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Question of the day: How would you evaluate the U.S. performance in the World Cup?

June 28, 2010 |  8:04 am

Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they're wrong.

Grahame L. Jones, Los Angeles Times

The 2010 World Cup is over for the U.S. and players and coaches have gone their different ways. Was it a success? A failure? Somewhere in between?

Reaching the second round was the stated "first goal," but this team could have and should have done better. The U.S. will finish somewhere between and 11th and 13th in the 32-team field, depending on later results. That's about in line with its world ranking.

But there was an opportunity here in South Africa to have seized the moment and gone even farther. Ghana was not an impossible task. Uruguay in the quarterfinals would not have been an impossible task.

The U.S. could have reached the semifinals, with all the resulting impact that would have had in the U.S. media and among the fans. The sport could have capitalized and taken another step forward. It has not taken a step back, but it was an opportunity lost.

Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant

The minimum expectation, set by none other than U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, was to survive group play. So by advancing to the round of 16, the U.S. achieved their most basic requirement at the World Cup.

But even Gulati admitted everything changed when the U.S. was left with a winnable path to the semifinals. The team had the attention of its country, the bracket was favorable and there was an opportunity to make history.

Instead, the U.S. squandered its chance to march deep into the tournament and the opportunity to bring a nation of new fans along for the ride. A few days removed from the loss to Ghana, there’s a  feeling that the U.S. underachieved.

The truth is, the team's deficiencies caught up with it against Ghana. A team can come from behind only so many times. So let’s consider the 2010 World Cup an overall success, but it might be time to raise the bar and expect more in four years.

George Diaz, Orlando Sentinel

Sorry, USA, not enough.
Not enough because you lost a very winnable game against a team that had scored only two goals in group qualifying.

Not enough because your coach botched some lineup decisions _ badly _ with one of them leading to the first goal of the game. By the way, falling behind early once again in a game where a goal is so precious constitutes another huge mental blunder.

Not enough because there were a bunch of casual soccer fans jumping on the bandwagon, buzzing with patriotic pride, and you let every one of them down. Now it becomes another four years before the anticipation builds again, and we wait to see what a new group will bring.

This group was good enough to make it to the round of eight. This country is out of excuses when it comes to soccer on a international stage. The USA has proven it can compete with some of the elite teams in the world. We’re not longer grading on a lenient curve. Ask U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, who said the team failed to meet expectations.

Agreed. The US missed out on a great opportunity.