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USMNT looking to return to Confederations Cup to recapture 2009 success


Photo by Fevre/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports


Since the final ball of the 2014 World Cup was kicked, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has preached the importance of booking a ticket to the Confederation’s Cup.

On Saturday, despite all the team’s missteps and mistakes, they can do just that.

The USMNT takes on Mexico Saturday in the one-off CONCACAF Cup, with the winner sealing a spot to the pre-World Cup tournament in 2017. Virtually every USMNT clash with Mexico is viewed as a must-win game, but Saturday’s meeting becomes just that much more important given the value placed on that trip to Russia.

“I think the biggest thing is the competition you get to play against,” said Jozy Altidore, “and those teams that you play against are usually the ones you play against in the World Cup. As well, it’s getting used to the travel, getting used to what you’re going to see the next year. I thought it was very beneficial for us in South Africa. I think it’s something that can help and definitely not hurt.”

The potential Confederations Cup berth would be the USMNT’s first since 2009, a tournament that went down in history for U.S. soccer.

After limping through the group stages with a 1-0-2 record, the U.S. was lucky to find itself in a knockout round matchup with the then-invincible Spain. From November 2006 until the semifinal matchup, Spain had been unbeaten, going a record-equaling 35 consecutive matches without a loss.

Massive underdogs, the U.S. pulled off what was likely the biggest upset in the team’s history, toppling Spain, 2-0, on goals from Altidore and Clint Dempsey. The U.S. went on to lose to Brazil in the finale, blowing a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 defeat.

However, the groundwork for the 2010 World Cup was laid in 2009, paving the way for a knockout stage run.

“It gave us confidence,” Dempsey said of the 2009 competition. “Initially, we didn’t start out well in that tournament, but being able to get the result against Egypt, get the result against Spain and then go up 2-0 against Brazil. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep the lead, but it gives you confidence. You get used to the facilities. You get used to the environment, that atmosphere, and we were able to win our group that year, and we were in a tough group.”

Despite their successes in 2009, the U.S. had no such experience in 2013. The USMNT missed the tournament as Mexico went on to represent CONCACAF in Brazil a year before the World Cup kicked off.

Still, the U.S. repeated the performance of 2010, advancing to the knockout stage despite the lack of pre-tournament tune-up. Yet, with another chance on the line, the Confederations Cup is still very much seen as key if the U.S. is to make a lengthier run in Russia.

“Of course, we want to play in the Confederations Cup. That goal is clear,” said midfielder Alejandro Bedoya. “We know we didn’t win the Gold Cup and didn’t do a good job there, but when you play a rival, which for us is Mexico, you always want to get a result. For us, it’s very important to play in the Confederations Cup.”

“It’s another opportunity to play in a major competition,” Dempsey added, “to get used to the facilities and what it’s like, the atmosphere, the year before going into a World Cup. It helped us in South Africa, so hopefully we’re able to get the job done.”


  1. There are a lot of disgruntled USMNT fans, but BB had a lot of disgruntled USMNT fans (in case you don’t remember). All that matters is what the US Soccer board think. If he gets through qualifying and does well in Russia (quarterfinals with a new generation of players,) JK could leave on his own terms. He he gets blown out on Saturday and has a shaky start to qualification, he may…may not see 2018. However, I doubt US Soccer wants to eat $2.5 million for the next 2 1/12 years. The thing is $2.5/year is nothing for elite coaches for elite teams. you have guys making over $10 million. You have a lot (including people quoted on this board, making over $5million a year).

    It’s funny because I think a lot of people on this board seem to forget how disliked Bradley was as well as how many insults he and Michael got about 5 years ago. Bunker Bob was not an endearing nickname. While I think that Klinsman promised too much (having us play an attacking, proactive style) because we do not have the players, that is not the core issue. A lot of US fans OVERESTIMATE the quality of players the US produces. We do not produce that many quality players, if any (maybe 1 or 2 per generation). Jozy’s generation w/his exception has yet to really pan out (Adu, Shea, Opara, Sarkodie, Diskerud, Bunbury, Boyd, Akugo, Corona). Agudelo, Gyau are kinda this cycle because they only miss the U23 cut-off by a 2-4 months.

