The U.S. Team Survives on 'Endurance, Strength and Youth'

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clint Dempsey #8 of the United States is congratulated by teammate Jozy Altidore #17 after Dempsey scored in the second half against Turkey during an international friendly (Getty)

The U.S. beat Ghana 2-1 in its World Cup debut last night. We discuss the game with George Vescey sports columnist for The New York Times and author of the new book Eight World Cups: My Journey through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer (Times Books, 2014), what it says about the US chances, and take calls from fans of the US and others about how the first round fared.


George Vescey

Comments [15]

Ana from Summit, NJ

Costa Rica Pura Vida!!!!!! Vamos Ticos!

Jun. 17 2014 11:07 AM
khadija Boyd from Brooklyn

To Dan? is it? avec des si(s), on pourrait mettre Paris ds une bouteille. Savor, please; kindest regards, ko, African/North/USA as well
Ciao! ko

Jun. 17 2014 11:01 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To illfg

With the relative decline of both the Euro-American AND African-American population as well, and the rise in immigrant populations it won't take that long for US football to be replaced by soccer. As for baseball and basketball those are less likely to be negatively affected as those are now popular worldwide. American football is going to decline because of it is not played outside of the US and so there is no global competition for US football players.

Jun. 17 2014 10:57 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Must admit that I'm getting a little psyched about soccer. Don't want to give Brazil World Cup the ratings, so I'm considering catching it at a bar...

(BTW, what's with all the half-black/German/Hungarian guys on the US MNT team? Interesting sociological phenomenon.)

Jun. 17 2014 10:55 AM

Thanks, George. Now I can't get "MacArthur Park" out of my head.

Jun. 17 2014 10:51 AM

Klinsmann is taking the long view which is a standard for some of the most successful teams in World Cup competition. He is building a culture and a standard which is very hard work and can be unpopular, ultimately the fruits of his work will be seen in the next couple of world cups - hopefully 2022 here in the US. Even though I did not agree with Donovan being out I can understand why he did it. Donovan represents a style of play and culture which has not been successful on the world stage, I'm not saying Donovan is not a great player, he is, but he will definitely not be around in 2022.

Jun. 17 2014 10:48 AM

The US will not progress very far. Soccer in the US is a game for kids and the US team lacks the talent culture that most countries have. Perhaps if football, baseball and basketball didnt already pull such talented athletes into their game, we would have some better players. As first generation american from italian parents, i have no problem saying FORZA ITALIA! Only team that has won more is Brazil (for now).

Jun. 17 2014 10:44 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Chill out Dan. They were not terrible? No Portugal were terrible. The US were good enough to win, and that all that matters.

Jun. 17 2014 10:42 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

If soccer displaces American football in the US that will signal the end of "American exceptionalism" once and for all! So the US will become the Brazil of North America :)

Jun. 17 2014 10:41 AM
Chris from New Jersey

Landon who? (I'm wearing my Hertha Berlin jersey to mark the team John Brooks plays for when he's not playing for the U.S., as well as to mark the other World Cup team I'm cheering for: Germany. That's what's great about the World Cup: You can cheer for two teams like that.)

Jun. 17 2014 10:40 AM

I thought the US was strategically playing a fast game in the second half. They had trouble keeping possession of the ball, but their defense was strong. I wondered if they were playing fast to force Ghana to play a more desperate game. Ghana kept on making crazy shots at goal from WAY too far back. For the last minutes of the game the US was cool calm and collected. Great game.

Jun. 17 2014 10:39 AM
Marie from NJ

Brit in NJ here. Still optomistic. It ain't over 'til it's over!

Jun. 17 2014 10:39 AM
dan from brooklyn

Who are we kidding here? We were terrible. Save for about 5 minutes, the rest of the game were just near misses by Ghana, the far better team. A few degrees different on some of those kicks and we would've lost by 4. The score doesn't always show who the better team is. If we play this way against Germany and Portugal, we'll be humiliated.

Jun. 17 2014 10:38 AM
Matt from Brooklyn

Rah, psyched by the win!

Thanks for having George Vescey on... Love his thoughtful writing - and passion for soccer.

Jun. 17 2014 10:36 AM
khadija Boyd from Brooklyn

OK, how about me, me, me (save snarly comments, y'all): fab game, although we (USA) kinda got sloppy during 2nd half. Ghana, a wonderful team, usually, (although I favor Cameroun, as Reps from Africa) played a dirty foot; arrogance, bravado (though, at times, I confess I am guilty of same) and sheer desperation; Ghana team wanted to take US down; oh well! deep waters run still. I believe US played a careful game w/o showing strategies. Kinda a warm-up. Can't wait to hear the US/Ghanean on WNYC who said, yes, I am a US citizen but Ghanean first and we'll ...fill in the blank, US A-SSes in first 3 minutes. Oh well! It only took the US 37.8 seconds. Ciao, Ciao, babes. k0

Jun. 17 2014 10:11 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.