If the U.S. doesn’t beat Belgium today, this World Cup is a failure

July 01, 2014 | Drew Forrester

The Summer of Disrespect for U.S. Soccer continues this afternoon in Brazil when the American side takes on Belgium in the round of 16 in this 2014 World Cup.

Listening to and/or reading the work of all the “experts” out there, I don’t know why we’re bothering to show up for this one.

Then again, those are the same goofs who proclaimed Group G “the group of death” (which, it wasn’t) and predicted the demise of the U.S. before they played Ghana (“Oh my, how are we EVER going to beat them?”) and Portugal (“They have Ronaldo, no way we can beat that guy.”).

Folks talk about these teams like Ghana and Portugal and Belgium like they are perennial World Cup contenders who have a birthright to be in the Final every four years.

As we have seen with the likes of Chile, Greece and Algeria — who took Brazil, Costa Rica and Germany to the wire before falling, these teams are extraordinarily close to one another and if a team really wants to drag the game down and play for overtime and/or penalty kicks, it’s very possible to make that happen no matter who the opponent is that day.

I have as many concerns about Belgium as they have about the United States, which is to say either of these teams could win this afternoon and I wouldn’t at all be surprised.

But, I expect the United States to win.

In fact, to me, they SHOULD win.

They should beat Belgium today and move on.

If they don’t, this World Cup has been a failure.

Yes, yes, yes, I know:  Italy, England and Spain all went home after group play.  That’s true World Cup failure.

No, that’s World Cup disaster.  Coaching staffs get canned over that kind of losing.

Reaching the round of 16 and losing to Belgium?  That’s failure.

We’ve come along far enough now that getting a gracious scheduling break like Belgium needs to be taken advantage of by our American team.

This is a game the U.S. should win.

If not, we’re just like Greece, Algeria and Nigeria: Piano movers, not piano players.


NOTE:  An old favorite returns tomorrow to this space.  A few years ago, on Wednesday’s, I did a piece here called “21 Questions” in which you, the listeners/readers, etc. sent me questions you wanted answered in this space.  We’re going to change it a little bit…to “11 Questions”, but all you have to do is either post a question here in the comments section or just e-mail me your question (drew@wnst.net) and I’ll try to answer it here tomorrow in Drew’s Morning Dish. 


5 Comments For This Post

  1. John in Westminster Says:

    I too am a little confused with some of the expert TV analysts and their views on the games so far. Clearly Germany dominated Algeria for most of the 120 minutes, but you’d think the Algerians should have won after listening to the analysis. Also the USA gave the Germans a great game except for the opening 10 minutes, but it was made to sound like we weren’t in the game.

    Losing to Belgium would not be a surprise because they are skilled and too young to know they shouldn’t be doing so well. We’ve already improved over the last cup, so I disagree with calling this team a failure if we do lose today. However, I would definitely be disappointed if we didn’t come away with the win.

  2. Ethan Says:

    Please it wouldn’t be a failure at all. Give me a break. Belgium’s entire starting 11 except for Lukaku (a Chelsea FC loanee) played in the UEFA Champions League last season while the USA had a whopping 1 (Jermaine Jones).
    The USA have a chance at winning, but to say that this World Cup would be a failure if they lose today is an absolute joke.

  3. mortstiff Says:

    Here’s my question: why did the victim who was handcuffed in the upstairs room in the Dutch movie The Treatment use the wire from her bra to relentlessly dig a hole in the floor to see if her son and husband were downstairs when it would have made more sense to try to pry open her handcuffs?

  4. Not a soccer fan Says:

    Drew UPDATE: The USA lost and got the boot. Now what will you do? (DF: Whatever I do, I hope you’re not involved. I would refer to you by name — but you’re afraid to put your name to what you write. You remind me of that U.S. goalkeeper. What’s his name? Tim Coward?)

  5. Jim Says:

    Here’s a question for you Drew, since no one else seems to agree with your analysis. In what sport anywhere would going 1-2-1 in 4 games not be considered a failure? I must have missed the part where the US made huge strides in international soccer. The whole second half of the Portugal game was played in the US zone, we were dominated by Germany for 90 minutes, although you sure wouldn’t know it to listen to the announcers(I’ve never in my life heard people so happy to lose), and save for Tim Howard the US could have easily lost 5-0 to Belgium. It was fun to watch, great for national pride, and an exciting run, but I don’t see anyone running out to buy DC United season tickets next week. At least we can all go back to not caring about soccer for a year until the women play in canada.

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