U.S. win over Spain is nice…but let’s relax a little

June 24, 2009 | Drew Forrester

So, the United States “shocked the world” today with a 2-0 soccer win over Spain. 


No, not really.

They shocked US, here, in the United States.  

Others around the world probably think Spain’s best three players had the flu. 

I only saw a portion of the game, but I didn’t think Spain looked that interested, to be honest with you.  

That said, for the U.S. TEAM, this is a nice win.  It’s far better than getting b-slapped for 90 minutes like they did against Brazil two games ago.  Some players, including Clint Dempsey, were probably feeling the heat a little bit so a good result was a feather in their cap.

But I’ll go ahead and temper everyone’s enthusiasm just a bit.

There are only two kinds of international soccer games that REALLY matter to the United States.  World Cup qualifying games and World Cup games.  That’s it.  This “thing” over in South Africa, while a good measuring stick for players, coaches and the like, is nothing more than a way for people to win and lose jobs on the field. 

This game doesn’t get the team into next year’s World Cup.  Mainly, it gets them a nice night out in South Africa, an extra four days of per-diem, and, the notoriety of ending Spain’s winning streak at 35 games.

If Brazil steams them 3-0 in the Final on Sunday, all we’ll remember is that the U.S. couldn’t beat Brazil.  Again.

Either way, it’s not that big of a deal.

Beating Spain today is better than losing to Spain today, granted.

It gets the previously-pedestrian Jozy Altidore a good night’s sleep since he finally scored a goal.  And Dempsey can probably have a nice glass of David Frost’s cabernet in Capetown this evening after working his way back into Bob Bradley’s good graces with strong performances in the last two games.  

I’m obviously always excited about the U.S. National team and I’m happy for their result today.

But let’s not carried away about “biggest win in the history of the country” and all that jazz.  It wasn’t U.S-Trinidad in 1989 when the Americans scored a shocking road win to advance to the 1990 World Cup.

This was a big game for the players.

It wasn’t such a big game for the sport.

Now, if they beat Spain in 2010 in South Africa, that might classify as the biggest win in the history of the sport in our country.