    —-posted this in the U23 thread by accident (too many open windows)———-

    I have both defended and been critical of both Bradley and Klinsman for different reasons. I don’t think Bradley should have been fired and I don’t think Klinsman need to fired. However, Klinsman need lessons on how to deal with the US media and fans. We still need to produce better ELITE players. Mexico does a MUCH better job. In their history, they have arguably produced the 5th best striker (Hugo Sanchez) in La Liga history. People slam Rafa Marquez, but he was the starting DM/CB on Barcelona for years as well as during their 2006 Champions League title winning side. Not one US outfield player is good enough to start on a team good enough to win the Champions league. Mexico has better skilled players, but, thankfully, they are headcases.

    • Can we blame the quality of our players for not beating Germany and Belgium? Sure. But how can you blame the players when we are outplayed on our home soil by Panama and Honduras.

      If you even look at statistics from you will see that we have bunkered far more under JK than we ever did with BB. The shots against to shots for ratio at the WC was the worst its been since 1990 and our style of play at the WC and GC was just abysmal. The fact that our team, after four years under JK, still lack any sort of an identity is what frustrates me the most. And even more concerning is that his message seems to be wearing thin with the players. Anyone remember Jones refusing to shake JK’s after being subbed off against Brazil? If we play poorly and lose the next two games he should be fired.

      • “But how can you blame the players when we are outplayed on our home soil by Panama and Honduras.”

        Quite easily, actually. They are, after all, the ones on the field playing the matches.

  2. “i wonder if there isn’t a conspiracy within fifa to cause the usa to win the wc artificially soon.
    – easy path to qualification for usa in concacaf (super easy compared to europe)
    – match-fixing: does it ever happen to benefit the usa? such as possibly the usa-spain match in 2006?
    – fifa’s ranking for usa – does fifa rank usa too high, on purpose, to decieve the public about the usa team’s actual strength (make people believe usa team is better than they actually are)?
    – confed cup – was it created especially to benefit the usa? think about it. how else would the usa ever play against a team such as spain in the first place, without the confed cup? it’s easy for the usa to qualify for confed cup, and confed cup is excellent practice for the wc.
    – relaxing rules for capping overseas players who were not born in usa: is this happening? purposely to help usa win wc with players that, in the past, would not have been allowed to play for usa? (i’m not saying it’s right or wrong. i’m saying, is this in fact what’s happening?)

    if usa wins wc, i’m certain that fifa stands to gain A FORTUNE OF DOLLARS. so there is the motive, i think.”

    • Wow. Nothing is right in that but the low hanging fruit is the US didn’t play Spain in 2006.

      Make sure your IP isn’t being tracked.

    • when is a conspiracy “okay”?

      how to say this? mcdonald’s has a “conspiracy” to sell the best hamburgers. ford has a “conspiracy” to sell the best cars. your family has a “conspiracy” to live a good life together.

      when is conspiring together to achieve a goal a good thing? and when is it a bad thing?


      is there a law that says that fifa’s ranking must be accurate?
      also, aren’t fifa’s rankings just their opinion?
      if they think that the cayman islands (no offense) are the best in the world, is that a crime?

      and so what if the confed cup was created, especially, to help usa win wc?
      fifa is sports, but it’s also a business, and like all businesses, they make business decisions that make the company grow, increase profit, yes?
      so they think really hard, “how can we get usa to win wc?” and one solution that they come up with is this confed cup idea. usa can now get meaningful matches against top world teams. also, psychologically, players and coaching staff alike can all “feel comfortable” with opponents and venues. so, is that a crime?

      if mcdonald’s can make more money putting a burger, small fries and a drink and a toy in a little box and calling it a ‘happy meal’, is that a crime?


      this is the basic question that i’m turning around in my mind.
      i feel fairly sure that fifa is “conspiring” to help usa win wc.
      i guess my question is “is it okay or not?” (is it a crime to do that or not?)

      • Not sure how linking to another conspiracy theorist (who could be you because you can change your screen name whenever you want) proves anything.

        Give us the players on Spain that threw the match and explain why they did, or how Fifa I guess through the officials threw the match? Please enlighten me I just secured my tinfoil hat.

      • johnnyrazor,
        the links to posts are my own, sorry for any confusion.
        i quoted from my own comment and i link to it so that, if someone wanted to, they could see it in context and read the whole thing.

        i suspect that spain threw that match against usa in confed cup in 2009. i honestly do. match fixing is not unheard of in the sports world, you know?

        i have no idea how they did it. i would love to hear some opinions from others here about that possibility.

        or, to the contrary, if some people here feel strongly that that match wasn’t thrown by spain, i’d love to hear why they think so.

        i believe gw has already replied in this way. he cited ‘tactics’, i believe. and switzerland studied these tactics to beat spain later. for example, paul echoes this view, above, yes?

        i respect all opinions. it’s timely to discuss it now, though, obviously, because of the context of the confed cup birth being on the line now in usa-mex game.

