Monday, 24 September, 2018


US Men's Soccer: The 100 Years' War

The lost boys Pulisic USMNT and the weight of missing the World Cup The lost boys Pulisic USMNT and the weight of missing the World Cup
Noah Ferguson | 13 October, 2017, 15:02

The failure in Trinidad may have unleashed raging anger at U.S. Soccer, but one can not deny that its launch of the Development Academy (DA) 10 years ago is starting to show results.

It was in 2007, one year after Sunil Gulati was elected U.S. Soccer president, that the Federation started to invest heavily and have greater influence on youth soccer.

From a business standpoint, fewer people watching the games will mean a lost opportunity in jersey and other soccer-related sales. He wants to see more time for coaching and more time for year-round training of college players.

When it happened again this week, the American team did so with Major League Soccer in unprecedented health.

"The club levels were different there from how they are organized here", he said. It already has, if you ask numerous supporters and pundits.

Pay-to-play has been a uniquely American and significant impediment to becoming a soccer power.

In a column for the Washington Post, Laurent Dubois, a Duke University professor and author of "The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer", in the same vein said, "One of the keys to the future of USA soccer will be tackling the inequalities that structure the sport in this country", tracing it to 'pay to play'.

Optimists are pointing out that France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup before winning the 1998 World Cup as the host country. An example later followed by Germany and Belgium, particular attention was paid to making sure immigrant communities had access both to recreational sport facilities and a path to soccer academies. That is how the United States missed out on qualifying for the World Cup. The hot, snarky and hysterical takes on Twitter quickly came in, including from our own C.J. Nitkowski, who fooled a bunch of gullible people on Twitter when he joked that it was unfair that the US had to play against two teams.

U.S. Soccer can solve some problems in American soccer, but not all and not all at once. The average MLS attendance is at 21,692, a 40 per cent increase in the past 10 years. Star players on the Panamanian, Honduran and Costa Rican national teams play in MLS as well, where they are regularly outplayed by their American counterparts. The USMNT is not even halfway there from when Cramer briefly coached the team.

It's the first time since 1986 that the team did not qualify for the largest tournament in all of sports and is about to bring sweeping changes to the program.

"More recently, U.S. Soccer implemented small-sided standards and the build-out line, an excellent way of creating an environment at the early ages that's conducive to long-term development over short-term results", Woitalla wrote.

While he hasn't won a major trophy in New York, Marsch has kept his side competitive despite not having the most talent in MLS. "But one bad ending doesn't mean there hasn't been any progress".

"The fan part of me says it's time to move away from the past and get a new president", said the former national team midfielder and current TV analyst Kyle Martino. "Thanks to the fans for always believing". But I do not foresee this setback derailing the growth trajectory being experienced by MLS and USL.

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