We lost the bid. To a country which (as other writers have eloquently explained) has absolutely no business being in the World Cup, much less hosting the World Cup. I am really, really getting tired, however, of the defeatist attitude of American soccer fans. FIFA is a corrupt, stupid organization which shames the game. We get it. But guess what, whining about how shitty a host Qatar is will not stop anything. It will not let us host the 2022 World Cup, nor will it push soccer in this country.
Many of my friends criticize soccer for being a girly or a if that isn’t sexist enough they can use a term more degrading sport. Right now, based off of many fans’ response to losing the bid, I am beginning to agree with them. In the past two days, the biggest problem in American soccer has been exposed. American soccer fans expect something external, some 22-man committee to make soccer big in this country. They expect that if only we could have one more World Cup, it would make soccer as big as it should be in this country. Just give us one more chance, FIFA. We can make the USA a soccer nation. Pretty please?
Guess what. We had a World Cup sixteen years ago. It gave us MLS. It helped a lot, and put soccer on the map. I cannot even imagine what those brave heroes who followed this noble game before ’94 went through trying to catch matches. PBS on Saturday mornings to catch just a shortened replay of the Bundesliga?
Soccer is growing in the United States, and as Jeff Bradley so eloquently put it, it will continue to grow despite the many up and downs that will no doubt come over the next half century. But it will grow, because the game is simply too fascinating and too exciting for fans to resist. Young kids growing up love the sport, and it is as avidly followed at my College as any top four sport (if not more followed).
What do we do now? We need to listen to the (self-declared) greatest manager of all time. We need to listen to Jose Mourinho. This is a guy who, simply by his personality and his influence, makes teams better. I don’t deny his wizardry behind the scenes, but his personality and his frankness are a big reason why teams (usually) crumble before Mourinho teams.
To borrow his words, we need to be Champions. I think the United States, should quite openly, set the expectation of winning the 2022 World Cup. If we make the final and lose, then we failed. I want to win the whole thing, and I want to do it in Qatar. We need to show that this community, this beautiful group of people who have made the game so great, the fans who have made American soccer what it is, can actually get shit done. The attitude that the national team needs is sure, we can have good days and bad days, but in the end, we are still going to kick your ass. Lets show some confidence. Clint Dempsey can outplay about any player in the world in 120 degree heat (he’s from rural Texas).
Stop calling us an underdog.
Lets act like the world power that we are. Lets beat the shit out of whatever shitty CONCACAF teams Warner throws at us. Dempsey scoring 6 on St. Lucia. With 50,000 American fans screaming at the tiny island nation’s pathetic national team? Lets have a manager who goes up at the press conference before our World Cup quarterfinal against England and says, “Well, England may have some good players, but I think that we can definitely outplay them.” It doesn’t matter if it isn’t true. What matters is that we stop whining about how the United States is some sorry ass little third world country who plays soccer like fucking Qatar. No, we play like Americans, and that means we play to kick your ass. Period. So here is what we do to make the United States a team that truly embodies the ass-kicking spirit that makes America so wonderful.
We need to stop playing weakened lineups in any competitive match. If you can’t put your top team in the tourney, don’t bother entering the tourney. We should win every Gold Cup between now and 2022. We should not lose in the United States in any competitive match.
We need to have the American stadiums rocking. Not loud. Rocking, like Highbury in the Eighties. We need Budweiser (or PBR)-fueled extravaganzas that put any College Football game to shame. I want other teams to be scared shitless to play the Americans in the United States.
We need to make the players famous. Not just in the soccer world, but they need to be celebrities. Michael Bradley is dating Taylor Swift? I certainly think he is, and I know Jake won’t be too happy about it. We have to constantly do everything we can, from fans, to bloggers, to the high up reporters, to the players themselves, to give exposure to soccer. Some of it needs to be bad press. We need a badass on the team, who say things they shouldn’t. We need our Chad Ochocinco, who can get press for simply being an idiot. We need more media coverage, and we need to sing the praises of Americans who go abroad.
We need to make enemies. We need to antagonize other teams’ players. If our own guys aren’t getting it done (I’m looking at you Bornstein), we need to antagonize them, and tell them what we think. But I want Chicharito to be scared out his mind whenever he steps into an American stadium. Bob Bradley is our guy, and we need to give him time. But he needs to know, he has four years to make us into contenders, or else he is out.
This site has been a great contribution to the discourse. But its time to nut up or shut up. Lets go win a World Cup, and lets see who can stop us. First match is against Chile in January. Three and a half years until Brazil 2014. Twelve until Qatar. You want to lose to Ghana again in the round of 16? Go out in the group stages with a single point?
Of course not. So what are you going to do about it?
Sean McElroy is a contributing writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter at @fulhamerican.
Filed Under: December 2010
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