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https://www.theringer.com/2018/6/5/17428184/2018-world-cup-us-soccer-inside-story-jurgen-klinsmann-sunil-gulati-bruce-arena

In a sense, he’s not wrong. The failure to qualify for the World Cup was a collective failure of the entire American soccer community. It was a flawed outsider, Klinsmann, and his divisive leadership that clashed with an insular organization — led by Gulati — that was unwilling to loosen its grip on power or admit to its own mistakes. It was Arena’s overreliance on veteran players and his inability to reunite a divided locker room in a short period of time. The centralized power structure, and the small size of the media corps covering it, encouraged an echo chamber where the thought of missing the World Cup was considered impossible until it happened.

And, of course, a core group of U.S. national team players failed to get a result when they needed one. The burden of failure has fallen most heavily on their shoulders. For many veterans, the 2018 World Cup would have been their last shot to play in the world’s biggest sporting event. To be the team to have fallen short for the first time in 32 years was devastating for all of them.

Asked if there was a single snapshot of that night burned into their memory, multiple players recall the sight of Pulisic, the most blameless person in the entire catastrophe, still in full uniform, weeping in the shower.

“You just feel sorry for the kid, because a talent like his deserves to be seen on the world stage this summer,” McCarty said. “It is incumbent upon everybody in U.S. Soccer to make sure no other group of players ever has to feel that way again.”

Just in case anyone forgot what a colossal screw up the past few years were.

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When every men’s team in the world has its best athletes playing soccer, except for the USA, what does anyone expect? Our best men’s athletes are divided between football, basketball, and baseball. Soccer gets the leftovers.

 Contrast the men with the USA women’s team which has some of its better athletes committed to soccer. Yes, women in our country play other sports, but soccer is a major sport for women in comparison to other sports with the possible exception of basketball.

Is there any doubt If our best men’s athletes grew up playing soccer we would compete with the best in the world like our women do.

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Talent, or lack thereof had nothing to do with us not making it.  Complacency had everything to do with it.  During that entire qualifying cycle our guys played as if they were guaranteed a spot in the final. like all they had to do was show up and they would win.  Just look at Michael Bradley, he was pretty mediocre when playing for the U.S. in qualifying, but he was absolutely incredible when playing for Toronto FC in MLS, he played like a man possessed in the MLS Cup Final last December.  Where was that passion and fire during qualifying?  You could say the exact same thing about guys like Jozy Altidore, Fabian Johnson, and Geoff Cameron as well.  After the 4th round of matches, when they had 2 games left, I told just about everyone I knew that if Bruce Arena brought the same lineup to those last 2 games, we wouldn't qualify because those guys simply didn't understand or care what was at stake and the complete lack of a sense of urgency showed in almost every game.  I was told not to worry, we had it in the bag because Trinidad & Tobago was going to be using their C team in the final game, but sure enough, our "star" players once again failed to show up and were embarrassed and humiliated.  Arena absolutely should've given more of the younger guys a chance in those final 2 games due to the unwillingness of our "star" players to get down and dirty, if a nobody like me could see it, why couldn't they?

 

Fortunately we have some extremely talented young kids coming up through the ranks, probably the most talent we've ever had.  The future of U.S. soccer is very bright.

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Soccer is such a simple game with simple rules that make it pretty damn boring. The single most irritating thing with soccer is that you don't know exactly how much time is left in the game when the refs usually add extra time at the end. You don't know this until the last second before regulation ends. Very strange. 

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We should play Italy in a friendly during the later stages just to confuse folks.

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1 hour ago, soupslam1 said:

When every men’s team in the world has its best athletes playing soccer, except for the USA, what does anyone expect? Our best men’s athletes are divided between football, basketball, and baseball. Soccer gets the leftovers.

 Contrast the men with the USA women’s team which has some of its better athletes committed to soccer. Yes, women in our country play other sports, but soccer is a major sport for women in comparison to other sports with the possible exception of basketball.

Is there any doubt If our best men’s athletes grew up playing soccer we would compete with the best in the world like our women do.

America has it figured out. Men play real sports and women play soccer. 

 

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Here’s an interesting stat- 

The population of Iceland is 348,580. The country is so small that a dating app exists in Iceland to make sure people aren’t inadvertently dating a relative. No joke.

