Really? Spain just got beat by the US 2-0? No, you’re joking.
Holy crap! You’re not joking.
I’m not sure where to start, so let’s start with me being wrong: I picked Spain to win the Confederations Cup. I figured they’d maybe lose in the final, versus either Italy or Brazil. Then I figured Spain v. Brazil would be epic. Never did I figure that the US, even after beating Egypt, would win. So, I was wrong.
I was wrong because the US played a tactically excellent game. They counter-attacked when they could and made their chances count. Perhaps most importantly, the two center backs – Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit – were fantastic. Anyone who doesn’t think Oneywu belongs on a top club is hereby declared certifiable. Real Madrid should be signing him ASAP. Or anyone in the Premiership. Landycakes played magnificently, even though the US couldn’t find him on at least two occasions in the early second half.
Spain, on the other hand, had the build-up and the passing but not the finishing. They put constant pressure on the US, especially Albert Riera and Joan Capdevila on the left hand side, but could not finish. Fernando Torres and David Villa will not want to put this match very high on their resumes. Neither will Sergio Ramos, whose poor clearance led to the second US goal.
Where does Spain go from here? Down, most likely. I don’t think this will kill their confidence because the team enjoys playing together and gets along very well. I don’t think this will have any long-term impact on their World Cup hopes; I still think Spain can win the World Cup.
There will be those who will say that Spain is reverting to its pre-Euro 2008 form. That is, the disappointing team that had shown up for the previous several years. Spain is too good for that to happen to them.
What it will do is force Spain to take everyone seriously. I think they strolled through the tournament and then ran into a US team on a good run of form.
Make no mistake: Spain did not lose this game; the US won it. They deserve their win because they played so well. They beat the world’s best team. Now they get to play the winner of Brazil-South Africa for the Confederations Cup final.