Here’s a yellow card warning for all of the anticipation of the United States’ World Cup match against Belgium this afternoon: Most Americans aren’t that excited, even if many of them are rooting on the home country.
This is why we can’t have nice things, LIKE A WORLD CUP.
During the US/Germany match last week, as I was sitting in the O-club surrounded by German pilots, it was an American officer (an older man, probably a colonel) sitting behind me that made watching the game almost intolerable. This man complained LOUDLY for the entire second half of the game about how much he hated soccer. Why was he even there? If you don’t like soccer, go home, go back to work, SHUT UP. He was such an embarrassment, complaining loudly about a game that everyone there wanted to see, insulting the Germans who were very politely watching and cheering along with the rest of us. Complaining about how much you hate soccer is UNAMERICAN. Americans love to position ourselves as underdogs even though we rarely are, and now suddenly we really are coming out from behind to do something amazing and you’re just gonna ruin it with your piss-poor attitude and entitled whining? Booo. Get outta here with that crap. #soccerforever #usausausa
Articles like this are the worst kind of semi trolling. At least the Ann Coulter article was full on trolling. You know how many Americans whose teams aren’t in the Super Bowl don’t actually give a shit about the result of the Super Bowl? Probably about the same amount, a lot of people watch it, but it’s a gathering to people much more than a sporting event.
The weird thing about soccer is that some sections of the US media seem like they will only accept the sport if literally every single American is watching a French 4th division match on a Wednesday afternoon. The sport is here, some people don’t like it, some people do. The amount of people who do will slowly grow here. The vast majority of people don’t watch golf, but I’ve yet to see a “61% of people don’t care who wins the Masters” article. If you don’t like soccer, don’t fucking watch it.
After the madness of Sunday’s U.S.-Portugal game, Jürgen Klinsmann was repeatedly asked whether his squad and Germany—both needing only a draw to advance—would settle matters with a handshake deal and noncompetitive match on Thursday. Klinsmann’s response was pitch perfect: “The U.S. is known to give all they have in every single game, otherwise Mexico wouldn’t be here.”
Great article that explains the history leading into tomorrow’s game.
What a dick! So he’s basically saying Mexico is only in the World Cup because of the US. REALLY.
The USMNT scored two goals in stoppage time to knock Panama out of the World Cup and let Mexico in. The US is literally, LITERALLY the only reason Mexico is where they are. You’re welcome Mexico, you still suck.
To start off our World Cup coverage , I thought I’d run through how I think the 2014 World Cup will play out. I am a respected journalist person with an internet connection, so the thoughts contained within this piece are only my thoughts and not the result of some sort of well calculated…
I wrote a World Cup preview. it’s probably wrong, but it is what it is.
In a nice feature piece in the New York Times on United States men’s national team coach and technical director Jurgen Klinsmann, there is this bit from Bruce Arena, who occupies a dual role as former USMNT coach and Klinsmann foil for a journalist looking for “balance” in a piece on the current holder of the seat:
Bruce Arena, who coaches the Los Angeles Galaxy, told me recently that instead of trying to get American soccer to mimic European culture, U.S. Soccer officials should simply look inward. Italy’s team is coached by an Italian and has a core of players who play in Italy, Arena pointed out. Spain has a Spanish coach and players primarily based in Spain. Germany is led by a German coach and mostly features players on German teams.
“I believe an American should be coaching the national team,” says Arena, who led the national team for eight years. “I think the majority of the national team should come out of Major League Soccer. The people that run our governing body think we need to copy what everyone else does, when in reality, our solutions will ultimately come from our culture.
“Come on,” he says. “We can’t copy what Brazil does or Germany does or England does. When we get it right, it’s going to be because the solutions are right here. We have the best sports facilities in the world. Why can’t we trust in that?”
Arena is probably uniquely qualified to have this view, as the squad he led to a surprise finish in the quarters in 2002 was probably validation. (The squad he had that flamed out in the group stages four years later, well…) But when we talk about solutions for the American development (or lack of it) in soccer, we need to talk about what the countries who do what Arena says — draw from their own leagues a majority of the time, hire coaches solely from the country’s ranks — because Arena is making an apples-to-apples comparison.
(One can argue it’s in his interest to agitate for a uniquely American solution — Arena’s career path from collegiate coach to US youth team coach to MLS coach to USMNT HC and back to MLS is a testament to and shining example of what the problem is, which I’m about to get into.)
(Relying on collegiate athletics to refine the pros of the future is a problem for all manner of American professional leagues, save baseball and hockey [the latter obviously being Canadian]. Soccer merely puts it in starker relief.)
It is absurdity on its face to accept Arena’s comparison, because the way the American youth pipeline for soccer works puts it far behind countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Argentina & Brazil where professional teams develop players at the youngest ages. Rising stars in world football are talked about making breakthroughs at the ages of 19, 20, 21. At that point, most American players are getting out of college and entering MLS. There are certainly exceptions (Donovan, Altidore, Michael Bradley) American soccer players reach their potential much later and have less time to exploit it to the fullest. It is no coincidence that the most lasting contribution of the USA to world soccer is its goalkeepers — they generally reach their primes later and can keep going well into their late thirties at high levels.
Facilities and sport science only get you so far before you have to look at the pyramid and how you instruct the next generation to play. That wall was dinged by Arena’s 2006 team. Bob Bradley’s 2010 team managed to avoid it in South Africa for a time because of Donovan’s excellence against Algeria and the flub heard around the world by England’s Rob Green. But Bradley Sr.’s 2011 Gold Cup squad hit that wall head-on against Mexico, where the physical conditioning of the US team reached its limit against Mexico’s more talented and tactically aware team in the final. I still have difficulty believing that game was only a 4-2 defeat. It felt worse than that, and it’s probably why Sunil Gulati fired Bradley Sr. afterward.
(This conditioning over technique is coming home to roost with the women’s team, too, as the rest of the world caught up with the women bolstered by Title IX into soccer and who won two World Cups on those advantages.)
This is why Jurgen Klinsmann has a contract until 2018 (noting that all contracts aren’t always worth the paper they are printed on), because while American soccer is on the rise as a domestic sport, it is broken as far as competing internationally goes. It will remain so until the USSF gets its shit together. That means MLS teams need to develop their own players before the NCAA gets to them and the instruction at those academies needs to be the best it can offer.
Otherwise, we will be recruiting dual-nationals until the end of time because they are the only ones receiving serious instruction at the time one needs it to be remotely world class in the sport, relying on them and the next Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey to pull us out of trouble instead of creating a pool deep enough where we don’t have to rely on one or two stars.
There is no way forward until the USSF upends the entire structure — and it’s in part why I’m not terribly concerned about how far the 2014 edition of the USMNT goes this year in Brazil. We still have a lot of catching up to do. Drawing on our unique culture means stagnation.
This is dumb. Germany, Spain, Italy have managers from those countries and players from those leagues, because they are the top leagues in the world. if any player on those three national teams wanted to play on practically any team in the world, they would get the red carpet rolled out for their arrival.
I agree with his statement that the US shouldn’t try to play someone else’s style and should develop their own style, but the reasoning behind the argument is so off base. The US does have the best sports facilities in the world, but until our A+ caliber athletes choose soccer at a young age, it’s going to be a challenge. We can see that happening slowly right now but till then, I see nothing wrong with having a top caliber manager like Klinsmann at the helm. Our last American manager is so good he’s in Norway at something called Stabæk, which….