Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It

Yeah, that’s what ol’ Clint as Will Munny told the nefarious Hackman before he blew him away in Unforgiven.

That’s what the U.S. Olympic Soccer team is telling themselves right now as they return to the states.

Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

The U.S. didn’t really deserve to beat Japan.  They certainly did deserve to beat the Dutch in the second game but had to settle for the tie.  We can argue the merits of Michael Orozco’s red card in the third minute against Nigeria (the softest straight red I’ve ever seen), which pretty much led to defeat an elimination early Wednesday morning.  And the Dutch definitely did not, by God, deserve to beat Japan on a weak, weak penalty kick, thus ensuring the U.S.’s elimination.  But as Clint has told us…

So this Olympic soccer team was somewhat snakebitten.  Jon Spector out with injury, Jozy Altidore hampered by a sore ankle, Coach Nowak’s insistence on playing guys out of position.  Still there were a few bright spots: some good stretches by Holden, Kleijstan, Edu, Wynne, Parkhurst, Adu…  The way the midfield was able to dominate for long periods.

Now the question becomes how quickly some of these guys can be integrated with the full national team to prepare for the World Cup.  Unfortunately, with ultra-conservative Bob Bradley still at the helm, and judging by his most recent call-ups, we’ll have to wait awhile longer.