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US Overreacts to U-23 USMNT Olympic Qualification Defeat

The dust has settled, the bitter acrimony has crested and now it is time for perspective. The United States will not be going to the London Summer Olympics. Neither will France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Australia, the Ivory Coast and Ghana. England wouldn’t have qualified either if it weren’t part of the hosting Great Britain team. Spain qualified, but for only the first time since 2000. Brazil’s qualified as well, but has never won gold.

Still, the indictments came down harder than the old Giants Stadium turf; despite America’s illustrious non-qualifying company. NESN’s Marcus Kwesi O’Mard said ‘mediocrity has become normal.’ The San Francisco Chronicle’s Alan Black deemed that American soccer lacks ‘hunger.’ It gets worse. The Denver Post’s Chuck Murphy brazenly blamed the poor performance on the players’ privileged background claiming, “…many of the players, all of them highly skilled, have been coddled for most of their athletic lives…Hardscrabble? Hardly. A couple are the children of university professors. One is Ghanian royalty. Several attended the prestigious IMG Academy.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Tim Warsinskey deemed the U.S. an ‘embarrassment’ and was left so despondent as to contemplate whether “…American soccer’s future is in its past.”

Depressing reading, but the level of invective is unwarranted in light of the relative meaningless of the Olympic soccer tournament and the historical lack of qualifying by many of the sport’s traditional titans. For example, France has qualified once since copping gold in 1984, Holland has qualified once since 1952, Germany has yet to qualify since unification, and Uruguay has qualified for the first time since 1928.

No nation’s World Cup win has been preceded by Olympic gold since Italy’s 1936 triumph. Moreover, the U.S. failed to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics, yet has qualified for every subsequent World Cup, and lifted the Gold Cup in 2005 and 2007.

So let’s slow our roll on the doom and gloom. And if Canada’s 2-0 win portends a new power up north, so be it. Stronger CONCACAF competition will only beget stronger American soccer.

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  1. Andy

    April 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    @Gazza MLS better develop pro/rel or its going nowhere. Not having
    pro/rel in this country is hurting our national team prospects and
    I’m tired of ignorant people like you who know nothing about soccer
    telling us we don’t need pro/rel. Look around the fucking world how
    the sport is structured and where its most successful.

  2. Andy

    April 9, 2012 at 1:24 am

    @Gazza I hate salary caps. All it does is lead to mediocrity. Like
    someone else said the NFL can have a salary cap because American
    football is not an international sport. I’m pretty sure MLS is the
    only soccer league in the world that has a salary cap. In fact MLS
    does many things that are more consistent with other American
    sports rather than being more consistent with how soccer is
    structured and played around the globe. I think this is very wrong
    and its one reason domestic soccer in this country is still so
    niche. Like I said. Not living in a city with a MLS team means I
    don’t really have an incentive to follow the league. I’ll watch
    games now and then but if during the middle of the season you asked
    me who had the top records in the league I wouldn’t be able to tell
    you. This is MLS’s and domestic soccers problem. They only appeal
    to soccer fans in MLS cities while other leagues around the world
    have national appeal in their countries because of pro/rel. As far
    as playoffs I don’t mind that there is a playoff. It probably could
    be done better(maybe a group playoff system would work). I think
    having pro/rel is so vital that without it soccer in this country
    is really going to start to regress. There are so many of us out
    there that follow our local USL clubs, go to games and support them
    but we don’t watch MLS. And then there are those that see no point
    in following the local USL club because they know they can never
    get promoted. Not having pro/rel just sucks big time.

    • Gazza

      April 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      @Andy The NHL and NBA have salary caps and are international
      sports. All the best players in the world come to our leagues. As
      for your point about not following the league because there’s not a
      team in your area …… I’m not buying it. Because you can support
      a team or teams thousands of miles away in Europe. If you don’t
      like MLS then don’t follow it. Don’t come to MLS centric websites
      telling people ‘If only MLS did this ,,,, I would follow it’ when
      it is simply not true. The league is growing stronger every year
      and will do so with or without you. MLS will never adopt pro/rel
      for several reasons – the first being the owners are not that
      stupid. They see what’s going on in Europe. They know fans will
      never support a league structure where 2 or 3 teams can win the
      title for decades on end.

  3. The original Tom

    April 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    It was Alan that mentioned 50 years, sorry. The irony is that this
    whole thing blew up over something I don’t give a toss about-
    Olympic soccer. I’ll follow the Euros, MLS, and Olympic women’s
    soccer this summer- that will be more than enough. We’ve all made
    our points, time to move on.

    • Charles

      April 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Agreed, we have games to watch this weekend and this thing is wide
      open, unless you stink in the East, in which case KC has it wrapped
      up barring injuries.

