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U.S. TEAM BIDS ADIEU TO CUP THEY MAY HAVE RATHER PASSED ON
Published June 26, 1998
Team USA's 1-0 loss to Yugoslavia in France "concluded a couple of tumultuous weeks at the World Cup for the U.S. team, which had been shaken by several players' public criticism of Coach Steve Sampson, mass lineup changes and, of course, disappointing defeats," according to Amy Shipley of the WASHINGTON POST. Forward Eric Wynalda: "This was terrible." Midfielder Tab Ramos: "The whole thing was a shambles." Shipley: "With a few exceptions, players seemed careful not to voice overly negative opinions. U.S. Soccer Federation President Alan Rothenberg ... advised players during a pregame meeting not to make statements they would regret" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/26). In N.Y., Mark Cannizzaro calls the U.S. team a "rudderless, bickering, embarrassing emotional wreck" (N.Y. POST, 6/26). In Boston, John Powers writes the World Cup ended for the U.S. team "with finger- pointing and second-guessing and bitterness" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/26). Header over Bonnie DeSimone's game report in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE: "U.S. Players Save Best Shots For Sampson" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/26). USA TODAY's Marco della Cava calls it a "disastrous tournament for the Americans" (USA TODAY, 6/26). The AP's Ron Blum calls it an "utter, total wreck of a World Cup" (Mult., 6/26). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Stefan Fatsis writes that as the team "faltered, dissension mounted, sending bad vibes to the U.S. public." But USSF President Alan Rothenberg said, "We are inching forward as a world soccer power. It's a long, hard struggle to get to the top" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/26). OTHER REAX: ESPN's Jeremy Schaap: "In virtually every respect, this World Cup was a dismal failure for Team USA. Battered and bloodied, it was finally put out of its misery Thursday night" ("SportsCenter," 6/25). On ESPN SportsZone, Team USA member Brian McBride writes that while the tournament was "terribly disappointing," he stressed the "positives" of aggressive play (ESPN SportsZone, 6/26). But in Detroit, Charlie Vincent writes, "Not many people in the United States care enough to get upset" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/26). In DC, William Gildea: "The long and the short of the U.S.'s disastrous 1998 World Cup is that the U.S. federation picked the wrong coach" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/26). IT'S A FINE, FINE DAY FOR A REUNION: Sampson said Friday in Paris that he would levy "significant" fines against the players who complained (AP/WASH. POST, 6/26).