Italy vs. USA: U.S. Shocks World, Downs Italy 1-0

Chris Elliott@@NaturalBrn3illaContributor IIIFebruary 29, 2012

Clint Dempsey's goal
Clint Dempsey's goalClaudio Villa/Getty Images


OK, maybe a bit of hyperbole here considering that this was a friendly, but to us in the States, the United States beating Italy in an International Friendly was a major milestone.

The rest of the world may look on this as either Italy tripping up and underestimating their opponent or sheer luck by the United States Yanks. But to us Sam's Army's true, die-hard supporters, this shows us what we have been hoping, wanting and praying for; that Jürgen Klinsmann, the amazing former German striker, can fix this squad.

The game was an eye opener. 

I was amazed at the end of the half that the U.S. seemed to hang in there with the storied former World Champions.

I did have two tweets at half time that conveyed some worry.

"....The defense looks a bit shaky," followed by, "I'm not loving Jozy up front."

The first was put to rest by the middle of the second half.

The U.S. defense, anchored by Captain Carlos Bocanegra, stood strong against an almost constant barrage of Italy Azzurri attacks, turning back one after another. Jonathan Spector looked great, coming on a substitute, blocking two Italian scoring opportunities and helping to maintain the form set forth in the first half at left back by Fabian Johnson.

I am still not sold on Jozy Altidore but his holding play was crucial to the second half, not to mention an assist to Clint Dempsey and a pick up in form.

Whereas he would not be my first choice, he certainly proved his worth today. 

This win was a great step forward for the United States Men's National Team. 

But it was just that, a step.

There is a long way to go before we are taken seriously by the world. We have much more to prove. With Klinsmann at the helm and the team (and fans now) buying in to his philosophies, we are certainly on our way.