Sunday, June 26, 2011

USA SOCCER - A Casual Fan's Opinion

Watching USA soccer is a frustrating experience. In this article I want to address my many frustrations with a team that tries to hard to be accepted as a world power, yet they seem to get so many things wrong as a sport here in the U.S.

First things first...why in the hell are we playing our most meaningful games in stadiums filled by the other team's fans. This recent Gold Cup match was a huge game for the USA on the national and world scene yet the governing body of US soccer thought it best to play this game at the Rose Bowl conveniently located so that 90+ thousand Mexican fans could attend the game????... guaranteeing a sell out and a huge gate for the venue and for USA soccer in general. Is there any other sport that we play in this country where our fans would put up with that kind of insanity. Why not have the game in the new Nationals stadium in our nations capital and bill it as us vs. the world....locals, tourists, people could make the trip to Washington DC and be able to see all the museums, and local monuments and be able to see our nations finest players represent our country. Would having an actual home field advantage be so bad for a team that needs all the help they can get vs. the world's elite. Do you think Texas Longhorn fans would settle for having their home game moved to Norman Oklahoma just so they could sell out a game? you think that the fans of Boston would put up with moving all their games vs. the Yankees to Yankee stadium just so they could play in a newer venue? No way in hell, you would have an uprising, death threats...people rioting in the street. The Mexican fans must think we are a joke for hosting that game at the Rose Bowl...I know do.

Another thing that drives me nuts about American soccer is that we seem to have a bad defense every year. How can we play vs. teams like Spain and Mexico and Brazil that have such creativity and imagination in their offensive schemes with our current batch of defenders. Our team needs a new coach that values defense over all other. We are the U,S-freakin-A and we should have the most physical, yellow card getting, bullying defense in the entire world. American is known for having the biggest strongest athletes in the world...let's get these guys playing soccer and put them on the field and then see if a 130 pd Mexican offensive player slash into our 3rd of the field and deal with getting hit over and over with ferocity. Every stud athlete cannot play basketball, baseball or football...we have the kids now playing soccer in the US that is going to bring a large crop of players over the next decade or two...let's train them to be the team that no one wants to play...everyone thinks we are bullies to the world since soccer is the main international sport across the world...let's put a team out there that displays the brute force of this nation. Because right now we are a top 20 world power, but we are also a team that has virtually no chance at ever winning a world championship and that is sad. Alexei Lalas is a former USA defender that played with that all out level with a whole lot of skill mixed into his game and you can tell when he does the commentary on our games that he loves USA soccer but also how frustrated he is at the state of our game...he will use terms like appalling and disgusting and pathetic when referring to the way we pressure and mark opposing teams offenses...when a guy like that who bleeds USA soccer is sitting there looking for words to describe our effort...then you know that all these years of guys talking about "potential" is starting to fall on deaf ears. Change the coach, go defensive with a vengeance, schedule games in the heart of America and this will build pride with even the most casual soccer fan.

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