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ASN Weekly Debate

Have We Learned Anything From the 2013 Gold Cup?

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon discuss if there's anything to gain from playing terrible teams, why #PlayItForward should be the United States motto, and how come Fox can't send a group to Portland.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
July 12, 2013
10:28 AM
Noah Davis: Hey Ryan, what have you learned from the two matches the United States national team has played in recent days?

Ryan O'Hanlon: I'm trying really hard not to say "nothing." But I guess: 1) Landon Donovan still appears to be a highly-effective soccer player. 2) Nick Rimando is the third-string goalie. 3) Mix Diskerud is American! 4) ?

Davis: 5) Guatemala is terrible. 6) Belize is terrible. 7) Stuart Holden isn't all the way back, but he's getting closer and closer physically and still hasn't lost his vision. 8) I was right, and everyone else was wrong, about Joe Corona not quite being ready yet. Although I have been impressed by his ability to jump up and reach crosses. That's been fun.

O'Hanlon: He's got some "ups," if you will. I'll add a 9) Dr. Joe Munchak should stick to being a Doctor of Something That Doesn't Involve Him Mumbling Into a Microphone About Refereeing Decisions 20 Minutes After They've Happened.

Davis: Oh man. That is seriously the worst. Just so, so, so bad. It's even worse than the NBA ref, which was Belize-level awful. While we're talking about the telecast, did it seem to you like the announcers were not actually on-site in Portland?

O'Hanlon: They weren't on-site. I forget what it was, exactly, but JP Dellacamera (no idea how to spell that) said something to the effect of: "This thing might have happened, but we'll have to check on that later after the game." Which is basically him admitting that they weren't at the stadium without actually admitting it.

Davis: Not to get too far off track here, but that's absurd. It's Portland, not Russia. Fox is based in Los Angeles. They spent billions of dollars on rights, and they can't send a team 300 miles north?

O'Hanlon: It is ridiculous—or it seems that way. I don't know the decision-making behind that, but it seems like a reasonable expectation—them being at the game they're calling—for home USMNT games at this point. But it also sort of underscores how stupid the game was.

Davis: Segue! Agreed. I love the game throwing story. Not because of what happened, but because someone thought $10,000 would be enough. That... doesn't seem like a whole lot of money. But I thought the U.S. did well.  Six goals is six goals.

O'Hanlon: They didn't do bad! But this was the equivalent of them playing a bad college team, so, like, good job, guys! I'm sure Wondolowski is happy he had a hat-trick in one half. He seemed overly fired up. But seriously, wake me when we get to the semifinals.

Davis: So Holy Cross? But I don't know. I like the Gold Cup. At least the games matter. The lengths to which CONCACAF goes to keep the U.S. and Mexico apart until the finals are inspired. Everyone tries really hard. C'mon, Martinique is in this thing!

O'Hanlon: Zing. But, currently a very accurate zine. I guess "wake me up" was the wrong cliche. I like the Gold Cup, too, because watching soccer is fun. And it's fun to see guys who don't normally play for the US actually play for the US. Plus, it's still got a bit of that bootleg-ness, which is always a nice change of pace. However, in the "What It All Means"-sense, I am currently still sleeping and will be for the near-future.

Davis: I think we can learn a bit, though. Like "Where's Jack McInerney?" Sorry American soccer community, but Jack Mac is not getting off that bench. That's telling, right? And as much as I love the Dancin' Bear, I'm not sure Will Bruin did much of anything to help his case against Guatemala. So far it seems like this tournament is going to be about the older generation, not the younger.

O'Hanlon: Yeah, sure. But maybe he does play three games from now, you know? Things change, people get hurt, etc. It doesn't look likely, but we'll see over the next two weeks. Do you think he's leaning on older players, then, because this Gold Cup actually has some importance re: the—god—the 2017 Confederations Cup?

Davis: I think it's more that he has genuine questions about the older guard, too. DaMarcus Beasley and Herculez Gomez aside, it's not like the older guard (Donovan, Holden, Beckerman, etc.) have set places on the "A" team. And if we're talking about contributing at the World Cup, I'd put my money more on those guys than players like McInerney, Bruin, Corona, etc.

O'Hanlon: I wonder how many of these guys actually play in the World Cup? It's funny to me that their biggest contribution—if they win—could be helping a bunch of the guys who are sitting on the bench play in a tournament in Russia four years from now.

Davis: Yes, that is rather ironic. I guess that's the nature of the sport, though, which is a dumb thing to say.

O'Hanlon: If only humanity looked at the future of Planet Earth in the same way that US Soccer is looking at the 2013 Gold Cup. Davis: #PlayItForward?

O'Hanlon: "How a Saying Stolen From Golf Helps Soccer Save the World."

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. Except for last week. And that other week a couple months ago. Would you settle for most weeks?

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