It says something about the state of American Soccer on the international stage when the men's team could fail to win a medal but the trip could be seen as a completely successful one, while the women's team could capture a silver and leave everyone saying “Oh Well.”
The women's team is apparently a victim of its own success, coming off their World Cup victory in 1999. Anything short of a gold medal would be seen as less than a success. Meanwhile the men's team, which had never before advanced to the medal round, was a pleasant surprise despite eventually losing to Chile, 2-0 in the bronze medal game.
While the American soccer Olympians were surprising and disappointing in Sydney, Major League Soccer, the domestic U.S. men's league, was doing a bit of both as well back at home in the States.
While the quality of play in the MLS, was surprisingly good in 2000, witness the MLS Cup–winning Kansas City Wizards, the attendance figures (13,756 league average in 2000 down from 14,282 in 1999) were a bit disappointing.