      • Hey I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but here is the big problem with this one for me…;.

        Rigging a 32-team tournament because you think a USA win will be financially lucrative or politically beneficial seems terribly difficult (and highly speculative) compared to simply awarding the hosting rights to the USA in the first place, as they could easily have done.

      • +1. but they totally guaranteed the US a qualifying spot, though, by giving Concacaf 3.5 (with playoff against Oceania, now Africa).

      • CONCACAF has nothing to apologize for on that front. Teams from this region continue to jiustify the allocation. Can any other region claim to put 75% of its qualified teams into the knockout round?

      • Turkmenbashy,
        that’s right. to me, clearly, one pillar of their rigging strategy was to ensure usa qualifies for wc every time. how to do that? yes, give concacaf more wc slots. totally agree.

        reply to Diego’s Maradoughnuts, below (no reply button),
        well, THAT’S MY POINT. i think that the usa had “help” to get out of its group. (some type of match fixing) at least, i am suspicious.

      • Diego’s Maradoughnuts,
        but i think, no, giving hosting rights to usa isn’t what they want. i think they want usa to win wc. (just being the host doesn’t automatically mean you win, see?)
        so, then we’re back to rigging the tournament again, see?

      • FIFA’s only interest in the USA is money. We are easily top of the list of unexploited revenue sources remaining in a world where soccer has saturated most of the available markets.

        In order to access this money, it really doesn’t matter how well the USA does (though a decent performance would certainly be helpful). Simply holding the tournament here is a massive boon to revenue, as we learned in 1994. No need to go through the risky and challenging task of rigging several games (probably hundreds of people would need to be “in” on this), when you can get most of the benefit from simply rigging one close-door vote amongst trusted and established crooks..

      • diego’s maradoughnuts,

        interesting ideas, again.
        but, i don’t know.
        sure, hosting the wc makes a lot of money. but that’s only every 4 years. and the usa isn’t going to host all the wc’s. other nations will also host. so how many wc’s could usa get, even by cheating? see?

        also, isn’t the real money in television rights packages? if no one in usa cares about soccer, then, soccer get a wc ‘bump’ every 4 years. but if usa goes soccer crazy, and everyone is a soccer fan, then soccer ratings on tv would go bananas, yes? not just in wc year, but every year, all the time, yes?

        also, fixing a soccer match requires “hundreds of people” to know? who needs to know? the official being paid and the guy paying him. so far, i count two people. am i missing something?

        so, for me, i’m back to thinking they need usa to win wc. otherwise, usa won’t go soccer-crazy. and the tv rights deals won’t go gonzo crazy in value.


  3. That two and a half game stretch including Egypt, Spain and the first half of Brazil, where US out scored the opposition 7-0, all from the run of play, was the best that I have ever seen the US play. The team had a clear style- rock solid at the back and lethal on the counter…with speed (Davies and Donovan), creativity (Dempsey), and power (Jozy)…

    It looked like the blueprint for a very successful future- until Davies and Gooch went down, both had moved to bigger clubs right beforehand and their careers were downhill from there- so, so sad

    Was really hoping JK would turn out to be Germany NT version and not the Bayern Munich version, but the facts are leaning toward the latter outcome

    • I watched that game live. Spain did not take us seriously and we jumped out on them..much like Brazil. The difference was the Brazil could be more explosive and score more goals, so they came back. Spain played a possession game and waited for the perfect opportunity. Brazil, who choked in the quarters against Netherlands, was the 2nd best team in the world and could have beaten Spain.

      That being said, we were not rock solid in the back – left back was a weakness. However, we had speed to stretch teams between Davies and Landon as well Beasley sometimes in midfield. Our team is slower with the exception of Yedlin, Johnson, Zardes. They should start because speed gives Mexico fits.

  4. I will be at the Rose Bowl among a sea of Mexican fans, rooting for the USMNT. I paid good money for my tickets. I have never wanted a USMNT victory more (with the exceptions being the 2002 USA-Germany wc game and the USA-Brazil 2009 confed final)! The players need to get it together and play well. If the U.S. plays well and wins, and if the U.S. u-23 beat Honduras to qualify for Olympics, I will forgive all of Klinsmann’s sins and jump off the “fire-Klinsmann” bandwagon.

