ESPN PANELIST'S PUZZLING REMARKS
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
KENYA BROWN - Sunday, September 15, 2013
Some folks are tough to please.

While most of the American media was praising the U.S. men's national team's 2-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday night that guaranteed them a berth in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, one Los Angeles based sports writer decided to go the opposite route and pour cold water over the celebrations by the players and fans at Columbus Crew Stadium in Ohio.

On the Wednesday episode of ESPN's Around the Horn, Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke criticized the players for celebrating after what was a long and nerve-wrecking qualification process. "This is not a culmination, this is a beginning. The World Cup is a beginning. We as a country should start acting like we deserve to be there," he said. "Therefore, I don't think champagne was deserved. I think it's nice that handshakes, hugs and all that stuff, but the whole champagne and acting like they just won the seventh game of the World Series, tossing guys up in the air."

"When will U.S. Soccer realize we should be in the World Cup. We've been there seven straight times now. We should realize we belong there. Let's do the champagne and celebrations maybe when we win the World Cup," he added.

While the Louisville, Kentucky native makes a valid point about the USMNT expecting qualification when World Cup cycles come around, his criticism of the players celebrating was totally unwarranted.

After getting off to a rough start with a loss to Honduras, not calling up players such as Landon Donovan for various reasons and overcoming possible dissension in the ranks after an article published by the Sporting News, these boys deserved to celebrate. Most importantly the more than 24,000 fans who came from all over the United States to "Fortress Columbus"deserved that celebration with the players as not for one minute did they keep quiet during the entire 90 minutes of the game.

The players, the fans and Klinsmann all know that Tuesday night's win and qualification was just part of the mission. The real work will begin in December when the USMNT finds out who their opponents will be prior to June 2014 as they try to progress beyond the group stages.

So, if Plaschke does not mind, let the boys celebrate at least for a little while.
AZ_Mike_AO
Wednesday September 18, 2013 3:35 pm
Definitely agree with you there MSantoine. Another important thing to consider is that many of the panelists on Around the Horn say things they don't necessarily agree with simply because the format of the show rewards making bold statements. I think any reasonable person would have no issue with the USMNT celebrating a World Cup berth.
Ufficio
Monday September 16, 2013 8:37 pm
The celebration was for the thousand fans that stayed an hour after the game ended.
recycledhumans
Monday September 16, 2013 3:26 pm
I agree with the sentiment behind the comments, even if the words used weren't the best at conveying his point.

The US is such a global sporting power, but we are stubbornly lagging behind in our soccer development.
MSantoine
Monday September 16, 2013 7:00 am
What a hypocritical comment to make. Teams in MLB still celebrate playoff berths and division wins. Im sure when the Red Sox and braves clinch the pennants this week they'll have massive celebrations and I bet he wont call them out for it. Hes a clown
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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