Flags and streamers and hymns of praise won't greet the U.S. men's national team when it returns home from the Confederations Cup. That kind of welcoming reception will be reserved for champion Brazil, a nation whose citizens know how to throw a soccer-themed party better than anyone.
Yet for head coach Bob Bradley and his group of players, it will be more than a shiny silver medal, the tag of "gallant loser" and some pats on the back that they take from this tournament, staged in South Africa a year out from soccer's Big One.
Given the muted expectations for Bradley's group preceding the tournament, and the even-gloomier prognosis of its welfare a week into it, the eventual outcome of losing 3-2 to Brazil in Sunday's final must be considered a relative triumph.
It may not have felt like it when the third and winning Brazilian goal flew into the net, sealing a storming comeback by the five-time world champion from a two-goal deficit, but this time in defeat there was hope, not merelyRead More »from U.S. finds solace in defeat