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US National Soccer Team – How Can It Get Better?

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The international career of the US national soccer team got off on a roaring start during the 1930 inauguration of the World Cup. The US qualified for the semi-finals despite the tournament being dominated by South American teams. However, the USA team performed rather poorly after that. Aside from 2002 where the team reached the quarterfinals, in the international tournaments the men’s national team performed badly. In the 2007 Copa America, the US was badly defeated by their South American competitors. It is quite baffling because the US has one of the most gifted athletes in the world. They also have unlimited resources for athletic equipment and training.

The main reason why the US cannot match up to its international competitors is that they lack the skill that the rest of the world has. The ball movement in the US is less fast, less crisp and not as accurate compared to how it is being played in the other parts of the world. The US style of attack is also very predictable. If the US wants to become an offensive threat, they have to incorporate creativity and ingenuity into their game. Defense has become more of a choice than an integral part of their game. The national team’s inadequacies are quite a lot, from their substandard distribution to inefficiency in defending the goal. Simply stated, the US is overmatched in international tournaments.

US athletes must leave their country to join more prestigious leagues in other parts of the world in order to train and learn new techniques. If you study the rosters of their international counterparts, you will see a trend wherein their players are very much experienced in playing with the top leagues in other parts of the globe with the best opponents around. The level up the game, you have to play against these worthy opponents who will push you to your limits.

Let’s take Brazil for example. Every one of their starting players left Brazil to compete in the top European leagues. On the contrary, less than half of the US starting lineup players in MLS is all less talented. Those who actually play internationally have been playing for quite some time. Without the needed experience, the US team will just end up with more disappointment by losing more games.

On the bright side, recently more US players have been signing up with overseas teams. Players such as Clint Dempsey and Benny Feilhaber have become more talented and technical players. There is more hope now for the US team. Hopefully, they will be a good example on how to improve one’s career and they will be emulated by other younger players. Otherwise, the US team will not be able to defeat the French and Brazilian teams of the world.

Several people say that it is not a great idea that the MLS is sending all their talented and young players overseas because it prevents the growth of the American team. I do agree with their opinion. But if the MLS keeps their young talent within America, the national team will just retain their status quo at being in a substandard level. The teams that have sent their players overseas for training suffered in the domestic games. But look at Argentina, Holland, Portugal and the Czech Republic- they are forces to reckon with.