For U.S., a year's worth of progress 

August, 10, 2010

Tuesday's match against Brazil is as good a time as any to take a long lens to America's progress as a soccer nation. For one, this blog just celebrated its first year of existence, which in itself shows an appetite for news about the U.S. national team that we weren't certain existed. For another, Brazil is a great measuring stick. Not 14 months ago, the U.S. was coming off a meeting with the Selecao in the Confederations Cup looking lost and timid; the 3-0 drubbing in a group match had fans openly calling for head coach Bob Bradley's ouster.

It just so happens that on Monday, the national team held a press event at the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building, a perfect spot for an overview. And given all that's happened, the U.S. has come a long way since June 2009.

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