Over the years there have been so many games that surprise soccer fans around the world. Things that come to mind are World Cups where countries like Costa Rica make it all the way to the quarterfinals. How smaller soccer Countries are changing the game is the question? At the end of the day the team as to be filled with 100% passion to work harder than the other team. A European Country that has taken it’s spot as one of the elite Countries to develop players is Belgium. Not only is their senior team doing well, but the young players in the system as well. Why is it that small Countries can compete against large Countries like Brazil especially. Well one reason is because all it takes is 11 players on the field to do the job. And yes, having other players to fill the role is important, but my point is no matter how big the Country you only need to find 20 players to make a strong pool.
Developing soccer players young & finding the hungry
Then if the youth coaches are developing the technical side, then the National Team Coaches need to build a good system with hungry players who are trying to compete at the highest levels in the club scene. There are smaller Countries even in the Caribbean that have really good players, who play in 2nd division clubs in Holland, England, France. These are good leagues and the players are getting better there. There is also that chance of moving up to a Division 1 Club in Europe.
When a small soccer Country earned respect
At the time, I was playing professional soccer and was living in Denmark and Singapore. The World Cup was going on while I was moving from one country to the other. The U.S. made me so proud that year because they made it all the way to the quarterfinals losing to Germany who was one of the best teams in the world! At that time we were not a good Soccer Nation and everybody kind of made fun of us. But literally, in those few weeks, the world started to respect us more. And ever since that World Cup, the U.S. has always made it out of group stages which most countries cannot say.
There are 211 National associations NH Nation has to be a member of one of the six Regional Confederations which are Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania and South America. They are:
CONCACAF = North America, Central America, and the Caribbean
UEFA = Union of European football associations
CONMEBOL = South America
AFC = Asian Football Confederation
OFC = Oceania ( New Zealand, Fiji, Tonka and other Pacific Islands) Australia left to join the Asian Football Confederation
CAF = Confederation Africa football
What is FIFA? Federation International Football Association is the international governing body of association football Kama Futsal and Beach Soccer. FIFA is responsible for the organization of footballs major International tournaments comma notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup which commenced in 1991.
Sometimes a bigger pool is harder to find players
Maybe this is an excuse for the US Soccer but I have read articles that talk about the scouts in US Soccer not all pulling their weight. I’m not hear to solve any problems on this post, but there are several things that need to improve in almost every Country. Only a few Countries in the World even stay ranked top 10 decade after decade. Germany & Brazil are the only 2 that I can think of who are consistently ranked top 10 worldwide. I would say Argentina, but just look how they almost didn’t even make the World Cup 2018. Leo Messi is the only player to score for Argentina in many months and matches. It takes more than 1 or 2 players to make a team really compete and be successful each year.
It’s not about the talent but the environment
To compete against the best players in the World you have to not only have great technical ability, but also the challenge week in and week out to improve. Many of the US Players are making great money in the MLS, but are they being challenged the same as if they were in Italy, Spain, England, Germany, France or even Mexico or Brazil. Not only is the player going to play at a higher level, but they will gain more respect from opposing players. Imagine if you are playing against a team full of players who play for Real Madrid, FC Porto, Dortmund compared to players playing for FC Dallas. It’s different! Playing against someone who plays on a BIG stage is going to lower your confidence compared to playing someone who plays for a weaker team than you or your teammates. Confidence plays a big role in this and I think USMNT fell victim to this. Before they used to have tons of players playing overseas, but the year US didn’t make the World Cup most the players were playing MLS.