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SBI Tuesday Rewind: Howard’s heroics can’t save USMNT; Argentina moves on; and more


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The World Cup for the U.S. Men’s National Team is over. With a heroic performance from goalkeeper Tim Howard single-handedly keeping the U.S. alive, the game finally slipped away in extra time, with Belgium pulling away, 2-1. Though for naught, Howard made history, recording the most saves in a World Cup match ever, an easy choice for SBI’s Man of the Match. The U.S. looked like they might rally late, with newcomer and controversial roster selection Julian Green scoring on his first touch, but Belgium moves onto the quarterfinals and the U.S. heads home.

In other Round of 16 action, Argentina broke a stalemate with Switzerland late to advance in a thrilling showdown earlier in the day. It was Angel Di Maria who took a turn as Argentine hero, though Lionel Messi served as the goal architect to push his side through and continue his standout World Cup run.

And back stateside, Orlando City SC officially introduced Kaka as their first Designated Player signing when the club joins Major League Soccer next year.

Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI today:

USMNT proud of World Cup showing despite falling in Round of 16 again

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Tim Howard

USMNT eliminated from World Cup by Belgium after extra-time rally falls short

World Cup: USA vs. Belgium (SBI Live Match Commentary)

Confident USMNT enters Belgium match desperately wanting to extend World Cup run

Argentina ekes out dramatic extra time win over Switzerland

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Ángel Di María

Cameroon FA investigating allegations of match-fixing

World Cup Round of 16: Your Running Commentary

World Cup Round of 16: A Look Ahead

Orlando City introduces Kaka as first DP signing



  1. Soccer is much better than it was in !974 when my kids started playing soccer at AYSO. I started playing in the Bay Area Women’s Soccer League. Soccer is a great sport, and it takes years to develop soccer sense. It’s amazing that soccer stadium are being built for soccer only. The sport has grown so much. It’s the Wondolowskis and the Donovans and the Bradleys and all the other players who make the game exciting. It is a true world sport, and it doesn’t depend on the size of the country to make it great. Keep it up team. With time the quality will get better. Meanwhile we need all the Yedlins and Wondolowskis we can get. This country needs to develop its own style. As long as the US plays the way it did, I am going to watch soccer, win or lose.

  2. Given that the U.S. has played more World Cup knockout round games than Italy since the day Zidane received his infamous red card tells me this talk/worry and stagnation is a bit misguided.

    As someone who has been following the USMNT sincwe ’94, I can tell you that the best soccer I’ve seen them play has all occurred after 2007…

  3. Wondo better not plan on celebrating the 4th of July with his family – Those privileges have been revoked. He’s lucky he still has his passport.

  4. All this talk about having a pretty style is silly. Winning is a beautiful style. Love Greece. Won the Euros in spectacular fashionand fought to the limit against CR. Who wouldn’t want a second goal to tie late and then the US goes on to winpks due to Howard? I d love to see US vs ARG with it all on the line.
    In other words, just win baby. Some people think Arsenal plays beautiful football. Great. Watch or dont watch but stop whining 🙂

  5. Tim Howard is a living legend of the game. To me, a non American saying this, Howard is easily one of the top 5 best goalkeepers in the history of the game and my personal favorite, and I’ve been following this sport for more than 30 yrs when I was living in S America. Never seen anything like him and probably never will in my lifetime…What a player. This guy deserves to be in a CL team definitely !! a team like Real Madrid to say the least, cause he is clearly better than Casillas ever was. Is he better than Neuer? yes, is he better than Courtois? currently yes. long live Timmy Howard!!!

  6. Three thoughts:
    1. Whoever is posting here, including me, obviously is not hung over enough from yesterday’s amazing spectacle.
    2. Green answered the Donovan snub critics with one touch. He looked dangerous on the flank with subsequent touches.
    3. It is not just about skill, it is about body type. We need full-bodied and tall youth athletes to avoid the obvious stereotypes (football, basketball) and choose the beautiful game instead. Lukaku brushed off Besler like a gnat, and Besler is our best defender. We had to put Cameron in an odd spot because he is the only one on the squad big enough to contain Felaini. With enough big guys in the pot, a few giants would emerge with the skill and wit necessary to make it on the big stage.

