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No Ronaldo, Figo or Riquelme for U.S. Team
The San Francisco Chronicle, June 24th, 2006 4:36PM

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The media continues to pipe on and on about America's early exit from the World Cup. What happened? Was it just one bad performance and two referees sent to keep us from advancing to the second round? What happened? As San Francisco Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins says, "What happened? Did you see Brazil's game on Thursday? That's what happened. Joe Cole happened, as well as Figo and Shevchenko and the whole of Argentina. A two-week festival of soccer magnificence unfolded, leaving behind a U.S. team that was lucky to even take a shot..." Many of these teams have players who've demonstrated individual brilliance in the last two weeks, a commodity in glaringly short supply on the U.S. national team. "The Americans' demise is exactly what was forecast by soccer-wise folks never once impressed by Landon Donovan, Claudio Reyna or coach Bruce Arena," Jenkins says. And they would be proven right. No question the draw did the United States no favors, but no question they were the weakest team in a group of solid opponents, either. Nevertheless, he says, there's been some fantastic play at the World Cup so far, despite poor officiating and far too many yellow and red cards. And it will only get better: now the real tournament now begins.

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