That's what my Dad always told me on the rare off-chance that I actually succeeded at something on the field of play. My entire soccer career from "the Lazers" through Creeping Death United, I only scored one goal. It was celebrated with a single fist pump and a congratulations of my fellow "Orange Crush" teammates in the Willowbrook Park District U-13 league. Act like you've been there before, sez the man who controlled my meager allowance. Had I known that would be the only goal I would score in at least the next ten years, I probably would have lived it up a little more, making a total ass of myself in the process.
Besides, acting like you've been there before is never fun. As such, on this blog, we've noticed we sometimes sputter in our predictions. Despite all our collective sports expertise, sometimes the games just don't play out the way we think they will, or the way we think they should. But this is one time where I was dead on, and I don't mind crowing about it, because it may be another decade before I nail a prediction this well. I'm celebrating like I've never been here before, and like I never will. [pop open champagne bottle]
Back in February, with US soccer fans bitching and moaning about the US staking the CONCACAF Gold Cup as its priority tournament this summer, instead of the glitzier Copa America, where the US would get a chance to slug it out with world heavyweights Argentina and Brazil, I dove inside US Coach Bob Bradley's head and figured it all out. And I couldn't have been more correct [cartwheels]. Say what you will about soccer and its relative importance in the US sports landscape, but as far as this blog goes, we didn't really have the best of success with our "Lock of the Week" in football season so we should take anything we can get.
Back in February I posited that Bradley would send his cream-of-the-crop team to the Gold Cup to earn a berth in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009, a sort of BCS-style dry-run the year before the World Cup in the same stadiums. I then said the States would send a younger, B-team to Copa America that would then be coming into its prime in three years for the 2010 World Cup, during which time they'd have already played on the world stage. [shooting off fireworks]
Wouldn't you know? Team USA won the Gold Cup, defeating Mexico 2-1 in front of a pro-Mexican crowd at Soldier Field Sunday. [Firing six-shooters into the air]
Then, Coach Bradley released a Copa America roster with 16 players with 10 or fewer caps (appearances for the National team), but who look to make up the bulk of the 2010 World Cup team. While we may not know for sure how this will all shake out for three years, I think I've got a decent idea, and that's more than assholes like Jamie Trecker had.