The population of of the United States is 325,145,963. Meaning that roughly for every 1 person in Iceland to choose from for the World Cup team, there are about another thousand Americans to draw from. 

Yet...Iceland put together a team that qualified for the World Cup. The United States? Not so much.

Let’s just put that into perspective. 

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1 hour ago, SixPack said:

Here’s an interesting stat- 

The population of Iceland is 348,580. The country is so small that a dating app exists in Iceland to make sure people aren’t inadvertently dating a relative. No joke.

The population of of the United States is 325,145,963. Meaning that roughly for every 1 person in Iceland to choose from for the World Cup team, there are about another thousand Americans to draw from. 

Yet...Iceland put together a team that qualified for the World Cup. The United States? Not so much.

Let’s just put that into perspective. 

We also don’t put the resources into soccer other counties do.  Our best athletes don’t play soccer.  

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4 hours ago, Nevada Convert said:

Soccer is such a simple game with simple rules that make it pretty damn boring. The single most irritating thing with soccer is that you don't know exactly how much time is left in the game when the refs usually add extra time at the end. You don't know this until the last second before regulation ends. Very strange. 

Just watch more.  You'll get it.  The end of the game is pretty predictable. 

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4 hours ago, Nevada Convert said:

Soccer is such a simple game with simple rules that make it pretty damn boring. The single most irritating thing with soccer is that you don't know exactly how much time is left in the game when the refs usually add extra time at the end. You don't know this until the last second before regulation ends. Very strange. 

 

¿Are you sure you aren't the "simple" one?

 

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¡VIVA el AMARILLO...VIVA COLOMBIA!

 

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Our best athletes or not, America not qualifying for the World Cup is ridiculous. Our best athletes don’t play hockey but we still compete for medals in international competition. Not qualifying out of CONCACAF is beyond unacceptable. We certainly have at least the second most talent in our region by a wide margin. An unfathomably rich nation of 330 million has more than enough available athletic talent to be elite at most sports, and still solid in soccer. Klinsmann seems to have set soccer back almost a decade in this country.

Oh well. Go Ingerland. Down with the Axis. Up with Africa. Soccer can still be fun even if I don’t really care this go around.

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18 minutes ago, thelawlorfaithful said:

Our best athletes or not, America not qualifying for the World Cup is ridiculous. Our best athletes don’t play hockey but we still compete for medals in international competition. Not qualifying out of CONCACAF is beyond unacceptable. We certainly have at least the second most talent in our region by a wide margin. An unfathomably rich nation of 330 million has more than enough available athletic talent to be elite at most sports, and still solid in soccer. Klinsmann seems to have set soccer back almost a decade in this country.

Oh well. Go Ingerland. Down with the Axis. Up with Africa. Soccer can still be fun even if I don’t really care this go around.

Not as many countries play hockey tho.  Less comp.

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1 minute ago, toonkee said:

Not as many countries play hockey tho.  Less comp.

True. But they’re almost all fuggin rich. The ability to capitalize on that talent pool is ferocious. The amount of poor kids in so many countries who could be good but for the infrastructure in allowing them to develop mitigates the fact that most of our best athletes are filtered out of soccer. There is still a huge pool of great athletes to pull from. It’s a double edged sword in that we lack the skills the kids in soccer crazy countries do. But we’re not bad enough to not qualify out of CONCACAF. That’s a travesty.

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25 minutes ago, thelawlorfaithful said:

@TheBigAwesome will you change the thread title and this can be our running World Cup thread?

Done 

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51 minutes ago, GoState99755 said:

 

¿Are you sure you aren't the "simple" one?

 

You liking soccer  totally makes sense. 😀

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Just for kicks :rimshot1:

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2018/6/4/17418470/world-cup-2018-which-team-root-for#comments

Costa Rica

A relatively tiny country has made five World Cups now, all of them recent, including a top-10 finish and takedowns of a couple big names. This sounds like Boise State.

Uruguay

A dirty team with some big wins a long time ago, all based in a (really beautiful!) area you probably wouldn’t visit otherwise: BYU

 

Makes sense.  Costa Rica needs a smurf turf - because real football is played on a blue field - and Uruguay claims to be the Notre Dame of South America.  

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