Does Team America's end justify the means?
Chicago Sting Coach Willy Roy thinks not.
"I don't think people saw much of a soccer game," complained Roy in the wake of his team's 2-1 overtime loss to Team America before a Soldier Field crowd of 16,101.
"We don't just try to win games. We also try to entertain people. It was our biggest crowd of the year but I heard very little cheering. There was nothing to cheer about. It was a pretty dull game. They (Team America) made it that way.
"But we deserved to lose. We had enough good chances to bury them in the first half. Obviously, from now on nobody can take Team America lightly. We have two more games. What happened this time won't happen again."
This was a game that went according to plan for Coach Alkis Panagoulias. "In many ways this was a typical game for us," he said. "We tried to stay very aggressive on defense, deny the other team space to operate and take advantage of our chances.
"Actually, I don't think we played too well. The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins and that's what happened.
"If we continue working hard we will do well in the 1986 World Cup. Our main target is to excel in international competition. Qualifying for the World Cup finals is a must. That's the reason for our existence.
"We have no illusions. We need skilled players. Because we don't have them, we rely on defense."
Team America's offense was generated by two foreign players, England's Alan Green and Andrew Parkinson of South Africa.
Green headed in the game-winning goal with 72 seconds remaining in overtime after a 25-yard pass from Parkinson, who'd tallied Team America's other goal on a rebound kick in the first half. Both players will become American citizens before the end of the NASL season.
For Team America, there's now a lull in the schedule. The next game isn't until July 6 against the New York Cosmos at the Meadowlands.
Ironically, Team America is in second place in the NASL's Southern Division, even though it has the best record, 8-4. Because bonus points are awarded for goals scored, Tulsa (6-8) leads the division with 54 points to Team America's 52.
Saturday night's match was a homecoming for Team America midfielder Rudy Glenn, who played for the Sting for three seasons.