The United States men’s national soccer team (USMNT) has a long history of playing international football. They’ve competed in the Summer Olympics, as well as many other major international competitions, including the FIFA World Cup.
They’ve made a name for themselves on the world stage and have won four World Cups, a number of Olympic Gold Medals, and a few other tournaments. However, their popularity in the United States is lagging behind that of their female counterparts, and their chances of making a deep run at the 2022 World Cup look slim.
While there are a few talented players on the USMNT, their potential is limited by an outdated system. It’s easy to blame players for this lack of success, but a deeper analysis suggests that the problem lies in the youth system itself.
This is not to say that the USMNT’s coaching staff is wrong, or that they don’t have talented young players. But it’s worth asking why they aren’t able to produce an elite squad like England or Germany.
It’s not just the players themselves, it’s also a lack of organizational support and a mismatch between American soccer and other hotbeds around the world. The state of US soccer is a glaring issue, and it needs to be addressed quickly.
According to Justin van de Graaf, a senior at DHS and captain of the boys varsity team, “the US soccer system is very unorganized.” It is essentially a youth system that is similar to American football in that it doesn’t have a structured and centralized program for developing talent. This is an issue that has been a constant in the sport and one that is difficult to fix.
Another issue is the lack of a high level soccer league for kids to play the game. While there are a few clubs that do this, it’s not as prevalent or widespread as it is in other countries.
A large part of the reason for this is that American soccer doesn’t have a professional league to attract top talent. This can be blamed on the MLS, but it’s also because of a lack of financial support for the development of younger talent.
The MLS is a relatively new league in the United States. It started in 2002, but it has grown much faster than the NASL, which was popular in the 1980s and ’90s.
In fact, MLS attendances this season are up 25% over last year. That’s a huge difference, and it’s a trend that could only be expected to grow in popularity as interest from celebrities and other non-soccer fans has begun to increase.
Those who love to watch the sport should be encouraged to make the move and see what a game has to offer. In addition, the USA needs to put their best players on the field and give them a chance to shine.
The United States men’s national team will have a major opportunity to improve their reputation at the 2026 World Cup, which they will host alongside Canada and Mexico. They have the option of changing their coach before then, and if they can find the right candidate in this four-year cycle, they could turn the team around for good.