The USMNT & USWNT soccer culture is growing. Both have massive resources and opportunities. The Women have been rated top 3 in the world for 25+ years and now are usually ranked #1 after winning the 2015 & 2019 World Cups. The Men as everyone knows didn’t make the World Cup 2018, but neither did Chile, Netherland or Italy. The difference in South American and European countries is the competition US plays in qualifiers is not as good, so the US should always make it. Not qualifying was one of the best things to wake people up and know that the soccer culture can be better in America. In the 2002 & 2006 World Cups, the men did well making it to the quarter finals.
More players need to play soccer at home
The best players in the world all started playing at home early on in life.
Most of these players learned and improved mostly in the streets playing at home or in the neighborhood.
The difference in America is that most of our players are learning mostly at team practice. This is just not enough to learn how to control a round ball with your feet.
Even if you only spent 5 mins per day with a ball at home, you will get more time with the ball in 1 season than you will all year with you team.
At home is where you rack up minutes with the ball in a safe environment where you don’t have any fear of failure.
So wherever you find find a place to play do it. You don’t need fancy equipment.
Arrogance can bring down a futbol nation
The difference of now and then is the mentality and culture.
Whether it be Italy, Germany, US or whoever most nations have had an era that didn’t give their all.
There almost needs to be a mix of young and old players.
The older pros are needed to teach culture, while the younger keep the older players from feeling comfortable in thinking they have their position given to them.
No matter your past, you have to look to the future.
Instead of being proud of the past and present, be humble and hungry to know there is always your name and country to protect.
Stay humble and hungry to prove yourself
In regards to US soccer, what has given them success in the past is their hard working attitude. Knowing they are not a top 10 team, so they must outwork the opponents.
This is what gave Soccer in America respect because after that most countries in the world could not say they were better than us.
Before the Fall of 2017 when the USMNT missed out on making the 2018 World Cup, only countries like Germany, Italy, Brazil, France, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands can really say they are better than us. Mexico, Switzerland, Denmark, and no one else can prove to be stronger anymore.
Missing out on a World Cup should change the attitude of players…
Italy missed out on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. The Netherlands missed the 2018 WC… You’d think this humbled them.
Must have a hard working soccer culture
For the men & women’s national teams the thing you see is hard work, discipline & belief.
Smart players know when a team is better and how to best put themselves in a good situation to win the game.
A good soccer culture needs to be passed down.
Players need to be reminded that talent alone isn’t enough.
Look at the German men’s team. They won the WC in 2014, then didn’t get out of the group stage in ’18 or ’22.
The evolution in the national team playing abroad
For the USNMNT we have had more than half the players on the roster who play their club ball abroad.
In the past the US goal keepers did the best in terms of playing for big clubs. Tim Howard, Brad Friedel and Casey Keller all played many years in the English Premier League.
Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra, Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey all played for Fulham in the EPL.
Clint did the best and moved to Tottenham for big money and then moved to Seattle Sounders for reportedly over $8 Million per year! WOW – good for him:)
The MLS has grown to be a top 10-15 highest paid league in the world in the matter of a few years.
The league is changing every year for the better and lots of players from around the globe want to play in the MLS.
Women’s pro soccer culture and pay
On the Women’s side obviously everyone knows Mia Hamm and the team that won the World Cup in 1999.
After that came Carli Loyd and Alex Morgan, who led the team to 2 titles [2015 and 2019].
You remember this half field goal by Carli?
A few of the players make over $200,000 a year off their playing contract abroad.
Others are making a good living at $50,000 – $100,000 a year ,but some of them really do well with the self-promotion and earning sponsorship money. We’re talking millions.
The future of US Soccer is bright and the kids of today have a lot to look forward to!
I see these players now that are ages 9-13 years old and some of them already have very clean technique.
Passing skills under pressure and off the ball movements will be our weakness. Athletically and physically they dominate.
Players between ages 14-21 really need to try to improve technically on their own, outside of club training.
From ages 9-13 youth clubs teach basic skills, but then stop and expect the teenagers to know everything. And even the clubs who continue through HS, the players don’t learn the advanced technical elements.
Team training is never going to be enough if you want to reach your potential in futbol.
Every teenager needs more technical training
What is needed is better 1 touch passing from different distances. Both under pressure and in low pressure settings.
Also being comfortable immediately after the first touch.
These are things that are easy for this level of players, but you can see the difference from France, Brazil, Spain compared to USA.
Even the smaller futbol countries are looking really good.
One reason is because their players are playing club in Europe.
The other reason is some of those nations have build a strong soccer culture.
American soccer culture will never compare to abroad
There are so many advantages for US soccer in America but not living in Europe or South America hurts in some of the most important ways.
Meaning we really don’t see true fútbol like they do. I have not had the chance to see too many top flight matches like Barcelona vs. Real Madrid in Spain or Manchester vs. Chelsea in the UK or Boca Juniors vs. River Plate in Argentina.
The best revelry I have seen is in Chile with a club Colo Colo vs Universidad de Chile. Then of course I’ve seen top clubs like Manchester United play Celtic, but that’s not a rivalry.
The life of fútbol is seeing people be passionate on the streets, in the pubs, or in the store talking about the matches the day before or coming up and then getting to see it live time after time.
If you ever have the chance to go to Europe and watch a couple matches and experience that different life of fútbol, I highly recommend it.
At the end of the day we all have excuses and though we don’t have World Class Soccer always in our back yard. To watch live and see the passion from so many people everywhere you go makes a difference.
The US does have hard working players and great families who support their kids and give them the best opportunity they can.
US soccer is continuing to become more diverse. [e.g., as you see with Coach Klansman who was the coach before he was fired in 2017 – he used so many German American players, and players who have grown up in Europe].
Best Americans should play in Europe not MLS
For a strong soccer culture, the best Americans need to be playing in Europe…
There will always be a few top American players who stay MLS for big money, but you earn more respect by opponents playing in Europe.
Back before 2018 when the US played small countries like Costa Rica they didn’t respect the USMNT because Costa Rica had players playing on big clubs like Real Madrid, Leon and Benfica.
Starting around 2019 US players were on big clubs like Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus, Dortmund, Man City.
Failing to qualify for the WC in ’18 woke people up to see that the top players need to be playing club at the highest level.
Now that many of the players are playing for big clubs, the goal should be to get more of them scoring goals and tallying minutes in the UEFA Champions League.
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