USA Soccer Team Beats Holland 4-3

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USA beat Holland 4-3 the other day. I was happy to see the USA win over an important team that has been so good in the past, but I couldn’t help but think that the Dutch team that lost against the USA is just a shadow of the team I loved in 1988 with Marco van Basten, Koeman, Gullit, and company.

I watched some of the game and felt that the 1988 Dutch team would have easily won against the US team and that there was just something missing from the quality of play from both teams.

Where were the superstars? Where was the skill? Where was the beauty? All I saw were 22 athletes kicking a ball. Where was the class that used to just ooze out of the pores of the world’s top players like Lineker, Gullit, Hans van Breukelen, and Klinsmann?

Who else thinks that international soccer hit it’s peak in terms of overall quality around 1988? I haven’t seen national teams who’s players and quality of play have captured my attention since the 1988 European Cup. The very next European Cup after ’88, when Denmark won, was the first time I ever heard fans lauding the “speed of play” over the “quality of play.” Even the FIFA World Cups have been rather flat since 1986. Has it all been downhill since then?