Corey and I forgot to talk about yesterday’s American Outlaws’ tifo for the US vs Turkey game on the podcast. The awe inspiring image of Lady Liberty holding not a torch but the golden World Cup trophy got me thinking. Can US Soccer actually achieve this “dream” and contend for a World Cup title in our lifetime, or is it in fact just a dream?
Call me crazy (or dare I say daft) but I believe that US Soccer can reach such lofty heights in our lifetime. Many things would have to improve of course including player development schemes and the structure of US Soccer leagues overall but look how far we have come as a country in soccer since the late 80’s. In 1990 the US made the World Cup for the first time since 1950 and we have made every World Cup since. We are to the point as a country that we expect not to only qualify for the World Cup, but we expect to get out of our group even in tough cases as this year where we are in the much talked about “Group of Death” with top five sides Germany and Portugal.
As soccer continues to grow in the country and MLS becomes more visible, over time a new generation of players will develop and hopefully they will be more technically gifted and tactically aware than the generation that preceded them. This increase in player development along with some smart scheduling by US Soccer in the future could see us reach a point where we are highly ranked in the FIFA rankings (much like we were in 2002) and possibly receiving a spot in the top seeded pot. From this pot an advantageous group can be had and anything is truly possible once you are in the knockout stages.
Winning the World Cup can be the new American dream and in my opinion it is an achievable one if we can continue to improve at our current pace as a footballing nation. So enjoy this year’s World Cup and introduce all of those you know to the beautiful game because a future US World Cup hero may be out there and might only need to see one moment from Brazil to become inspired to go on and play the game.