The US Mens National Team face Spain in the Confederation Cup Semifinals in South Africa in a few hours, which is not surprising if you were flying over Iowa Saturday and observed bovines fluttering their wings at 40,000 feet.
Winning a spot in the semi-finals is a shocking result which the US team should be proud of, no matter how surprising given the play of the US in their first two matches.
Soccer is a capricious animal but, like a gift horse, you don’t look good fortune in the mouth.
No US soccer pundit with any sense wants to predict a result for the semifinal match. Spain is quite possibly the best national soccer team in the world right now, they are tremendous. Picking them to win would be like betting on gravity. I won’t go on about them.
But I can tell you two things about any soccer team brazen enough to go after and capture a semifinal berth after such shocking performances as the US had against Italy and Brazil:
- The team must be American, for no other nation would so brazenly ignore their own limitations
- Any team that can pull that off is beyond second guessing
In the world order America has always been an upstart, at our best when we have little pedigree and less acceptance of our limitations. It is not beginners’ luck.
The word is optimism. When you can’t see anything that would stop you, there really are few limitations.
It may not change the odds, but it might make you a fan.