I hate to be the broken record here at the Frappe, but the U.S. Soccer team is heading home once again after failing to move onto the quarterfinals of Olympic competition. After starting off strong by beating Japan 1 – 0, and then pulling a draw against the Netherlands (2 – 2), the U.S. needed a win or a draw to move on to the quarterfinals, only to lose to Nigeria Thursday, 2 – 1.
While this isn’t the end of the road, this once again speaks poorly for the future of American soccer. Another poor showing in tournament play means more dark days ahead for U.S. soccer and the MLS. The only comforting fact is that the Olympic soccer team isn’t made up of the same players as the U.S. team that will be playing in World Cup qualifiers and other international tournaments that are coming up.
With that said, my previous prognostication that Olympic soccer was going to disappoint has been proven wrong. Messi stayed in Beijing and Barcelona sort of threw up their hands in a publicity nightmare that would have ensued and encouraged him to represent Argentina well. And the knockout rounds will definitely prove to be thrilling as we could see match ups between some of the “heavyweights.” Look out for a Brazil vs. Argentina final that will be sure to entertain.