The United States knocked on the door of soccers elite at this World Cup but a lack of top quality talent left them heading home after the second round and with a need to find some new faces for the next four year push. Saturdays defeat will have dampened some of the new found enthusiasm for the game in the United States but it was hardly a shock and it illustrated the limitations of coach Bob Bradleys squad.
The U.S. showed,throughout the tournament,that they are a team full of heart and with a truly impressive determination. But they also showed that they lack the key ingredients needed to be a genuine contender for a place in the last four their work rate is not matched by creativity and their graft lacks the compliment of finesse. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. Soccer Federation decides to stick with Bradley,who did an admirable job in extracting the maximum possible out of a squad of modest talents.
The only question mark over Bradleys work with this team over the past four years is how he found it so impossible to get the defence to stop conceding damaging early goals.
Given the age of the U.S defence it will be a very different back four at Brazil in 2014. Whether it is Bradley or another coach who has the job of beginning the next four year cycle,there is clearly a need for some young talent to emerge in all positions and lift the team to the next level.