The United States' win over Bolivia in the final pre-Copa America friendly saw Gyasi Zardes redeem himself for a sub-par performance in the previous match. The LA Galaxy striker scored twice in the 4-0 win and didn't waste any time letting his critics know how he feels afterwards.
Speaking to reporters, Zardes said that he hears the criticism pointed at him over his perceived poor technical ability.
"To be honest, me personally, I think I have a good first touch," Zardes told reporters afterward. "It's just sometimes I'm unlucky during games. That's the beauty of soccer, but you can't dwell on that. I don't dwell on what people say because growing up where I grew up in [Hawthorne, California], a lot of people try to criticize you but yet they're not the ones who are playing."
It's no secret that I have been one of those critics and he's absolutely right. I do not play soccer. He gets paid a lot of money to do what he does. But I have to disagree with him if he believes his first touch is anywhere near adequate. He does possess some good qualities as a soccer player. His first touch is not one of them and if it were he'd be a helluva player.
It's painful to see a player unable to admit that he's deficient in a certain aspect of the game. He can continue to go on with a blind eye to the problem and not get any better, but this will be helping no one. Hopefully the people that he trusts will sit him down and let him know he's wrong and he needs to get better at controlling the ball when it comes his way.