U.S. needs a change in mentality 

October, 13, 2012

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- The sense of relief among the U.S. players and staff was palpable after the national team's 2-1, last-ditch win over Antigua and Barbuda Friday night which put the Yanks on the brink of advancing to the final round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

But there was also a lingering sense of dissatisfaction, and not because the final score line wasn't the rout many American fans expected. Given the monsoon-like conditions, mud pit of a field and the organized, aggressive resistance of the hosts, the Yanks were more than happy to take the win any way they could get it.

What they were left at a loss to explain, though, was how they once again seemed to lose focus after scoring early, squandering their third consecutive first-half lead in a qualifier away from home.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.