When the Group of Death was announced, I thought the US Men’s Team had about a 50/50 chance. Turned out, it was about that close. But getting through by the skin of the teeth is still an achievement in the nightmare scenario we were given. Not Germany, Ronaldo, Ghana, more travel than anyone, brutal conditions, or a dagger of a goal in the 95th minute stopped this team. The Group Stage isn’t the FInal. But advancing out of it twice consecutively, given the fact FIFA loves to screw us, is still an accomplishment.
More than England did, or Spain did. TWICE as often as supposed world power Italy did. More than France as well. A large number of “world powers” didn’t match this team’s consistency. So maybe the USMNT doesn’t have the Championship Ceiling (ahem, until we actually get seeded as we deserve), but it doesn’t have disaster floor anymore either.