Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, February 22

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Molten Down Short Hops »

Soccer Thu Sep 11 2008

The Price Of Competence

The crowd of nearly 11,000 for the US National Team's 3-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Trinidad and Tobago was more than the 8,500 expected. But it still wasn't particularly great for a US National Team game, let alone a World Cup Qualifier. Maybe it was the 7pm kickoff time on a Wednesday. It certainly wasn't easy to get out to Bridgeview in time; I ended up about five minutes late due to rush hour traffic. Maybe it's the sheer amount of soccer games Chicago has been treated to over the past couple of years (the Gold Cup, the All-Star Game, as well as appearances by Barcelona and Brazil). Maybe it's just the economy. But it could be the price the US National Team has paid for becoming competent.

Not so long ago, away games a home game against a team like Trinidad and Tobago would give the US the heebie jeebies. Now, it's a foregone conclusion that the States will win. In fact, the US never looked troubled from the opening whistle, but you could hardly say they looked inspired either. Over the past 10 years the US has gotten a thousand times better at winning the games they're supposed to win, and not losing too badly in the games they're supposed to lose. And it's undeniably progress, but I think the question is, is it the kind of thing that people are willing to pay $50-$100 to go see? A lot of Chicagoans answered no.

GB store
GB store
GB store

Tailgate on Flickr

Join the Tailgate Flickr Pool.

About Tailgate

Tailgate is the sports section of Gapers Block, covering all Chicago sports. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Chad Ruter,
Tailgate staff inbox:



Tailgate Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15