As hard as it is to come from behind after conceding a goal, sometimes there are challenges with playing a goal up as well. As SI's Grant Wahl reports, the US has struggled to hold onto leads in recent matches.
It's a team that this summer alone has taken leads against Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico in games that matter, a cause for optimism among U.S. soccer fans. But it's also a team that has gone only 1-3 in those contests, a sign that while these Americans are improving on the world stage, they're still not yet at a level where they have the poise and maturity required to slam the door on a quality opponent once it's down.
"Probably," said (Tim) Howard. "I don't know exactly what it is right now ... You don't want that to become a trend. When you get leads, you want to make sure you can see them out, particularly in this game. A 1-1 would have been a very good result for us."
I really liked this quote from Bob Bradley about finishing off teams - he referenced it during the CONCACAF Gold Cup after defeating Grenada- the team came into the halftime up 2-0:
"You just want your players to understand how to take each game as it unfolds. Understand the opponent, and understand the meaning of the game. We said at halftime that there's a professional way to finish this game. That involves discipline and knowing how to respect the opponent, but also making sure in a good, smart, mature way you know how to finish the opponent. I think those are important lessons and things that you want to take out of a game like today."