November 20, 2017

America needs to care about soccer like the rest of the world does

The USA soccer team did not qualify to play in the World Cup in Russia. After losing against Trinidad and Tobago 2-1, they did not have enough points to qualify. You probably did not know, or you just don’t care. The World cup is one of the most anticipated championships just like the Olympics. Everyone in the world wants to go and watch the game to support their countries. The World Cup is the biggest party and the clash of cultures with one thing in common: the passion for playing soccer.

When I heard that the US soccer team did not qualify for the world cup, I burst into laughter. After cleaning my tears and I composed myself. I also found out that my country Ecuador did not qualify either and I  felt disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong, I am surprised that both countries did not qualify for the world cup. I share feelings with those few Americans who are passionate about soccer.

The USA is one of the countries to be last on the list to be interested in soccer. Can you blame me for criticizing America for not putting the effort to participate in the sport? Sure you have your sports like football, basketball and baseball. I get it. It just makes me sad America is not apart of the excitement for soccer like Ecuador. Just how football is like a religion for Americans, it the same thing with soccer for the rest of the world.    

At the same time, there is a sign of progress. America is getting good at soccer day by day and learning from their mistakes. I mean just watching a couple of soccer games at the national level is like seeing players from high school. From high school and college level of training, it is understandable how they play, but we are talking national teams here. In Europe or South America local teams play as their lives depend on it. At least the USA soccer team is learning the classic plays from Europe and South America.

According to Bruce Arena the coach of the USA soccer team said “as our league continues to grow, it benefits the national team. We have some good young players coming up.”        

At least he is right on that. Here in St. Louis, they are trying to encourage soccer programs to have the initiative to go into professional teams. Which I have respect for.  It is a step, a baby step, but a step. In another part of the country, they have developed an excellent, substantial way to get new players for men and women. This upgrade may open a new door for new players and maybe will train the next Messi or Neymar. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves; it is a possibility. They can even get the chance to be recruited by some scouts and play with the big boys. Like dominant local team, from other countries like Real Madrid in Spain, Manchester United from London or Boca Junior in Argentina. 

In fact, in the last couple of years, I was more impressed with the women’s soccer team division. They have been winning more tournaments than the men’s soccer division. I give credit to that team since they have not only been winning championships, but they have been making a lot of noise for equal pay between the players. They made awareness about the sport and made this country have a ray of hope they can be part of the world of soccer.

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