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HitOrGetHit 03-27-2012 09:59 AM

Soccer: USA Soccer not headed to the Olympics
 
Quote:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On a night of swings and dips and controversy and drama – and one catastrophic error – the United States’ Olympic dreams were washed away amid a flood of tears.

The most rudimentary of follies from substitute goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the final seconds of injury time eliminated USA from the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in the cruelest fashion possible, as El Salvador snatched a 3-3 draw at LP Field.

Freddy Adu's Olympic dreams came to a heartbreaking end with a 3-3 draw to El Salvador in CONCACAF qualifying.

The suddenness of it all, the end of an adventure that was supposed to span several more months and cross the Atlantic to London, was too much for many players and head coach Caleb Porter to bear.

Porter bravely fought back tears in his press conference, nerves still raw and shredded, scarcely able to believe the hand fate had dealt him and his young team. Olympic soccer is played by squads of players in the Under-23 age bracket and, for some, Monday may have been their final night in a USA shirt.

Porter and Johnson had embraced in the locker room; the coach tried desperately to find some words of solace to offer a young man whose world collapsed with a mistimed dive that he would normally complete without a second thought.

“I just hugged him,” Porter said. “Cried with him. Can you imagine? He feels like he has let everyone down, let his teammates down. I told him he didn’t.

“I have never experienced anything like that. I have never felt anything like this in my life. That’s honest. The worst part about the way it ended is that we don’t have any more time together. They showed a lot of the things we are known for in this country. Heart, passion, grit. They deserved better.”

While USA may not have deserved such a brutal ending, it was in many ways the architect of its own demise. A dismal 2-0 defeat to Canada in the second game of Group A left the team needing to beat El Salvador to reach the semifinal round and move to within one game of London. Thanks to an extraordinary choke from Canada in Monday’s early game – it drew 1-1 with Cuba – a victory would have given the Americans a No.1 seed for the semis and likely seen them avoid Mexico. CONCACAF’s top two teams will go to London so a win against El Salvador would’ve meant a match against the likes of Honduras or Trinidad and Tobago to earn an Olympic bid.

Johnson will bear the brunt of the blame, but the Americans should have had the match wrapped up much earlier. Despite some highly questionable tactics from the visitors – Freddy Adu and Mix Diskerud both claimed they were bitten by their opponents – poor defending and a lack of execution are as much to blame for the result as Johnson’s

Terrence Boyd gave USA the perfect start with an excellent left-footed strike after just 62 seconds and put the team in pole position. El Salvador responded though, and goals from Lester Blanco and Andres Flores put the Central Americans ahead before the interval. First-choice goalkeeper Bill Hamid was at fault for the second, an injury sustained minutes earlier preventing him from collecting a low cross in front of the goal. Soon after the score he was limping off, to be replaced by the fateful Johnson.

A resurgent USA responded well in the second half and Boyd added a second at the 65-minute mark. When Joe Corona put the U.S. ahead three minutes later, dreams of a London trip once again bubbled up.

It looked like it would be enough as El Salvador grew increasingly frustrated in the waning minutes. Then, in the blink of an eye, Jaime Alas squeezed through two defenders and launched a speculative effort towards goal. Despite the ball bouncing in front of him, Johnson should have had little trouble in collecting it. Instead, it slithered through his grasp, and bounced into the net.

Within seconds the field was strewn with U.S. players, drained of energy and spirit by fortune’s poisonous touch.

American soccer has precious few opportunities to make its mark on a national audience and while the World Cup every four years is the big draw, the Olympics also present a chance for some positive airtime.

But not this time. Players like Boyd, Freddy Adu and Brek Shea may have bright days ahead of them on the senior men’s team, but this was supposed to be their time, their chance to carry a team not just to the Olympics but to arrive there with a legitimate shot at making waves.

Instead, this squad is no more. A new cycle begins, with mostly new players.

“It’s a painful moment,” Porter admitted. “The players are devastated. To put in as much as they put in that game. As low and as painful as this is, it won’t define their careers. I am proud of them. They are not perfect but they have nothing to be ashamed about.”

