Day of Reckoning for USA Soccer
The day after the worst US Soccer moment in history we can kvetch about players, coaches, and demographics. I’m not going to do that.
The overriding issue is cultural for USA Soccer and how the game is treated by our top domestic league and the higher ups of the domestic federation.
Tuesday night I was sad and sick over the team not making the 2018 World Cup. Today, I’m just angry.
The American style of play is best described as hoping for the opposing team to make a mistake in order to score a goal because our attack is unable to break down a defense when they drop everyone back.
All of that to say is that we, USA Soccer, don’t have a style of play. Culturally USA Soccer from youth leagues, to the NCAA, to the domestic professional leagues have no identity except to just participate in a World Cup.
How do we fix it? It should be a given that Coach Bruce Arena is gone along with US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati probably resigning. Bringing in a guy like Eric Wynalda to run the Federation is the right move. Implementing a form of promotion and relegation to the professional leagues like Major League Soccer and USL will breed more competition.
The last issues I bring up is the most important. We need to send our young, talented players to the top flight European leagues. Brazil, Argentina have 4 to 5 guys like Christian Pulisic and they’re all in Europe. MLS has elevated play and talent for the rest of North America and has brought down the quality of American play. I still to this day don’t know why USA Captain Michael Bradley gave up playing in Italy’s top flight to play in MLS for Toronto. We need to reformat our system and culture because now our path to World Cup 2022 begins today.
Allen Corbin is a frequent contributor to Raiderland, a well-known longtime soccer fan and owner of numerous scarves and kits.