    • John Brooks and Will Packwood both appear to be strapping, athletic young lads. Perhaps they will both work out. Matt Hedges is another physically imposing center back that comes to mind. Also, Omar may continue improving over the next few years; he had two solid, confidence building matches to close out the World Cup. Probably need some more physicality in midfield as well; maybe a Dillon Powers or Danny Williams can emerge to fill that role? It will be interesting to watch.

    • There has been much attention brought to Besler on that single play…. he could/should have done better but in his defense… Lukaku was fresh as a daisy, Besler was what… 100 minutes into a match where he’d been under fire for 90. He was also way outside on the chalk-line trying to stop a blazing fast striker from turning the corner one v one. Not exactly a CBs strongpoint. Smart/savvy play would have been to have just risked or taken a card and fouled him hard.

  7. If you haven’t already, check out the World Cup observations that Dillon Powers wrote for the Denver Post. Very intelligent guy and knows the game well. A physically imposing midfielder with a powerful shot who seems to play cerebrally as well. Hope he gets a look soon.

  8. The solution is very simple.
    The USSF needs to invest BIG $ into URBAN, INNERCITY youth programs.
    The entire FOCUS of our youth development system needs to be geared towards POOR kids, not “pay to play” suburban youth teams. The USSF would have a bigger impact by providing a free soccer ball for every poor kid in America, than waist another penny on fancy tournaments for privileged suburban kids.
    Let us be frank, everyone knows where the talent is coming from for the NBA and NFL.
    When I drive through the west side of Chicago and see kids playing pick up futbol games, I know we are moving in the right direction.
    My hope is that our future “Messi” is some 7 year old kid living in an urban housing project who was inspired by this World Cup.

    • Baukin, I run an inner city program in NJ. We have had less than 100 kids come through our program but we already have a player who starts for the US u17 team.
      It is the best soccer experience that you will ever have.
      If you are ever interested in getting it started email me at

    • The point should not be to move a limited focus from one area to another at the expense of another, it should be to broaden focus/accessibility. If we were to take a look at the top of the food chain in developing talent… like, say… Germany, Spain, we would look at having widespread, quality development academies that are easily, equally accessed by players with the greatest talent, completely independent of socio, economic status. While I certainly do agree that there is a lack of inner city youth programs, I don’t see USSF as being the likely solution as much as I do pro teams. Thankfully, this is already underway. In Southern Calif, there has already been forward progress with Galaxy and yes, even Chivas USA academies and it will only get better as these academies mature.

      • There is only so much money to go around, so stop wasting it on Suburban Soccer. The academies will only go so far. We need to build a “street” level culture in the inner cities. The MLS teams will NOT make this happen with academies. It needs to be nurtured by the USSF. Besides setting up teams, it is about MARKETING, community outreach and getting some street cred. Again, when the Chicago Housing Authority runs a Midnight Soccer League (like the basketball program) then we will be on our way. The goal is to create a large base of players – only a few will be professionals. However, you should see pickup games in the city that rival our current semi pro leagues. I can see kids shooting hoops in unorganized competition any day of the week that blow away most suburban high school programs – and these kids will NEVER play organized basketball. The same needs to be true with soccer. Virtually every kid should be playing (organized or casual).
        I will dare to venture that most SBI readers are not “urban”, so most of you privileged white guys are not going to get this.

      • A basketball program such as the Chicago Housing Authority did not spawn the interest nor develop the talent on display there, it provided a facility and structure to express/take advantage of something that is already well established there. How did a passion for basketball become so ingrained? Mostly through the very well paid and promoted NBA. At the moment, it is fair bet if you do nothing more than hang a hoop on a street corner in Chicago, there will be a pickup game being played within a few hours. Put a soccer goal on the same block and see what happens.

        Acceptance of the sport through athletes such as Lebron James and Kobe helps as would a widely televised league with well paid players on display in games as well as commercials/pop culture. USSF will never have the funding to scout and develop talent on any kind of a wide scale. Regionalized pro academies who directly profit from finding and developing players are better equipped and motivated to do so.

  9. Tim Howard is easily for me in conversation as one of the greatest GKs in in the history of the sport if not the best that i’ve seen. I think Howard really deserves to be playing in a champions league team like Real Madrid as he is FAR better than Casillas has ever been….and I am saying this as a no american who has watched this sport for so long

    • He was wonderful but that was likely the performance of his career. He’s a great ‘journeyman’ goalkeeper but he’s not the best in the EPL let alone the best in the World.

