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Will the US ever win the World Cup?


TexasGers
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http://soccernet.espn.go.com/world-cup/columns/story/_/id/5140891/ce/us/us-ever-win-world-cup?cc=5901&ver=us

This is an excerpt from a World Cup companion book coming out soon.

ROGER BENNETT: America will win the World Cup in my lifetime. I have no doubt of that, even though I'm the co-author who's English. The country that won the Battle of Saratoga, put the first man on the moon, and persuaded the world to part with five dollars for a cup of coffee will find a way to win. It just has to turn its mind to the task. …

DAVID HIRSHEY: Much as I've been praying to the Landon Donovan shrine in my home -- wait, you must be referring to the U.S. women's team. Sure, they'll win the World Cup again.

BENNETT: Careful -- you sound like you've internalized the worst of American soccer low self-esteem. The collapse of the NASL in the '80s taught us one thing: American soccer success cannot be fabricated overnight. Its growth will be slow and steady. I draw confidence from the way the game has evolved in this country. Not from Major League Soccer, but from the number of Americans with the skills to compete in the major leagues across Europe.

HIRSHEY: I'm sorry to be so unpatriotic, but name me one American player other than Donovan who possesses the speed and guile to carve open a world-class defense. You need game-breakers like Messi and Kaká to win the World Cup and the U.S. just doesn't have them despite all the promises over the last decade that we were creating a master soccer race in our youth academies. Remember good ol' Project 2010? It was U.S. Soccer's rose-tinted blueprint for the national team that they unveiled to great fanfare in 1998? Can you guess what the goal was? To win the World Cup in 2010! Project 2030, anyone?

BENNETT: How many Turks or South Koreans could you have named before they reached the semifinals in 2002? It was their organization and work ethic that took them so far. But, with or without a good American run deep into this tournament, the sport's American profile will improve, courtesy of the unprecedented exposure the sport is receiving, thanks to ESPN's investment (in HD no less, and excuse the product placement). For the first time since Pelé's New York Cosmos -- and for all the right reasons -- soccer is no longer considered a dirty little secret to be buried in the back of the sports section. What impact do you think that will have on younger viewers watching at home?

HIRSHEY: Perhaps your job history at Best Buy has you a bit confused but raising a remote control, even if it's for HDTV, is not the same as raising the World Cup trophy. A good Cup showing by America and all that media coverage will spike soccer's popularity, but, for the sake of American soccer, I sure hope that a good percentage of your imaginary kids watching the U.S. run riot on the small screen also possess a mean left foot.

BENNETT: And, I might add, a good dose of the old American profit motive. Soccer stars are now among the highest paid sportsmen in the world, and as the great American philosopher Gordon Gekko once said, "Greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit."

HIRSHEY: What salaries are you looking at -- the hundreds of millions that Ronaldo and Kaká make? The last time I checked, some of the Americans who were playing alongside David Beckham when he came to the Galaxy were pulling in a whopping $12,500. The bottom line is, flashing a wad of bills is not the answer to making the U.S. a World Cup contender. There are some goals, like saving the planet or marrying Gisele, that can take generations to achieve.

BENNETT: Mark my words, ye of little faith: The United States will bring home the World Cup before they ever win the World Baseball Classic.

For me, the most important thing that needs to happen is the youth coaching needs to improve. Perhaps as more and more Americans play overseas and get exposed to European methods, then it will gradually get better- but that's a process that will take decades. A few MLS teams have youth academies, but like Murray Park, you can't flick a switch and produce Xavi and Iniesta.

If the proper resources are invested, then I think the US can win it, but probably not any time soon.

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If they could find some way to turn kids away from Baseball/Basketball/Gridiron/Hockey, then within our lifetime, maybe.

However, despite growing rapidly in popularity over there, it isn't anywhere near as popular as the mainstream sports and I can't see anything happening to change the status quo.

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Unlikely. American football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball and athletics will always be bigger draws for promising kids. We will have an African and Asian team will soon enough though.

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Americans are starting to take notice of the money that can be made in football or soccer as they call it, wasn't that long a go a American paper pointed out the the EPL was paying out more money than the NFL.

Our very own DMB was on FIFA Futbol Mundial, say the tide is turning with the American youth when they are picking a sport career to follow.

If they do manage to capitalize on this, I have no doubts they could become a major player for a World cup in my lifetime.

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Under a possible set of circumstances, yeah. Football would need to continue to grow, other major sports like baseball, American football, basketball and ice hockey would all need to decline. They would need a decent continental competition (Perhaps allowing MLS teams to compete in the Copa Libertadores?) and integrate more with their Central/South American neighbours.

I wouldn't be surprised to see American football decrease in popularity in the next few decades. Lots of former players have been diagnosed with dementia and other brain disorders, so it's going to get to a point where either the rules change so much that people won't be as interested, or parents will not want their children exposed to it and will look for alternatives like futbol.

We have the CONCACAF Champions League, which is a decent start to integrating better with Central American teams, so we'll see how that develops in the coming years.

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I play competitive football in Canada and I've been to tournaments in the States and also played 3 SPL youth teams and I'll tell you what, I found it MUCH tougher against the yanks.

They're not as good of footballers as the Scottish teams but the boys down there are just too bloody athletic, you can't match the speed and strength.

If they get better coaching and get a footballing brain the americans will soon have a very good side. Only problem is those guys in the States play other sports and don't focus on just football, so when it comes time to get their scholarships for College/Uni they have more opportunities with the likes of American Football and Baseball.

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I'm 48, so the US better hurry up and win the WC in my lifetime. :):wink:

Nevertheless, I concur with others that the youth football programs in the US will need excellent coaches who can expose their players to different styles from other parts of the world.

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Greece have shown you don't need excellent players to win things, so yes I believe the USA can and will win a WC certainly in my life time, much sooner than most think IMO

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