Back to earth for the Yanks.
A truly brutal shooting performance (yes, encouraged by a very stingy defense and great goalkeeping) doesn’t bode well for the Croatian game. The good news is that the Germans appear to be much more vulnerable than they were in Melbourne. The US should beat them. Some other notes:
- Either Wolf of Bob mentioned earlier in the tournament that Denis Sefik is the best in the world. His backup doesn’t appear to be any less talented. US shooting: 2 for 27.
- Finishing. Likely a touchy subject, but the Serbian game showed one of the US team’s greatest overall weaknesses. Missed penalty shots, failure to score with inside water, ineffective 6 on 5s, they are all marks of a program that can not yet be considered among the international elite. Those opportunities are rare when playing the best teams. Once the US capitalizes on them routinely they will be rightly placed among the world’s most elite.
- The defense returned much to form after the Italians made a habit of carving it up. The Serbs didn’t have a great shooting game either, but much of that can be credited to Moses and the quick and opportunistic defense. When it’s that effective it’s especially pleasurable to watch.
- There were some shots of Croatian fans in the stands. I wonder if they were cheering along with the Americans.
- I’m desperately hoping it’s only a passing fad among European athletes (not just in water polo). But what’s with all the egregious ink? It’s all a little too Chino maximum security/white supremacist gathering for me.