Oct 18, 2007

Swiss Reactions To Yesterday's USMNT Game

I thought it would be interesting to have a look at these. I scoured through a few Web sites and found the following (yes I can read German):

  • Outside of Switzerland's loss in the round of 16 at last year's world cup (which came on penalties after a scoreless draw with the Ukraine) it was the first time the Swiss team failed to score a goal since 2004, according to Zurich's Tages Anzeiger newspaper. (Okay, that's not a reaction but a fact. Whatever).
  • The same paper calls the game "weak" and says that for a long time there was no evidence the U.S. even wanted to score a goal. Still, it concedes that the few times the U.S. approached the Swiss penalty area--at the end of each half--it was more dangerous than Köbi Kuhn's side. This due to a conviction ("Entschlossenheit") that was absent with the Swiss team.
  • Switzerland played below their level, says the St. Galler Tagblatt. The U.S. victory was not a just reward for the U.S. team's performance, particularly in the second half. Defensively, the U.S. was better than Austria, however.
  • Switzerland's performance was "one to forget" and disappointing on every level, says Schaffhauser Nachrichten.
  • The game itself had no highlights, per news.search.ch, which adds that Bradley's goal was the result of misunderstanding in the Swiss defense. The U.S. side was physically stronger, which caused problems.
  • The Swiss national team continues to fail in its attempts to establish optimism ahead of next year's Euro tournament, says Neue Zürcher Zeitung, which calls the game "weak." Kuhn's side has regressed since the 3-1 victory over co-hosts Austria last week, it adds. After the game Kuhn said his team's inability to dominate was due to lack of patience, but the reporter asks sardonically if quality is lacking as well? There were too many of the same mistakes made by the Swiss side, the article concludes.
  • At the beginning of the game, the U.S. team was as harmless as Austria had been, according to espace.ch. The Swiss team was unable to take the initiative and their game lacked style. After Tranquillo Barnetta left the pitch in the 86th minute, the team fell apart entirely.
  • 24 Heures called the Swiss defeat "unforgiveable." Ouch. I didn't think we were that bad?


  1. Thanks, most interesting.

    As for the USA, just win, baby!

  2. This reaction adds to my suspicion that it is really hard for the USMNT to get a game against Euro opponents on Euro soil. After watching last night's game, would you invite the US to play your team if you were, say, France? The stadium was half full, the fans were bored, the game sucked (from a quality of entertainment standpoint), 2 Swiss players left with knocks, and the US won, leaving the Swiss team to get crucified in their own press. Not an appealing package. Kind of a no-win situation, as I can't imagine they would have been lauded as national heroes if they had beaten us. We just create that much enthusiasm, except maybe disdain for our presence in Iraq.

  3. I think it's harder for us to get a game simply because of our poor form. How many consecutive winless games did we have prior to this? How quickly did we crash out of the world cup? I say that if we got past the group stages in '06 we would have an easier time getting bigger matches. Hell, if we even bought a solid team to Copa America and took down a big name south american it would raise our stock. But you're right, if I we're a european association, America would not be on the top of my "to play" list.

  4. who needs the Europeans? There is plenty of quality opposition in Central and South America. Ok, maybe more so in South America, but still. And some of the smaller Euro countries who I bet would play us--Croatia? Greece? Turkey? Scotland? Ireland? Poland?--aren't that bad.

  5. Croatia wouldn't give us the time of day right now, and rightly so, as they're doing well in the Euro qualifying stage. (8-2-0) They are ranked 10th in the world according to FIFA, though they should be higher, as their form in Euro is better than England's. We're ranked 18th, and a very generous 18th at that. I don't think we've played well enough in Europe, in the Copa America, and going back to the '06 world cup, to justify being 18th in the world. I mean, I'm not saying we can't get a match at all in Europe, but it's not going to be against a team that is better than us.

  6. It must be recognized that a lot of the sloppy play out there on Wednesday had to do with the pouring rain and incredibly fast, slippery pitch. In addition, the Swiss have such a well-layered defending style that any team is going to have trouble looking fluid against them.

    That being said, the US is like a mid-major college basketball team. They can't get a game against a Kentucky or a Duke (Italy or France), because those schools have nothing to gain by beating them, and everything to lose.

  7. The USMNT would be very wise to get games in eastern europe with teams like Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Latvia to name a few. Eastern European teams are quality sides and compare closely to South America, but with more tactics.