How is America not in the World Cup? Denmark made it, they have under 6 million people in the entire country. Costa Rica is in and they have under 5 million people in the country. Panama is in with a flat 4 million give or take a head or two. Uruguay is in with under 3.5 million souls. And Iceland is in with a similar head count to Santa Ana, CA. American stays home at 325 million people. Who the hell is responsible for that fiasco?
Are we to believe that the “but they grew up with it and that is all they know” nonsense is gospel? We have a whole extra set of zeros over Iceland. Does that not translate to one thousand times more? Somehow the fact that these men grew up loving soccer is going to erase a 1000-1 ratio. How many men grew up in America loving soccer? Denmark
Iceland has around 170,000 men and let’s assume for the sake of argument ALL of them grew up with a soccer ball attached to their leg. Their pool is now 170,000….every male regardless of age, athletic ability and interest in soccer. America has roughly 16 million males playing soccer…actively playing the sport. Toss out the rec league player and the very young and that number is cut to around 11 million males.
Even if we take just the competitively relevant here in American and pit them heads up against every Y chromosome in the entire county of Iceland, we still have 65 times more people to pick from. With the bodies, the facilities and the cash this country has, America should not only be in the World Cup, they should win it having spotted every team a couple of goals.
Rest assured, our Messi is here…our Renaldo is here. Probably in triplicate. Unfortunately the first word in “governing body” is governing. And the United States Soccer Federation is definitely falling in line with other governing stalwarts like USA Gymnastics and the NCAA. Soccer is no longer an up and coming sport in America, it is here and it has been here for a while.
The USSF is now a couple of generations deep in completely under developing superstars. These people at the top all know talent, soccer is the only thing they actually know, Based on sheer numbers and resources, it is seemingly impossible to roll out a 2018 national soccer team that wasn’t loaded with a handful of Messi’s and Renaldo’s. And certainly one capable of at least qualifying as one of the 32 best teams on earth.
And while howling at the moon rarely draws a response from the moon, sometimes it just feels good to howl. And any sport that a child goes into that reports to a “governing body” should be examined with large doses of pessimism. Perhaps the fact that the World Cup is coming to The Americas in 8 years should help. The only guarantee of complete success is to stop letting bureaucrats stay employed and dictate to the country the list of reasons why America didn’t win again.
This is not an essay about winning, this is a declaration against consistent under performance. And that under performance tag can be applied in multiple places. This is not a “win at all costs” message. This is a message to say that the US not qualifying for the world cup is like the Dallas Cowboys getting stomped by the Pop Warner Mitey-Mite Raiders from the El Paso “Y”.