    • +1 This is why I respect you on this topic. It appears that SBI has gotten way too carried away with the “what happens politically when we lose” angle. Well that’s nice, but it seems to have slipped the mind of people like Franco that THERE IS ACTUALLY A SOCCER GAME TO BE PLAYED AND CHRIST GOD WOULDN’T IT BE AWESOME IF WE HUMILIATE OUR ARCHRIVALS?!?!?

      There will always be time to debate JK (or any coach we might hire). I am excited for this game for reasons utterly unrelated to the coach. It’s going to be awesome, and I can’t wait.

      • While you could go with the logic that any World Cup game is by definition the most important and you should care the most about it, i personally dont. You have to take everything into account.
        1. I will be in the stadium for this game and i wasnt in the stadium for the Belgium game.
        2. After watching the U.S. in group play, i didnt have much confidence they could beat Belgium. And then the game started and it was one-sided domination by Belgium.
        3. A victory over Belgium didnt get us anything. It just would have advanced us to the next round, with 2 more wins required after that just to make it to the final game.

      • 1. Surely you can appreciate that you being there doesn’t matter to the rest of the USMNT fanbase.

        2. They were dominated but also one Wondo strike away from stealing it at the end of regulation.

        3. Are you kidding me? It didn’t get us anything. You are seriously telling me a confed cup spot is more important and valuable than a place in the QF of the WC? Huh?

        By that logic, what does a win tomorrow get us? A spot in a tournament that will still require us to play 3 group games and a semi-final just to make it to the final in 2017.

      • I don’t buy that UCLA.I would much rather have CD or Wondos missed shot in regulation to go to the quarterfinals than with this game to go to a glorified friendlies tourney. It is kinda like the Charity shield in England or UEFA Super Cup. Nice to play in, but nothing too serious.

      • It may not be the World Cup, but this is more valuable than than an exhibition trophy. like the Community Shield or Super Cups. Remember that this is a recognized FIFA competition with real implications on the rankings during the only part of the 4 year cycle when rankings begin to matter.

        A positive performance in the Confederations Cup is likely the only chance that the USA (or Mexico) have of claiming a World Cup seed. Missing out on this opportunity in 2013 deprived of us of a late opportunity to overtake a country like Switzerland.

  5. With all due respect to Dempsey, our 2010 group wasn’t tough. Anytime you draw England as your seeded team, you’re off to a good start, because they have been overrated for a long, long time. And after that, well, we didn’t have any overly weak teams like a North Korea, but we can’t complain too much with the teams we got, either.

  6. Winning the Confed cup means squat in terms of success the next year (I don’t think the winner of the Confed ever has won the WC the next year).

    That said, it’s an international level A tournament and the group there should be as or more difficult than the group the next year. It’s a great opportunity to play top competition.

      • +1. This is the end-all fact. People like slowleft can argue all day that this tourney is a meaningless and that they “don’t care”…. and that may very well be true in their heads right now. But when the time comes, I can’t imagine there is a true USMNT fan who would not be burned to their soul if Mexico is there and we are not. There simply aren’t enough int’l tournaments out there to say “it’s cool, I’ll just watch the next one”

      • It wouldn’t bother me that Mexico is there. I think we are as good as Mexico but I also think Mexico should be at the Confed Cup because they won the past Gold Cup. They got some dubious calls but at the end of the day they are the current continental champions and should go. This “Concacaf Cup” nonsense is yet another pointless money grab. Now Concacaf gets to keep the TV revenue and ticket sales for a sold out Rose Bowl.

      • You’re absolutely right about these tournaments being a money grab. But why do you care? The “concacaf cup” is an awesome opportunity for us to play against Mexico with both teams going all in. That’s great for fans. A spot in the Confed Cup is a chance to see our team compete in games more meaningful than friendlies heading into the WC. Also great for fans. I guess I just don’t see why you’re so put off that other people are making money off of this.

      • I’m not put off by making money but I’m not getting worked up about some made up game to qualify for a tournament I don’t rate that highly. Just my opinion on the merits of these tournaments that’s all.

        There is no reason to have this game. As a USMNT fan I’m willing to admit we shouldn’t be going to the Confed Cup because we aren’t the Concacaf champions at the moment. I think the old way of deciding who to send to Confed made more sense but it made less money for Concacaf so they changed it.

      • The World Cup finals are also made up games. It’s not like the storm clouds cleared and a booming voice from above told us: Thou shalt play an international tournament every four years.