      • Journeyman keeper? That makes no sense. He’s only been on Man United and Everton in EPL and Metro in MLS. Really he’s been a mainstay and nowhere near a journeyman.
        Without a doubt Howard may have just given the goalkeeping performance of the tournament. Lot’s of praise for him on the spanish speaking networks at the moment calling him the keeper of the tournament. I have to agree with them.

  10. I feel bad for Howard and Wondo, but in the end the result was just. Belgium deserved to win. We, or any other team, should not be rewarded for playing the way we did yesterday. I don’t want to be like Greece. This has been a great World Cup and the teams that have shown creativity and quality are still in the tournament, for the most part.

    • Sensible comment, I agree that the best team won, not sure they deserved to win. The US team was a collection of (mostly) over performers who played with great guts and determination, to claw out out results. Those that say they should have attacked and over respected the teams they played don’t get that they do not have the talent to do that. It’s the way the US have played at major tournaments for years.

      For me the takeaways are that they did well with a mostly MLS team, that’s good for the game in the US, no doubt about it. I’m concerned about the Germericans but we have a German coach and Germany won (I think) the WC with Polish born players so the model is there.

      The way this team played is the way it was designed to play, no more no less. Well done boys.

  11. I, and many others I’m sure, could tell in the first 10 minutes we were outclassed by Belgium. Howard was the only reason it was close, but even he was bound to make a mistake. Timmy has made a lot of fans in this Cup, but he is on his last legs. He got beat at the near post by Lukaku on the second goal, and that should never happen to a world class goalkeeper. There’s a reason he’s been doing color commentary during the past two EPL seasons. CONCACAF teams have shown most of their quality through the goalkeeping. Navas has been spectacular, and Ochoa somehow managed to correct his positioning errors (he’s always had top notch reflexes) just in time for the biggest stretch of games in his career. Howard just put a heroic performance up to rival the both of them.

    The end of the game was crazy, and just frustrates me even more. Klinsmann talked for 3 years about being proactive, but when Jozy went down we fell into a defensive shell in every game. The only time we came out of the shell was when we inevitably fell behind. We brought Julian Green for a cameo? Mix Diskerud, our most creative midfielder, spent the entire tournament on the bench? Most people will criticize the Donovan omission, but who we REALLY missed was Terrence Boyd. We gave his spot to Wondolowski, who flubbed no fewer than two golden chances. Boyd is a beast like Jozy and has a superior work rate. We needed him.

    Player of the tournament for me is Jermaine Jones. I dreamed of performances like this for the US when he was bossing the midfield at Schalke. Disappointment of the tournament is Michael Bradley, though I will admit that Jozy’s injury forced him out of position. He was unable to maestro the midfield effectively because he had to run himself ragged chasing balls behind Dempsey’s old and lazy ess. Revelation of the tournament (the player who has improved his stock the most) is without a doubt DeAndre Yedlin. No timidness in his game at all. He will be sold to a European club very soon.

    This one stings, but we just didn’t have the players to hang with the world class talent of Belgium. In 4 years we will see Gedion Zelalem feeding inch-perfect through balls to Green and Johannsson. Boyd will surpass Altidore as the target. We may not win a knockout game in the next tournament, but we will have a better style of play for sure.

    As for the rest of the tournament, I’m a bit too depressed to “root” for another team. Costa Rica is still representing the region, so I may watch their match. I usually back my mother’s country (Germany) in the Euro, but I just don’t feel the same connection knowing the US was in the field.

    I hope all you US supporters will stick around for the Copa America next year. The field in that tournament will include 8 of the 16 teams that made the knockout stage of this World Cup.

    • “Revelation of the tournament (the player who has improved his stock the most) is without a doubt DeAndre Yedlin”

      Where have you been the last two years ? He is starting every game for the best team in MLS and has been doing so since he was 18.

      • Brett is right, no question. For the U.S it was DeAndre Yedlin who improved his stock the most. You are forgetting that starting for the “best” team in MLS since the age of 18, DeAndre is earning $92,000.00/yr.

        Where have you been the last 2 years?

      • Ya, but Yedlin clearly bumped his stock up another level. He dealt with Edan Hazard well enough and burned their fullback a couple of times.

        I remember one cross(might have been his best really) that no US player was ready for as they were either tired or didn’t expect it. They didn’t even move to meet it. The dude kept sending them in though. He was excellent.

