There are No Moral Victories in Soccer

Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin and the USMNT drew Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal 2-2 yesterday to keep all teams in the World Cup’s Group G alive. Ugh. The draw stings. We were 13 seconds away from winning. 13 seconds from clinching a berth in the knockout round. 13 seconds from proving the doubters wrong and fulfilling a dream.

There are no more moral victories in US soccer. We went toe-to-toe with a storied European club chock-full of superstars. We were the better team but only drew. If it was 2002, we’d be happy with this result. We’d be plucky Americans taking potshots at the world’s best. But it’s 2014 and we want to be one of the world’s best.

I am too emotionally exhausted to get into match recap specifics. Quickly: I love Jermaine Jones, who figured he’d be the lights-out midfielder for the Stars and Stripes? Conversely, I am perplexed by the play of Michael Bradley, his play the last tow games has been indecisive at best. I’m proud of the Rave Green. Yedlin didn’t shrink, but played great on the big stage and Clint Dempsey is on a goal-scoring tear in Brazil. The Sounders did the flag proud.

My bold prediction was 13 seconds to being correct, a stunning win over Portugal… Group G is complicated, we are guaranteed nothing and the scenarios are many. But we SHOULD still advance. Even Nate Silver says so.

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