Regardless of what TV commentators might say, Tyler Adams is the captain of the USMNT, not Christian Pulisic. (Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Watching my first World Cup that involves the U.S. men’s national team from the states instead of covering it live has allowed me to view the tournament in a much different perspective.
I am able to watch more games than I would have if I was in Qatar, but I also have learned how ignorant how many people, particularly TV news people local and national, are.
No, it is the U.S. men’s national team or the national team.
Hearing Team USA is like someone taking their nails and scratching it across the scoreboard.
That might be the Olympic way of way things, but it doesn’t translate well in the World Cup.
Stop it, now!
Speaking of someone scratching their names on a blackboard, every time I turn around, I keep hearing that Christian Pulisic is Captain America.
Ahem, the last time I looked, Tyler Adams is the captain of the USMNT in Qatar.
Yes, Pulisic has skippered the U.S. team before (notice I did not use Team USA), but Adams was chosen to captain the squad – by his teammates.
If anything, Pulisic should be given a promotion because of what he brings to the team. Colonel? Can’t call him general because head coach Gregg Berhalter is the general.
The first time I heard the term Captain America associated with the USMNT was Al Trost in the seventies. Back then, it was pretty good. Heck, it was some five decades ago.
Over the decades, I have heard every captain of the U.S. team called Captain America.
For yours truly, it has turned into an old tired cliché.
Wonder if Marvel Comics wants to sue. LOL!
1930 and Round of 16
CNN earlier on Saturday reported that the USA has reached the Round of 16 only twice before – 1930 and 2002.
Ah, not exactly.
The team has gone deep in the tournament twice – both times.
At the 1930 World Cup, the U.S. reached the semifinals before losing to Argentina. But there was no Round of 16 back them, especially for a tournament that featured only 13 teams.
The Americans won their group and went straight to the semifinals.
In 2002, the USA qualified for the quarterfinals before Germany ended its hopes of advancing with a 1-0 result.
Some domestic-based commentators are in a snit about stoppage time (aka injury time and added time), as though it has popped up for the first time ever.
No, this additional time has been around for years, for better or worse (depending on if your team scores or concedes a goal).
What is new is the added stoppage time after matches. Yes, added stoppage time.
Prior to the World Cup, it was decreed by FIFA that every second lost and delayed during a match – injuries (real and fake), goal celebrations, substitutions and other various delays will be added to the end of each half.
I understand where FIFA is coming from, but …
But why couldn’t FIFA have implemented this in club or international friendly matches before the tournament kicked off, so everyone, especially the players, could become accustomed to it?
It’s not fair to the players. They are accustomed to 90 minutes, not 100 or 110 minutes or so-called regulation time.
I have called them 90-minute players. I guess we’ll have to switch that to 100- or 110-minute players.
It will be interesting to see if this new stoppage time rule is implemented for club matches.
Some stoppage time for this column
Yes, this column has some added time to complain about that very subject.
All game long, there is a clock or perhaps multiple clocks to remind spectators and players how much time is left.
Traditionally, when the clock strikes 90, it doesn’t continue during injury time, although TV will show the time beyond 90 minutes.
Again, it’s not fair to the players and the fans at the stadium. They need to have a better idea of how much time is left.