The United States Soccer Team has now been eliminated from the 2014 World Cup. I have heard two responses to this during the last week since the US team was knocked out. One side is the response of congratulations for the hard work, effort and play the team gave during the competition complete with kudos for a job well done. The other side has responded with disappointment, deflation and a bit of contempt that anyone in the United States would think that the performance and results of the US team in the World Cup should be congratulated or praised at all - because we are Americans, the team is made up of Americans and Americans win - American success is not defined by achieving a record of 1 Win 2 Losses and 1 Draw in the World Cup.
To the first side who has responded with congratulations, I applaud you for I am one of you.
To the second side who has respond with disappointment, I am puzzled over you for I think you know not what you are disappointed about. I will provide some information (source: FIFA.com):
The 2014 World Cup offered 204 national teams a chance to participate. 204.
The United States team competes in the CONCACAF. Thirty-five national teams are in this group. There are four rounds of competition in this group. Competition in this group for qualification for the 2014 World Cup began in 2011.
The United States automatically advanced to the Third Round of this competition as they were ranked in the top six teams of CONCACAF. The United States began competing in June of 2012 in an attempt to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
In this competition, the US team played six group games and earned a record of 4 Wins 1 Loss and 1 Draw.
This qualified the US Team for the Fourth Round of the competition where the team played seven games and compiled a record of 7 Wins 1 Loss and 2 Draws.
In two rounds and 16 games of CONCACAF competition the United States team compiled a record of 11 Wins 2 Losses and 3 Draws.
This result earned the United States team the top overall ranking in the CONCACAF - 1st out of 35 total teams in the group.
The United States team entered the 2014 World Cup Draw ranked #13 in the world as determined by FIFA.
The 2014 World Cup Draw contained 32 total teams and resulted in the US Team being placed in a 4-team group with Ghana (#23) Portugal (ranked #14) and Germany (#2).
The US Team moved on from the Group stage with a win over Ghana, a draw with Portugal and a loss to Germany.
The US Team moved on to the next stage of the World Cup as one of the remaining 16 teams in the world to take part in the Knockout Round - a win and go on/lose and go home round.
The US Team played Belgium in the first match of the Knockout Round. Belgium was ranked #5 in the world by FIFA coming into the tournament.
The US Team lost to Belgium 2-1 in Extra Time (the match was tied 0-0 at the end of Full Time).
The US Team then ended the 2014 World Cup with a record of 1 Win 2 Losses and 1 Draw.
Combined against all of the national teams the United States competed against since 2011 from qualification through the World Cup, the team record in 20 games was 12 Wins 4 Losses and 4 Draws.
The match against Belgium pitted the 13th ranked United States squad against the 5th ranked Belgium team. In familiar American sports comparison, this match amounted to a 13-seed playing against a 5-seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament in the Sweet Sixteen where the 5th seeded team would most likely be a recognized perennial national power and the 13th seed would be a budding Cinderella story - great if they could pull off an upset but certainly not expected to do so.
To all of you in the United States who have roundly congratulated out nation’s soccer team, I applaud you.
To all of you in the United States who are disappointed, deflated and contemptuous over the team’s result, I think you are a Homer, a band-wagoner, ill-informed and arrogant.
….and aren't those are the same characteristics most of the world thinks most Americans are full of.
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