Though it’s not the Fourth of July, today’s SoccerInferno news will have readers feeling especially patriotic. For the first time ever, the U.S. Men’s soccer team beat Italy in a historic match held Wednesday night. Clint Dempsy scored the game’s singular goal during the 55th minute. This is the American’s first win over the Azzuri in their 11 meetings spanning 78 years.
“It’s a work in progress,” Dempsy said about the victory. “I’d like to think that we’re closing the gap and hopefully we can do something special.”
American soccer has made advances in the past decade but has slipped in recent years. In 1990, the team made its first World Cup appearance in 40 years; in 2002 they advanced to the quarterfinals. In both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup tournaments, the team lost early to Ghana (first and second round respectively). Last June, the Americans lost to Mexico in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, their regional championship. In July, the U.S. Soccer Federation replaced Coach Bob Bradley with Jurgen Klinsmann.
So does the win mean a change in luck for the team?
“Obviously as a coach you’re pleased because you see them progressing, you see young players stepping up and playing against these amazing, experienced Italian players who have won the World Cup and played big tournaments year in and year out,” Klinsmann, a former German national team star player and coach, said. “Obviously it was a big step for us.”
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