Maybe not, but this will be a memory that burns deep. Only time will tell how long the private haunting will continue, yet there is no doubt that this night will never be forgotten by a group of players who saw their cherished prize snatched away with heartbreaking finality.
http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news;...alvador_032612

luckbox 03-27-2012 01:01 PM

Olympic football is rubbish anyway, I think you are only allowed to bring like two players over the age of 21, and the few under-21 superstars usually isn't allowed to go by their clubs. USA should wipe off their tears and start working towards the World Cup in sunny Brazil 2014, where I will most likely be attending. :)

HitOrGetHit 03-27-2012 01:02 PM

World Cup is much better. :thumbsup:

Budhisten 04-02-2012 11:36 AM

Can't wait for the 2014 WC ;) It's gonna be legendary when it goes down in Brazil!

Roflcopter 04-02-2012 11:38 AM

Why the hell would they be devastated by what is essentially a minor tournament? No one gives a shit about Olympic Soccer. The only relevance it has is the medal count.

BurrowsTheGreat 04-02-2012 06:34 PM

yea, olympics soccer is kind of a joke.. its like watching the Spengler Cup in hockey...

Intermission 04-02-2012 07:28 PM

" A dismal 2-0 defeat to Canada in the second game of Group A left the team needing to beat El Salvador to reach the semifinal round and move to within one game of London. "

:D



Quote:

Originally Posted by Roflcopter (Post 1567370)
Why the hell would they be devastated by what is essentially a minor tournament? No one gives a shit about Olympic Soccer. The only relevance it has is the medal count.

My god, your ignorance is over the top day by day. I played elite soccer here for about 10 years and qualifying for big tournaments was HUGE emotionally. Nevermind the Olympics. If you were even 1/100th of the athlete that you spend all your time bashing on these forums maybe I would take you a bit more seriously.

KillerShark1985 04-02-2012 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Budhisten (Post 1567367)
Can't wait for the 2014 WC ;) It's gonna be legendary when it goes down in Brazil!

Man not sure what the biggest stadium in Brazil is but they should build the biggest stadium the world has ever seem and it still would not be big enough to be realistically possible to get tickets to any Brasil game weather it be the opening match or the final, how many Brazilians tuned into watch Santos vs Cain, that number would be a speck of dust compared to the number of Brasilian fans looking to go to one of those games.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Intermission (Post 1567462)
My god, your ignorance is over the top day by day. I played elite soccer here for about 10 years and qualifying for big tournaments was HUGE emotionally. Nevermind the Olympics. If you were even 1/100th of the athlete that you spend all your time bashing on these forums maybe I would take you a bit more seriously.

Cool Serioulsy you played elite (aka) soccer over in Canada, nice seriously I hears that's only just a few notches below the Premier Division, the Southern Football League Premier Division to be exact

luckbox 04-02-2012 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Intermission (Post 1567462)
I played elite soccer here for about 10 years and qualifying for big tournaments was HUGE emotionally. Nevermind the Olympics. If you were even 1/100th of the athlete that you spend all your time bashing on these forums maybe I would take you a bit more seriously.

Really? That's awesome! What team? What position? Any medals? Can I find you on Football Manager? Spill your guts!

Intermission 04-02-2012 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KillerShark1985 (Post 1567491)
Man not sure what the biggest stadium in Brazil is but they should build the biggest stadium the world has ever seem and it still would not be big enough to be realistically possible to get tickets to any Brasil game weather it be the opening match or the final, how many Brazilians tuned into watch Santos vs Cain, that number would be a speck of dust compared to the number of Brasilian fans looking to go to one of those games.



Cool Serioulsy you played elite (aka) soccer over in Canada, nice seriously I hears that's only just a few notches below the Premier Division, the Southern Football League Premier Division to be exact

Quote:

Originally Posted by luckbox (Post 1567504)
Really? That's awesome! What team? What position? Any medals? Can I find you on Football Manager? Spill your guts!

Umm okay? I guess it's cool that you guys are being dicks. Didn't I just help you out the other day luckbox?

Lol as the world turns.

Assholes.


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