Blog template Rock the Crossbar: The Harsh Reality

Rock the Crossbar

Tuesday, June 6

The Harsh Reality

Back in the day, I remember Soccer America describing reactions in the French press to our being awarded the 1994 World Cup with warnings that the U.S. would one day become a footballing power and that people could either embrace that fact or fear it. Regardless of timing (and, for that matter, results in this World Cup, which I remain hopeful about), I happen to agree with that assessment and stand by the bet I've offered previously: that we will win our first World Cup before England wins its second (keep the 2010 rubbish to yourselves, please, as I've never actually "drank the Kool Aid"). In that spirit, I thought this was a pretty good take on things all told. http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/worldcup06/2006/06/06/get_ready_to_dislike_america.html

7 Comments:

  • Not a bad read this. Though Tom, there is a decent chance England will put it together this year and yuor bet be lost - the US has no chance of winning this year. IN further years I worry that the influx of foreigners into the Premiership will hurt our chances a lot so your argument then may come true.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 3:47 PM  

  • Absolutely agree, Simon. I'll be very happy to see us in the second round and shocked if we get past that point. Would have picked England as easily the top challenger to Brazil this year prior to Rooney's injury. Looking at them, it's amazing how many once-in-a-generation players there are in the squad: Beckham (for better or worse), Gerrard, maybe Lampard, probably Owen, and definitely Rooney. Just don't see the next generation (other than Rooney) living up to that standard. If you don't take my money this year, it's anybody's guess as to who wins that bet.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 3:54 PM  

  • On balance, a decent read. Would like to point out that the US did not beat England in the War of Independence. Even Yorketown was a French victory where the British were ordered to remain on a penisula and the fleet diverted to the West Indies to protect the rum trade.

    Also, I see England in the ascendancy. Jamaica were sheer crap but it was stunning to see the way England whipped the ball about.

    The US is getting better but still need to learn how to play the game. They are well drilled and organized but simply don't know how to create chances apart from crosses.

    End of day, it's better to stop discussing "soccer" going mainstream in America. The yahoos will not allow it. It can be a niche sport like hockey and nothing's wrong with that. Also, I'm sick of assholes ignoring something for 95% of the year and then professing to be an expert on it.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 4:15 PM  

  • Phhh!

    You should see burkie during 'Wimbledon week'...

    http://www.anghita.com/tennis/celebrities/images/SrCliffRichard/tennis.jpg

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 4:51 PM  

  • The problem with this time of year, every four years, is that newspaper editors in the USA assign WC human interest stories to writers who know absolutely NOTHING about football. Thus, you get the fluff pieces about the US team and its chances to reach the semifinals (today's NY Post), fluff pieces about Landycakes (every paper in America this week) and fluff pieces about Bruce Arena (uh, surprise that U. of Virginia players Albright and Olsen, who both suck royally, are on the roster as they played for the mumbling midget in college). There is no way that the USA will win a WC before England wins a second. Impossible. Sadly, lacrosse is growing so fast here that it is now taking a slice of potential soccer players out of the fold. That sport is doing a great job of marketing to kids/parents. So, now, you have developing athletes choosing basketball, or football, or baseball, then soccer or lacrosse. Too middle/upper class here on the pitches: no hunger, no yearning. Great athletes, yes, but brain dead.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 8:23 PM  

  • Lacrosse? You're kidding, right? Really not trying to pick a fight, GAC, but where have you spent your time, and have you heard of Duke University? Look, I won't get into class identity issues with soccer and lacrosse, as it's far more complicated than the American media is willing to admit in the case of either sport, but I think it's safe to say that lacrosse won't seriously threaten the well-being of soccer in the U.S. Taking nothing away from lacrosse, just because a bunch of kids in suburban pockets have picked up a stick for the first time doesn't erase the good work done by soccer and its people over the last 30-40 years. If you were expecting explosive growth (i.e. SPORT OF THE FUTURE TODAY), then I suppose lax might represent an actual obstacle, but if you've been willing to commit to and accept slow and steady growth...well, then, we're in good shape.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 11:45 PM  

  • I see your point and I hope it proves correct over the long haul. In the short term, though, my biggest worry is that - in their outreach programs - state lacrosse associations are going into the 'hoods and giving sticks to the natives.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 8:37 PM  

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