Berhalter's tactical changes help subdue mighty England in 0-0 World Cup tie, setting up a must-win showdown for the U.S. with Iran on Tuesday.
I would love to see one thing repeated from 1998: a group photo with USMNT and Iran players together showing support for each other. It would make a statement against the divisive and vitriolic statements from the Iranian regime that western countries are somehow responsible for protests in their country.
Let’s not get caught up in the moment though. Let’s get a goal in the first 15 and put them away.
Here’s the thing. We have to win this Iran game. The USMNT has not won a game in a long time. We lost the final game of our Concacaf qualifying; we lost friendlies , and we have two ties at the world Cup. It comes down to the fact that we have no one at the number 9 position, and never have. It is too difficult to score goals like the one we created against Wales. And set pieces have been a waste of time for us ( deliveries have not been good and we have no one who can put a head on the ball and direct it into the net). So I can see us tying Iran ( 0-0), but I can’t see how we score a goal, much less two ( should that become necessary). Unless I am fooled by some new and as yet unseen dimension of this team, I have to predict we shall not advance from the group. And what will remain is an attempt to weed out the few positives from our experience ( we were young, we tied England, Tyler Adams was great, etc ). But questions about the coach and our future will remain. In the next World Cup, we’ll be older and more experienced, but will we be any better? Please surprise me.
It won’t happen against Iran, because it’d be too dangerous for the Iranian players - and their families. But it’s likely if the US goes through that they’ll play a European team. So how about this?
Players come out for the game, and get together for a group picture behind a smuggled-in long rainbow banner. FIFA won’t have time to develop a response, and they can’t give EVERYONE a card before the game starts. The picture would go viral before the kickoff.
Pretty harsh towards the USMNT considering they voluntarily agreed under Zimmerman's leadership to give up a percentage of their prize money so the USWNT could get equal pay. A much more substantive gesture than wearing a rainbow armband.
In 2026 will the social justice drum be used as frequently and loudly? Will every analysis involve an assessment of whether or not the players have adequately addressed the human right abuses of the host countries? The endless corruption of the Mexican government and the relationships with the cartels? The mass incarceration of minorities in the US? The endless wars and imperialism perpetrated by the US all over the world? The shameful treatment of indigenous populations by all 3 North American hosts? Of course not. The players and the journalists covering them won't expect that it is the responsibility of soccer players to address these issues or resolve them. The journalists won't be seeking to leverage their legitimate concerns about the host countries into more subscriptions and shares. What I am describing is not a case of what-aboutism. The relative impact of US policy on the citizens of the world is far greater than the impact of the Qatari state. For good and for bad. But the journalists will understand it isn't their job to badger the players into taking a public position on the politics of the host countries.
I'm so glad to have taken Joe Posnaski’s advice and purchased a subscription. Terrific insight, analysis and writing. A thousand bravos, Grant
I like Dan’s idea of a group photo. Simple. Powerful. I think the biggest opportunity for a showing of protest would be to make the Knockout Round and do something there. I feel like FIFA would be more powerless to do something to a Knockout round participant than in the Group Stage (though I could be wrong; ref pressure could happen #conspiracyhat). Hell, if we are dreaming, get as many Knockout around participants together to all agree to do some form of protest. Strength in numbers that would tie FIFA’s hands.
On USWNT Virtue Tour Boycott.
Simple Truth is that Qatar would not have bothered bribing half of Europe and Africa to host the Women’s Tournament.
So spare me those who are ‘well, we just wouldn’t have played’. Easy to say when there’s no chance it would happen.
I realize you are in the stadium and probably missed it, but if you had seen the Fox feed, when Dest got to the sideline, there is no way you would've believed he asked out. He was really angry.
As a point of reference heading into the third match of Group play, here are the USA's previous results in the modern era:
1990: Austria 1-0
1994: Romania 1-0
1998: Yugoslavia 1-0
2002: Poland 3-1
2006: Ghana 2-1
2010: Algeria 0-1*
2014: Germany 1-0
And tee, I know how to spell Posnanski!
Any truth to the Wynalda comments?