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Who Needs to Impress South America?
Soccer365, February 28th, 2007 2:30PM

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In a column for Soccer365, Andrea Canales digs in to calls from certain corners of the press that the U.S. shift its focus to the Copa America in Venezuela instead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The theory espoused by many is that the U.S. needs to gain respect from the international community and that by putting its best resources behind on the Gold Cup-where the only real competition is Mexico-the Americans can bet on a tepid Copa America and thus, continued disrespect from the global soccer community.

"Respect is amorphous, never guaranteed, and even if granted, can be easily rescinded," says Canales. Indeed, few things in soccer are more certain. The press is always out to praise winners and vilify those who under-perform. Just look at Barcelona's Ronaldinho: last week, after Barca lost to Liverpool, the press called him "fat." He was then booed last weekend against Athletic Bilbao, a game he dominated and ultimately earned praised for.

"If anything, U.S. soccer probably loses respect by the idea that it will drop practical considerations because it is so desperate for that arbitrary recognition." Perhaps, but the point is that soccer is a results-oriented sport; emotions turn with that tide. The U.S. certainly has a stigma it would like to shake; unfortunately the only way to do that is through steady success at the World Cup. Nothing that happens at the Copa America will change that. With the Gold Cup at least, the U.S. gets something, in the form of a berth at the 2009 Confederation's Cup, FIFA's continental championship. Read the original story...


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