The US men national teams have shown their full dominance in many sports, Except Soccer! This is something that has really made me curious lately …
… To the point, that I’ve went out there and made a ton of research to understand why.
In this article, I breakdown 15 different reasons why US men’s soccer team is bad.
Let’s dive in!
1. Limited Talent
It’s a harsh reality to admit the US has no talent in soccer. Are their amazing players, yes, but how do they stack up against the rest of the world? Not so well.
Players such as up and coming Chrstian Pulisic is one of the few names the world has heard of. But, he also plays for Chelsea, one of the UK’s premiere clubs. So, does that make him a full blown American only superstar? Yes and no. He may play in the US, but it’s more likely he’ll end up staying with Chelsea for the long haul.
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2. Dual-National Players
Finding top players with skills is difficult. Which is why from a young age athletes with potential are built up to become world class players. As they progress while getting older, young players have the option to play for multiple countries.
And, this is one reason why the US is bad at soccer. If a kid has the choice between playing in the US or Mexico, then you can guarantee they will choose Mexico. At least in Mexico, they have a better chance of developing into a world class athlete.
While in the US, their abilities are stunted in the long run.
3. Rotating Door of Talent
Good players come and go. Like previously mentioned Christian Pulisic, top players do not stick around and find themselves playing in clubs outside the US.
Can anyone blame them?
As a player, it makes sense to want to move to a team that will produce a championship, and pay a higher salary along the way. What ends up happening is soccer players make a name for themselves that branch out to foreign teams.
It’s nothing more than a rotating door of talent for the US Men’s soccer team.
4. Average Coaching
You don’t have to have been a previous professional player in order to be a coach of a team. But, it sure does help.
As long as talent continues to move outside of the US, then there’s less likely a chance that a US coach will be one that has one a championship.
It takes a champ to know what it takes to be champ. Unless these players return back to the US to become coaches, then the US is stuck with those that have never been champs on a global scale.
A championship is not a requirement, but it sure does help.
5. Places to play are not that available!
Young players in the US do not have as many places to play soccer as compared to somewhere like Brazil for example.
What ends up happening is that under privileged children do not have the same opportunity to develop into a professional player.
They are not starting young like other countries. A pickup game of soccer could be that spark that changes a casual interest in the sport into a lifelong passion to compete on the grandest stage – FIFA.
This means there’s not as much interest in the sport when compared to the rest of the world.
6. American clubs can’t participate in FIFA’s Laws
The US Soccer Federation and the MLS Players Union do not allow American club teams to take advantage of FIFA’s Laws regarding Training Compensation and Solidarity Payments.
This means professional clubs do not help with paying for training and development costs towards players between the ages of 12 and 21
Youth clubs are not financially rewarded for building up a player. So, there’s no incentive for developing a young player.
This severely limits the full potential of young players as they grow into becoming professional players.
7. No incentive for developing players
In the long run, younger players of American youth clubs are disenfranchised when compared to their global competitors.
As other countries begin creating the next Ronaldo from a very young age, American teams are left to figure things out on their own.
It takes years to become a top player such as Messi. When American teams come face to face with global opponents, they start immediately at a disadvantage.
Unless the previously mentioned organizations help financially reward for developing star players, the American youth clubs will remain under privileged and continue to spit out players unable to stand up against competition.
8. Not in America’s Blood
The US is not known for its soccer. Football, yes. Soccer, no. because of this young athletes choose other sports besides soccer.
No long term development for becoming the next top soccer player happens in the US.
What you get is a handful of passionate players that make up the US Men’s soccer team. However, passion is not enough to win championships. You also need skill.
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9. Expensive soccer camps
Becoming a top player takes time and dedication. Soccer camps are perfect places for shaping young athletes into top notch competitors. However, these camps are expensive. Most upper class parents tend to drop their kids off at these camps in order to keep their children busy – sometimes these kids have no interest in the sport.
All the while, underprivileged children that do have passion for the sport are unable to attend these expensive camps. The next soccer star could be a child that couldn’t afford to be taken to the next level.
10. Other sports have priority
The Super Bowl is the largest sporting event in the US. Next to that is basketball’s NBA championship followed up with baseball’s World Series.
America has become complacent with not being a soccer country. There’s little support for soccer because other sports dominate in the country. Kids are more encouraged to play these three other sports besides soccer.
Soccer has grown in popularity over the years in the US. It has not grown enough to become as big as the other three though. This means there’s less support for the US Men’s team, or young athletes working there way up to the US Men’s team.
11. There’s no fan base
Without fans there’s no will to win. Or, on the other hand no money coming in from ticket sales that help with rising costs to run a team. There’s no development or proper training. What’s left is non world class coaches or players that are not able to compete on a global level.
On top of that, without a fan base the possibility of a young fan turning soccer into a passion is non existent. The next top player of the world could be somewhere in the US, but no one would know because that kid would never be exposed to the world of soccer.
No fan base, no new players that might just be the next big thing to hit the field.
12. No incentive for foreign talent to join
The US makes it difficult for foreign players to want to join the team. Whether it’s because of salary or no sense of direction for future players, it remains a mess to get quality foreign talent on the US Men’s soccer team.
Unless the US can begin recruiting players from outside the US to want to join the team, they can expect continuous less than stellar seasons.
If they are not willing to develop strong players, the least they can do is gather better talent from other countries.
13. Scouts ignoring talent
An underlying issue lies in talent scouts. They are skipping over foreign talent. Mexico has strong players that will make an impact on American teams. Rather than consider scouting talent from south of the border, they are sticking within the nation’s borders.
What they are left with is sub-par talent that can not compete on a global level. If they opened their borders to include other countries, then there’s a possibility the US team wouldn’t be so bad.
Until then, there are plenty of missed opportunities by skipping over foreign talent.
14. A long loss streak creates low morale
If you know the other team is going to win, do you even try? Well, from the outside that seems to be what’s going through the minds of the US Men’s soccer team. It is as though they expect to lose before the match starts.
The reason it looks this way is because of their meek playstyle. There’s no break from conventional play. On the opposite end of the spectrum, imagine Brazilian teams and their ability to be creative on the field.
Years of losses may have caused the slump.
15. The US is not a soccer nation
There’s no passion for the sport in the US and it reflects on a global scale. There’s no young soccer player built up, there’s no one thinking outside the box on the field, and there’s no one with experience to lead the team to victory.
Unless the US dedicates the time to build players from a young age and continue to develop into professional roles, there will never be a chance the US will be able to compete with the rest of the world.
It takes more than fancy facilities, which the US has plenty of, in order to make a championship winning team. Until the US takes men’s soccer seriously, a championship win is out of the question.
The US Men’s team could learn a lot from their counterpart, the US Women’s Soccer team.
Final Thoughts …
Even if the US men’s soccer team is not as superior as it should be, I still think that the future is bright in so many ways …
… The reason I am saying this is when I look at the MLS. This league is totally different from what it was 10 years ago!
It became more competitive which means that the talents that will rise from it will bring a lot to the US men’s national team in the future!
At the end, I would love that you check this article about Soccer in Canada and how the sport has gained so much popularity lately … You will find that quite helpful!