Well, it may have taken five extra months, but a Yankee striker–one born in 1992 mind you–finally found the netting in South Africa in 2010. Eat your heart out Sunil Gulati.
If you’re a fan of the USMNT, it’s hard to not be a little giddy as the States mildly corrected it’s last game in South Africa with a 1-0 win over the Bafana, Bafana at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town on Wednesday night.
The first hero in this one is actually Bob Bradley.
Perhaps it was his roots as collegiate coach, perhaps it was merely just a bunch of eager-to-please youngsters happy to be there….either way the oft-maligned coach of the U.S. initiated a short camp and managed a group of single-digit cappers who bought into his philosophy (attention to defense) and, ultimately, outlasted the “A-” team from South Africa.
Nowhere, perhaps, was this more evident than watching Mix Diskerud (as TSG accurately predicted getting a run at winger instead of centrally) willing himself to play defense after his late-in-the-2nd-half entry.
Those who have watched Diskerud in Norway have seen two things beyond his offensive acumen. First, a league where defense is important but not paramount and two, a player who doesn’t always adhere to his defensive assignment. You can probably ask Thomas Rongen about that analysis as well.
But there was Diskerud, late in the game, fending off crosses, recovering when beaten, and in a specific moment, keenly focused on Brad Guzan to make sure his one-man wall on a worrisome free kick on the near flank was on mark and protecting his keeper.