â†µFor the near-miraculous run it made in the Confederations Cup last month, the U.S. men's national soccer team is still, at its core, a flawed and undertalented group. Sorry, but facts is facts. â†µâ†µ
â†µOne of the American's problems is that they simply don't have a lot of patience on offense. Their inability to control possession and dictate the run of play against similarly talented (or superior) opponents means they frequently spend the balance of the game on the defensive, weathering attacks for as long as their legs hold out. â†µâ†µ
â†µThat's not a killer in and of itself, considering the team's relative strength on defense, but once those legs give out, all hell can break loose in a hurry. Recently, that's become something of a pattern; twice in the Confederations Cup, Brazil ran off three goals in short order to bury the Americans. â†µâ†µ
â†µBut that pales to what Mexico unleashed on the USA today. After a scoreless first half and a near-miss on a USA shot that sailed about six inches above the crossbar, Mexico rattled off five second-half goals to take the match and La Copa Oro by a shocking 5-0 margin. â†µâ†µ
â†µParticularly embarrassing is the fact that the match took place in New Jersey; El Tri hadn't beaten America on our soil in a decade, and there was no real indication in the first half that such a streak was in serious danger. â†µâ†µ
â†µBut then the floods washed in, and once again, the U.S. wasn't able to answer an energetic surge. It's fair to say the shine has disappeared from the American team just as quickly as it appeared, and now the focus is once again back on not embarrassing itself at next year's World Cup. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.