I’m still out of breath

1. Well, the US won its group. That extra time goal took us from eliminated to deservedly winning the group. Hey, Zinedine Zidane said we are better than England! (O RLY? Has he lost his vision?)

2. I think the significance of the win isn’t so much that we advanced. It’s that we advanced despite being the repeated victim of refs. The old agage about not being good enough to beat the other team AND the referees? Well, the US was good enough. There’s no other country that has been victimized once the way we have been victimized several times by the refs. I can’t even begin to make the list, with the first two obviously being the most important: the goal against Slovenia, the goal against Algeria, the ball that struck our starting striker in the face yet got him a yellow card suspension, the multiple elbows to Clint Dempsey’s jaw which should have been penalties, one of which drew tons of blood, etc etc.

3. It’s important to remember that the US was quite fortunate to draw a weak group. Obviously Italy and Argentina’s groups were weaker, yes. The fact that England struggled so much validates the fact that the group wasn’t horrible. In fact, England scored only 2 goals against this group, equal to the number of goals the US had stolen by referees. Maybe stolen is a strong word for the goal we had called back against Algeria, but…it’s not that far off. Dempsey was onsides, even if it was extremely close.

4. Michael Bradley has been impressive, has he not? He’s covering a ton of ground, getting forward when necessary, and being exactly the box-to-box midfielder that the US needs.

5. It will be interesting to see who we play. Serbia is probably one of the most underrated countries, player-wise, yet they’ve never really gotten the results to prove it. Germany is Germany (but this is one of their weaker years), and Ghana would be interesting. So we’re likely to get a winnable draw, and after that we probably get Uruguay, assuming they beat Korea.

6. Our defense is shaky. We got pretty lucky not to go behind in the 6th minute because of a Demerit error. It would be nice if Onyewu wasn’t so shaky after being out for a year.

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