The World Cup.
In true theatrical fashion, the US embarks on its Brazilian journey this coming Monday in Natal against their long-time nemesis Ghana.
A four year cycle marked by coaching turnover galore, Olympic failure, the fall-rise-and-fall again of Stu Holden. The departure of The American One, Landon Donovan. A win in Azteca. A draw in Azteca. A Brian Straus sea-changing article. Snow jobs, in Colorado and by the coach. The promising, now sloven facade of Tim Chandler. The recruitment of Julian Green.
The culmination is now.
The oft-forgotten third phase of the game.
Transition. What both teams do, how they react the moment a turnover occurs.
Transition. Where a team shows its drilling, its schooling; where individual players show their speed-of-game thought, their decision-making under fire.
Transition. One incorrect move in attack–a poor read, a poor run–kills what could be the most opportune chance. One missed angle in pursuit, one momentary lapse and they’re dancing, disrespectfully, at your corner flag.
Previous matches in this series have seen the aggressor in transition and their mercilessness rewarded.