OT: The Real Failure of USMNT

Submitted by Swayze Howell Sheen on October 15th, 2017 at 12:10 PM

Excellent article by the other "Brian" on USMNT here.

If you don't know Brian Phillips's sportswriting, it's quite good (google around for more).

Here's a quote from this article:

Christian Pulisic, the 19-year-old who’s currently the 357th anointed savior of American men’s soccer, played pretty well. The rest of the team? Well, I’d say it was like watching a group of vacationing dentists try organized sport for the first time, but there are reasons to fear dentists. Dentists know how to hurt people.



October 15th, 2017 at 12:39 PM ^

The writing was on the wall during the 2014 World Cup; it was the last push of an ageing Golden Generation coupled with Klinsmann's tactics covering the deficiencies of the team. In a one-off tourney, tactics, discipline, and luck can overcome talent, as proven by Greece and Portugal in the UEFA tourney.

But 3 years later, it is inexcusable for USMNT to still rely on players way past their best. The current squad doesn't have the requisite quality, outside of Pulisic and a few other youngsters like Yedlin. And that is on the US soccer federation. People blamed Klinsmann, but without him, the US would not have progressed through the group stages in the last World Cup. Losing Brooks was a massive loss, but relying on Dempsey, Bradley, Beasely, Howard and expecting Jozy Altidore to transorm into a player he has never been (outside of misguided hype) are the primary reason for thos team's decline.

Even had they qualified, they would not have made it out of the group stage.


October 15th, 2017 at 1:56 PM ^

So here is the off topic post:


Michigan sports (obviously).
Big Ten stuff, or stuff about future opponents.
Meta posts about the blog itself.
University & Ann Arbor-related items.
Major collegiate news: Tim Floyd resigning is on topic.

College sports in general... at your discretion.

Things that are obviously off topic.
Pro sports.

Now "Pro Sports" was declared off topic in the beginning.  You were around back then.  That post was four months before you joined. 

But wait look:  Lions v. Saints thread!  A post for the NFL. 

That's because people care.  The Board went with it.   Soccer has been around from the beginning of this website and Board.  If you want to make your case, go to the moderators and make your case.

Otherwise, just admit to yourself that you don't like soccer so you find it irritating.  And that's okay.  Can't you comment on another post?


October 15th, 2017 at 2:29 PM ^

do care about it. That is exactly why I am commenting on it. I’m commenting that there are too many of them. We are in the middle of football season and people won’t stop writing USMNT. Everybody got a chance to talk about it. People should show some restraint and wrap it up now.


October 15th, 2017 at 1:50 PM ^

I still have yet to understand why the option to not click on a thread is just unacceptable in this case, this is one topic out of many, it's not like every other thread is a soccer one, it's easy to ignore, so take the easy option.


October 15th, 2017 at 1:20 PM ^

Jermaine Jones went on this 15 minute rant here

One point he makes is that the players should want to play in Europe (around the 8 minute mark).  MLS is hurting us.  It makes a lot of sense.  The best basketball players want to play in the NBA.  We should want to play in the La Liga, the Premier Leauge and Bundesliga -- not the MLS.  This is want Jürgen Klinsmann said.

Also, I wish we adopt something like the Iceland model.  "There is an artificial pitch next to every school in the country." and

"The licensing structure has done a great deal to standardize the level of instruction players receive, and in general, the more qualified coaches a country has the better that country is at soccer."


October 15th, 2017 at 1:37 PM ^

As somebody who was following the USMNT before 1986 (not easy), I thought this article was spot on.

I don't follow the politics of US soccer much though.  Who exactly is it that votes in February for / against Gulati? 

Is it a real election by a cross section of legitimate constituencies?  Or is it just a politburo-style rubber stamp committee of Gulati's cronies?

Given that this is international soccer, I don't have my hopes up for any real change.


The Dirty Nil

October 15th, 2017 at 2:23 PM ^

It's also hard to get kids over the age of 10 in the US to want to run around and kick a ball when they have a ton of other options for organized and unorganized sports.


October 15th, 2017 at 2:29 PM ^

"For me, and I think for many American fans, the immortal flub of this qualifying campaign has driven home the fragility of my faith in the team’s path. For a long time I was willing to tell myself that the professionals knew what they were doing. Now I think we’ve given too much trust to leaders who’ve done a better job selling their own competence than demonstrating it."

If that doesn't sum up the hubris of the United States right now - in nearly all of its aspects - I don't know what does.

US Soccer is the off-topic canary in the coal mine.



October 15th, 2017 at 4:07 PM ^

I have watched Premier league games and the odd Bundesliga match.

I have never had a doubt that I was watching a professional sports event with pro athletes participating.

By comparison, international soccers compete level is somewhere between spring training baseball, and Dancing with the Stars. It’s embarrassing.

I ended up being in Mexico where the epic Mexico-Honduras “game” was played. Neither team competed. Once in the lead, Honduras basically laid on the turf for the reminder of the game. The ref didn’t care. The players didn’t care.

If you try to claim this is an isolated game, the primary complaint about the USMNT also is they don’t compete.

Go ahead and follow pro soccer, if you want, but international soccer is not that.

Not by a long shot.

The players on the field should at least care as much as the posters on this blog. Problem is, they don’t.


October 15th, 2017 at 5:12 PM ^

That is your fault for watching CONCACAF, which, in my opinion, is the worst qualifying group with automatic places (excluding Asia). The UEFA tourneys and the CONEMBOL qualifiers have entertaining matches.International soccer will not be as mesmerizing as club soccer mostly because the time to develop chemistry is not there; but to say the players don't care is hogwash--did you not watch/read about Messi and Roman Torres delivering for their respective countries?


October 15th, 2017 at 6:27 PM ^

Evaluating groups and qualifications since the expansion to 32 WC invitations in 1998 (5 cups):

UEFA: 70 teams, 41 round of 16 (59%), 14 semifinals (20%).
CONMEBOL: 25 teams, 19 round of 16 (76%), 5 semifinals (20%).
CONCACAF: 17 teams, 9 round of 16 (53%), 0 semifinals.
CAF: 26 teams, 6 round of 16 (23%), 0 semifinals.
AFC: 20 teams, 4 round of 16 (20%), 1 semifinal (co-host South Korea) (5%).
OFC: 2 teams, 0 round of 16.

It's like the NCAA basketball tournament. You want to invite some mid-majors, so some decent ACC and Big Ten teams wind up in the NIT.

But I think CONCACAF is doing fine at the level it's at right now - AFC and CAF, not so good. South America seems to pay the price for this - there are some good CONMEBOL squads staying home this time.

That said, the US team doesn't deserve to be in next summer.