    • You guys read all that, It looks like a novel! BTW I follow MLS and I can tell you I was shocked when Yedlin went to the WC, and shocked by how well he had done. So yeah I’d say his stock has gone up. And BTW, he doesn’t even play on the best team in the NW.

    • Howard’s work rate was measured as record breaking. What does that mean? It means that he had to be put into the position of showing what he can do. That does not speak for Howard’s work rate. It speaks against the defense and the rest of the team if anything. The team played to the best of its abilities. It shows that Belgium was better at doing what soccer is all about. It’s the whole team, not just one player. If Wondo misses a shot, how many shots did the rest of the team miss? Yes, there were missed opportunities. The US might have won if Lukaku had not shown up. The US might have won if Wondo had scored. Don’t assail his work rate when that’s not what soccer is about. Germany is winning because they know how to conserve their energy by maintaining possession, and that’s what the US lacks. Look at the broken noses and hamstrings. Did they prove work rate? No, they suggest that physicality is not the only thing that wins games.

  12. Tim Howard in his post-game interview called the sport “football”: what a Euro-Snob (or so says so many people on SBI).

    • yes he’s a eurosnob. Howard talks about how they live and breath “futbol” in England. Such a load of BS. I lived in England for three years and worked with working class people. I never heard anyone talk about “futbol” or soccer for that matter. A very very small segment of their society must be interested. They would rather joke about and laugh at their soccer players than cheer for them

      • OK, buddy, you’re either lying, a troll, or talked to no one outside your work. I’ve been and definitely a large majority were talking about football wherever I went. Also, it was constantly on television, whether it be a game or dome other type of coverage. Yes, they are critical of the players, and people should be.
        You are noted for hating on the duel nationals, but without them we don’t make it out of the group.

      • Wood Chip Troll, that’s a weak effort. For the record no one in England calls football, ‘Futbal’ they use the English term football for a game played with your feet. Tim Howard has played/Lived in Europe for so long now I’m sure it’s natural to say football, he’s no snob of any kind.

        Oh… and the thing about never hearing anyone in England talk about ‘futbol’ or soccer, you’re right. They spend every waking moment talking about football and how bad English players are.

  13. Cameron really looked outclass in the midfield, while Jones and Dempsey had their last run, finally Bradley had a good, Yedellin and Green looked that could play at the level. USSF needs to increase their budget on Men’s and Youth program with increase quality friendlies, so USNT stop being like “mexico”.

    MLS really needs increase the salary cap, increase maxium salary, cut down the number of Internationals, and increase DPs. MLS has all this TV income and over $100million expand fees, MLS needs spend that income on players and youth development, and give a bit extra MLS teams in Champions League (at least $200k extra).

    • It really does come down to the MLS. Most of our guys will start there in the future. It always amazing me how many guys we had in Europe on our 2002 team. It almost seems like blind luck considering how few we have there now.

    • Yes, after the yellow card Cameron looked like a man playing with a yellow in a knockout game. Outclassed is probably the wrong word to use here

      • Some players were outclassed…or weren’t at same “league” as the Belgies. Howards’ 16 saves are proof: not same class or level.

  14. the only way to improve soccer in this country is to believe we belong on the world stage. We didn’t improve this cycle. 2010 we won group, we were 2nd this cycle. we lost in the round of 16 in ET in 10, and 14.

    We bunkered against Germany and Belgium, We bunkered way to much against Portugal. We have to be willing to go out and take the game to other teams in Europe. It’s the only way we will improve. Tim shouldn’t have had to save our butts time after time yesterday,

    Sorry, I see no improvement except fandom. I am thrilled with the effort, but the coaching strategy in my humble opinion was off.

    Yedlin, Green, Brooks, and Jones, great selections. Could of used another target forward since the only one on the roster got hurt. Maybe nose guards next time.

    • Sorry, but Arena and Bradley BOTH instilled the belief that we belong on the World stage. To me, Klinsmann did a little less of that. What has always set the American team apart is the belief that on any given day, we can win against the biggest teams in the World.

      This team seemed like it lacked confidence. And, the fight back should be credited to the players not the coach.

  15. The US has stagnated we are getting same results for a while. Our technical ability is not improving and take away the Germanicans and we probably don’t qualify we don’t want to be like Mexico and perpetually crash out.


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