is next for US Soccer in the 2014 World Cup? The possibility exists that the USMNT will face strong opponents such as Spain, Colombia, Germany, Russia, Argentina, and Brazil.
The Asian nations of South Korea, Iran, and Japan may present an element of surprise to the Stars and Stripes. The year of 2014 will get worse after this year of qualification.
The USMNT must play every match [including next month’s friendly against Scotland and Austria] as if they were World Cup finals. The team must tighten its belt and show consistency in its defense and midfield with a strong goalkeeper.
The significance is that teamwork should take precedence over dependence on Landon Donovan and other players. The US has to play every match on the offensive as well and think with the mind.
The majority of the matches are won with a positive mental attitude. An attitude defies conventional wisdom and may go a long way.
The USMNT must remove previous attitudes of going as far as the quarter-finals. It must think outside the box and mentally imagine itself in the semi-finals or even the finals.
A personal suggestion for such a mentality would be the song “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions’ by the British Rock Group Queen. The USMNT can listen to the song and get emotionally charged.
The supporters should do the same thing since this is an opportunity to advance and shine. Klinsmann as manager and his knowledge of European [especially German] football helps the equation.
There is nothing else to say but to go forward!!!
USMNT vs. Mexico Sept. 10, 2013 You Tube Video courtesy of US Soccer