  7. Do you remember the Nt at the 09 ESPYS all due to beatinf Spain. I love it. That squad we had in 09 was world class . Gooch and DeMerit at the back

      • Yeah, I’m with simon here. That was a little less than a ‘world class’ squad. The Spain win was a tactical victory (the Swiss studied that game before getting their own result against Spain the next summer). And it was a fluke that we got out of group at all.

        This is the thing with the USMNT – we’ve seen constant progress for something like four decades now, after which we aren’t terrible but, much to the chagrin of some fans, remain something less than ‘world class.’ We’re at the point where we can be expected to qualify for the finals, and once there making it out of group is kind of a 50-50 thing. No one is too shocked either way. Which, considering where we were in the 80s, is great. It puts us somewhere around 16th in the world. I remember when just qualifying seemed like a bridge too far.

      • “It puts us somewhere around 16th in the world.”

        no, it doesn’t follow b/c great difference between confeds.

        – pluck a concacaf nation into europe. could they qualify for wc? i’m guessing, probably not.

        – pluck the first team in europe who didn’t qualify for wc and put it into concacaf. could it qualify? i’m guessing yes, and probably win the gold cup, too.

        further, i’m guessing that the 10th team in europe that didn’t qualify for wc could qualify in concacaf.

      • A nice bunch of theories but one could just as easily suggest that we use “real life” as a starting point. Please ask Italy, England, Portugal or Croatia what it’s like to be drawn alongside top CONCACAF teams in a recent major competitive tournament (such as.. the World Cup).

        But I’ll admit I do agree with you — it’s terribly hard to compare the competitive dynamics of the various confederations, and few would suggest that CONCACAF offers anywhere near the depth of competition that UEFA does. Ultimately, those dynamics are deeply entrenched and beyond any one country’s control. We just have to find ways to make it work for us.

      • the competitive level at CONCACAF has gotten waaaay better over the past decade. It used to be just CR and Mexico 30 years ago… then US, CR and Mexico 20 yrs ago. Now Panama, Honduras, and Jamaica are in the mix as teams that can make someone pay… That is a huge step from 2 quality teams to 6 quality teams… and you might say… well Jamaica, Honduras, Panama… they never beat anyone outside of CONCACAF… but even the US, Mexico and CR have trouble doing that.

        So yeah, I would put Concacaf as the 3rd best region in the world and slowly closing in on South America.

      • I would put Concacaf as the 4th best region (barely behind CAF). Asia is pretty decent especially between South Korea, Japan and Australia, but the depth falls off. Oceania is far…far behind.

      • Fly-
        I would agree that the CAF qualification process is much more difficult and unforgiving. But I’m not sure the talent is really the main difference so much as the format, size, resource demands, and general unpredictability that always surrounds CAF’s qualification process.

        Only a handful of African teams are really “better” than the US in my mind (i.e. they would clearly be favored against the US on a neutral field). The performance of African teams at the WC has really been consistently mediocre,(usually Africa provides four terrible teams and one decent side, whose quality is inevitably exaggerated and serves to “cover up” the fact that the other CAF teams were rubbish). I for one do not think teams like Togo and Angola (both of whom qualified for recent World Cups) would have a particularly easy time surviving the Hex (though it is clearly more forgiving)…

      • Given that Costa Rica took down Greece in the WC (your 10th team in UEFA at the time), I’m not so sure about your statement.

      • World Cup groups are a mix of teams from different confederations. So if you tend to make it out of group half the time, you are somewhere around 16th in the world.

  8. “U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has preached the importance of booking a ticket to the Confederation’s Cup.”

    Yet some JK fanboys here, since Klinsi is in hot water at the moment, have dismissed playing in this tournament as insignificant.

    • Although possiby the furthest thing from a JK fanboy, I also think the Confed Cup is overrated and not worth a whole lot. Didn’t help Brazil and Spain last year did it?

      • We aren’t Brazil or Spain. We’re still fighting for respect in the game any where we can find it. We aren’t in a position where the only thing that matters is 3 games, every 4 years.

      • Now, the Gold Cup matters too. And WC qualifying of course. But this is not a particularly important tournament.

      • I think it is more important for CONCACAF teams than it may be for others. With the European Championships being every four years opposite the World Cup and the Copa America and WC Qualifying for CONMEBOL, they have actual competitions against quality opponents more often than the CONCACAF teams do. Our region is improved with Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama (and, apparently, Jamaica…grrr) no longer being cakewalks, but the Confed Cup allows us to play some of the best teams from other regions in a group stage similar to what we will see at the World Cup, and usually with their “A” Teams.

