U.S. shows rare poise on ball 

November, 18, 2010

Among the many encouraging things from the U.S.'s 1-0 victory over South Africa in Cape Town on Wednesday, one stood out to us: Amid the din of vuvuzelas and 52,000 Bafanatics, the young Yanks were remarkably comfortable on the ball.

We've lamented before about the collective U.S. lack of touch and shooting ability, and we're not saying Wednesday night was Tiki-Taka, American style.

But on every section of the pitch, young Yanks kept the ball and moved it purposefully under pressure.

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.