Offseason Time Killin’: Watch the Gold Cup
It’s the offseason and you are bored.
We all are.
We’ve all read the same ten articles about the same trap game about the same suspended QB about the same award watch list about the same preseason poll, etc., etc., etc.
Also, the Women’s World Cup just ended and it included the most bananas 16 minutes of sports this humble columnist has seen since the Blackout Game or the Kick Six. So soccer is really hot right now.
Not only that but America is awesome and this tournament is a big deal.
Other than that obvious reason, here are some more reasons you should watch the Gold Cup:
1. CONCACAF soccer is the dirty, low-down alley fight that will slake your College Football withdrawals.
If you watched the World Cup last year you noticed that Costa Rica randomly kicked the crap out of an ungodly amount of teams. Also that Honduras did noticeably well given that the World Cup and Olympics is one of the few times you remember that Honduras is really a country.
They both did shockingly well because they foul people. They foul often, hard, and play defense that delicate European soccer sensibilities just cannot stomach. That’s because CONCACAF soccer is a rusty prison shiv just waiting to implant itself into some flesh. And it’s just the sort of soccer that America deserves and at which it tends to excel.
Now, if you’re looking for the “beautiful game” this is not your tournament. But if you’re looking for a meat-grinder of a game in which Cuba could beat one of the greatest soccer powers on Earth with a last minute rocket from 20 yards out that will most likely spark a post-game brawl, then this is your tournament.
2. If the USMNT wins, they go to the Confederations Cup
You probably have no idea what the Confederations Cup is or why it matters. I’m not sure I really know either. Here’s what I do know. The Confederations Cup is a mini-World Cup that is played one year before the World Cup. Why is that important? Well, think of it like this: College Football teams really want to make bowl games, even the crappy ones. They want to make these games not because they enjoy playing games in Shreveport but because they get those extra bowl practices.
That’s the Confederations Cup — an extra edge for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Did you get that? IN RUSSIA.
3. Michael Bradley is a bald magician.
Michael Bradley did not have the best World Cup. But whatever might have been responsible for that funk — whether Klinsmann didn’t know how to use him correctly or whether he was cursed by an evil shaman who put voodoo lead boots on his feet — the funk is clearly gone now. He’s the best player on the pitch and he’s easy to spot. His head is mega bald.
Here’s him doing stupid good stuff against the Netherlands, set to really emotional piano music:
4. DeAndre Yedlin is fast as hell.
DeAndre has beautiful hair. Not only that, he is fast as hell and will run by anybody. He will probably be coming off the bench when a team’s defense is already gassed. If you miss SEC Speed I think watching DeAndre Yedlin blow by people down the edge will be a welcome sight.
Here’s DeAndre fouling the living sh*t out of a guy named Mesut that no one really likes…
5. You’ve heard of most of the team this year.
Clint Dempsey. Jozy Altidore. Michael Bradley. Brad Guzan. John Brooks. Chris Wondolowski. Omar Gonzalez.
This team features guys that you know. They’re getting a little long in the tooth, but you’ve at least heard of them. Think of this lineup as Jürgen Klinsmann’s San Antonio Spurs (well, maybe before the Spurs broke the entire NBA offseason). This squad knows what to do and they know how to do it together. They’re not flashy and there are no young phenoms to keep an eye on, but they are exactly the team that Klinsmann needs for this particular job.
That’s all. Hope you’ll watch. The first USMNT match vs. Honduras is tonight at 9:30 EDT on Fox Sports 1. Happy soccer.