      • It helped the U.S. finish at the top of their group in South Africa.

        Also, Spain and Brazil get to play in the Euros and the Copa America against relatively good opposition. This is a good chance for the U.S. to test itself against quality teams in an OFFICIAL tournament.

      • Being in a weak group is what helped the US finish top of their group with 5 points: a so-so England, Weak Slovenia, and Weak (at the time) Algeria.

      • The more the core of the WC team plays in tournaments together the better they are prepared and ready for the World Cup. The 2009 Confed Cup was important because that was when Bradley dealt with Dempsey’s underperformance and really got him going for the US. If you remember at the time Dempsey was doing well for Fulham but not really doing anything for the US. Fans were giving him a hard time. Bradley addressed it at that tournament and that’s when the US started firing on all cylinders. It’s easier to do something like that at a tournament than in a friendly here or a qualifier there.

      • The Confed Cup certainly helps your rankings points (assuming you don’t go 3 losses and out) … remember a few months back when the US had a couple big time wins on the road against European powers, but actually lost places to low-profile EU teams because the USA’s games were “friendlies” while the Europeans’ games were continental championship games?

      • The rankings aspect is a fair point. I don’t see how the Confed Cup in 2009 helped us top our group. As you will recall, we were about a minute from going out at the group stage.

      • We were also one terrible horrible no good very bad refereeing decision from having a meaningless match against Algeria. Algeria would have had to beaten us 3-0 to advance over us. England-Slovenia would have been loser go home.

      • Up front, I think the Confed Cup and winning this game is very important for us on a few levels. For one, we are not a top team in the world so we need these tourneys.

        BUT help us advance from the group in South Africa?
        No, no, we can thank England’s keeper for that.

        Considering the groups, I would argue that we had better results and played better against better competition in 2014 than 2010.

      • To Slowleft and everyone else, this “Confederations Cup is insignificant” argument continues to boggle my mind. The Confederations Cup is an official Fifa intercontinental tournament. It gives the U.S. a chance to win its first non-Concacaf championship. It gives the U.S. a chance to play against top competition. Germany, Chile, Russia and Australia are already qualified. Add to that the Euros winner, and the African champions.

        Lets see, play in a tournament against top talent or not play at all?? How is that even debatable?!?

      • Playing against quality opposition is always good. However, please do not over estimate how important/seriously other teams take the Confederation Cup. They view as gloried friendlies (from my experience from living abroad). They used to not want to loose to the US because they viewed it as embarrassing. Nowadays, teams view USMNT as a team that will trip you up if you don’t pay attention.

      • Anthony that is not true at all. So you are saying that teams show up and are like “we dont want to win this”? That the players are like “i am not going to play hard”? Ridiculous and incorrect. I have also lived abroad in Europe and Southeast Asia. My experience is that they do care about the Confed Cup. Of course like any tournament, their team being or not being in the tournament plays a big part on how much they care. Germans, Russians and Chileans will care about it more in 2017 than fans from a country that isnt playing in it.

      • I lived in France and Germany. I can say they don’t care about it.I specifically remember being in France when the Confed Cup was going on and NO ONE cared. I lived in France during the ’97 World Cup, so I know when they care. I lived in Germany when they challenged for Euro Cup. Big Teams don’t. Only small teams or rebuilding teams or perhaps something to prove.

        If you don’t care, that does not mean you come in not wanting to win, it just means you don’t play as hard or seriously or full throttle as compared during the World Cup/Euro Cup/Conmebol/Af Cup etc.

      • I agree with Anthony. My experience of the Confederations Cup in France was that it was treated as a bunch of glorified friendlies. I went to matches involving France and Brazil and they were pretty low-key. I grew up in France and experienced the crazy ride that was the ’98 world cup. The Confederations Cup doesn’t hold a candle to other FIFA tournaments like the Euros, Copa America, or AFCON. It’s only because Concacaf is small potatoes that we view it as a big deal.

      • Total FIFA money grab. This is not an important tournament. Is it better than playing friendlies that summer? Sure. But that’s about the extent of it.

      • But the world cup is the one world championship tournament for national teams. That’s the pinnacle of international football. I just don’t see why Confed is that big a deal. I’d rather we went than didn’t go but it’s not a huge deal to me. I think the WC qualifying games in November are more important than Saturday.

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