I don't hate the Dutch. On the contrary, they're one of my favorite national sides both because they were an unusually tolerable shade of orange, play "Total Football," and won my heart forever in 1998 when Dennis Kluivert helped them win games by the skin of their teeth under football genius Guus Hiddink. There's nothing to dislike unless they're playing my national side, which today they did, and in that case I only hate two kinds of people: those who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.â†µ
The bad United States team showed up today, and as usual with bad days for the Americans that means Jonathan Bornstein had an exceptionally miserable day. The Dutch first capitalized on Bornstein pulling down a Wesley Sneijder in the box, getting a goal off a penalty kick by Dirk Kuyt. The second goal came off a Bornstein deflection, proving that even when standing perfectly still he could do little right today.â†µ
Carlos Bocanegra did finally head in a goal in the 88th minute, sparking a dramatic late flurry by the US that still qualified as little more than a moral victory for the United States in what finished as a 2-1 defeat. The game bore all the hallmarks of the Bad Americans showing up: little flow between forwards, defensive lapses leading to scores, and braindead penalties with serious consequences. On the upside, Stuart Holden only showed signs of a high ankle sprain, which is only good news in that his leg was not torn off in a first-half collision with a Dutch player. You have to take the positives when the fourth-ranked team in the world calmly dispatches you that efficiently.