Home > Confederations Cup 2009, Player Ratings, Tournament Statistics, World Cup > The 2010 World Cup: Good Things from the U.S.

The 2010 World Cup: Good Things from the U.S.

Last summer, the United States made it to the Confederations Cup final.  Now, one year later, the U.S. won its group and advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup.  It might be hard to look at the U.S.’s performance: falling short against a team that it could (perhaps should) have beaten as a good sign, but perhaps it was.

Remember that the United States’ performance in the semi-finals and final of the Confederations Cup was other-worldly.  We scored goals 2.4x more frequently than the historical average (based on the rate of shots on goal that actually went into the goal).  And we were one of the most heavily penalized teams in FIFA tournament history.

But in this World Cup, we weren’t scoring with ridiculous frequency.  We played disciplined soccer most of the tournament, avoided too many dangerous plays, and created with a forward who didn’t get much playing time with his club team and others who are relatively new to the international game.  And Gooch and Bocanegra were both coming off injuries, meaning that neither were at 100%.

In short, things did not fall the United States’ way.  And we still (a) got out of the Group Stage and (b) played well against a very talented Ghana team led in part by a keeper who barely plays for his club(s) but is playing out of his mind at the World Cup (he’s rated higher than Tim Howard by the Casterol Index).

U.S. fans are (and should be) very proud of this team.  And particularly excited about its prospects for 2014.  It is a good time for American soccer and I hope that new fans to the Men’s National Team stick around long enough to enjoy it.

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