It took 82 years and 11 tries but the US finally beat Italy 1-0 tonight in Genoa. The winning goal came from Clint Dempsey in the 55th minute after a lay-off pass via Jozy Altidore. Now there were better games like the 3-2 thriller between England and Netherlands as well as another hat trick from Leo Messi to lead Argentina for the win against Switzerland, but on shock value alone – the US win takes precedence.
Coming from an American point of view soccer is one of those things the rest of the world has on us. Seen as second tier by the superpowers in the sport, a historical win such as this, even in an international friendly is a statement game at best. Yes, this win can be attributed with some good calls in favor of the stars and stripes. Also, the Italian starting eleven that wasn’t their best offering but it proves that US coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made significant strides, especially defensively to compete with the heavyweights.
Before the hype machine declares the US a contender for the World Cup, which all soccer fans know is laughable, all can agree American soccer is improving. With qualification matches set for the World Cup this summer and as Klinsmann develops young talent with stars like Dempsey, instead of being a footnote on the world stage, the US National Soccer Team might be a team people look forward to watching in the future.