  4. The original Tom

    April 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Charles- I actually meant teams in Europe and the world catching up
    to Barcelona, but, given 50 years, a team in Spain might also. The
    TV structure might change, a team like Valencia might grow its
    brand, and Barcelona might one day be mismanaged. They are owned by
    their members (fans), which might prove to be limiting. I’ll also
    be rooting for any 3rd team that can usurp the big two- the last on
    was 2004 . ——————– Alan, – I prefer college football
    to the NFL. No franchise moves, less government subsidies for
    stadiums, but most of all, more teams, bigger differences in the
    set-ups, and big upsets and desperate heartbreaks between clubs
    -colleges- of mismatched size and tradition. And more fans in
    stadiums as opposed to at home. ————- But I do agree with
    you that there are some predictability problems in Spain and
    England. I love Real Madrid to go on a multi-year swoon the like
    the recent U of Texas football teams (or like Liverpool’s, come to
    think of it).

    • Robert

      April 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Valencia is a clear example of a well managed club and developing
      players. They sold off David Villa and David Silva and Juan Mata to
      avoid their debt issues all while still trying to fund their new
      stadium and currently sitting third in La Liga. Not an easy feat

      • Charles

        April 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm

        I am fine with them finished third, as long as they know they
        cannot, and should not win it. That is for the big money teams
        only. We can’t have a Tijuana winning, that would be dumb.

    • Charles

      April 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      50 years ?!?! Ok, sorry if/when I said forever, I meant in my
      lifetime. Real Madrid is NOT going to go the way of Liverpool.
      England shares money (like MLS only not as smart), Spain does not.

  5. Andy

    April 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Forced parity is terrible for sports leagues. This is why i don’t
    like salary caps. As far as playoffs and pro/rel these are two
    different issues. My point has been that not having pro/rel hurts
    the growth of our national team and prevents a soccer culture from
    forming in this country. You could have playoffs or not have
    playoffs and it wouldn’t affect the national team.

    • Alan

      April 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      NFL is doing just fine with parity.

      • Robert

        April 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

        @ALAN, NFL doesn’t compete internationally, which is why they can
        have salary caps. Imagine if NFL was played globally most of our
        A-list players will go to where the money is if NFL still operated
        under a salary cap. NFL is a freaking joke anyway.

        • weezee

          April 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm

          That is so true MLS will continue to suck if they cant attract
          quality players.To attract quality players it takes $. With the
          current salary structure the league will only attract players who
          cant make the cut in better paying leagues

          • Alan

            April 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm

            I am all for a higher salary cap. I am not for having 2 teams win
            every year just to attract better players. Then the league will
            really suck.

    • Gazza

      April 4, 2012 at 1:58 am

      @Andy What is forced parity? Do you mean all clubs playing by the
      same rules? What is the benefit of not having a salary cap?

      • Charles

        April 4, 2012 at 10:07 am

        Forced parity is when they give every team a shot of winning
        instead of just Andy’s team.

      • Robert

        April 4, 2012 at 10:38 am

        @Gazza, I’m not sure what you do for a living but I can sure as
        hell bet you want to be paid for what you are worth and what you
        bring to a company. If your company doesn’t pay you for all your
        hard work I can bet you wouldn’t be with that company for too long

        • Alan

          April 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

          You do this a lot. Someone working in a job and someone competing
          in a sport are 2 completely different things. Sometimes they happen
          to be one in the same but they don’t go by the same rules. Besides,
          you can still be well-paid under a salary cap. Sure, MLS has a low
          salary cap and I hope to see it rise, but at a certain point, it
          needs to level off. For EPL, it should level off around the point
          that the lowest teams can reasonably be expected to afford. Then a
          team like Fulham might be able to win a championship and I could
          actually root for them. I love how people say that it is pointless
          to root for a team that can’t get promoted but that it isn’t
          pointless to root for a team that can’t spend enough to win. NFL is
          extremely profitable with salary caps and players make a lot of

          • Robert

            April 4, 2012 at 11:57 am

            Alan, those guys competing in a sport is their job. It’s how they
            pay their bills and put food on the table. They aren’t playing
            sports to make you feel good about your city. Again, NFL can have a
            salary cap and be able to put on a quality show because guess what?
            Where else are the players going to play?

          • Alan

            April 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

            If you had read what I wrote, I said that it was their job, but
            they are under a different set of rules. It just so happens that it
            is a sport AND their job. The fact that it is their job doesn’t
            change the rules for competition. NHL has a salary cap and their
            are other hockey leagues around the world. Players still come here
            to play, and NHL is still looked at as the best league in the
            world. The same could hold true for NFL players. Besides, other
            countries spending themselves into debt doesn’t justify another
            country sacrificing competitiveness. Competitiveness should be
            based on teamwork, coaching, training, hard work, etc, not money.

          • Charles

            April 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm

            Robert, you are completely off base. Where is a MLS guy going to go
            ? Seriously, if it is so easy, so desired, so profitable, why are
            so many signing with MLS ? Why because they WANT to stay in the US.
            Because there are not that many teams that pay better or enough
            better for them to learn Swedish.

          • Robert

            April 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

            @Alan, please stop comparing soccer to sports that are only played
            and or closed off to foreign competition. NHL is only the best
            league in the world because it doesn’t compete internationally.
            Players come here because we pay more. Simple Simple. The NHL
            champion doesn’t play the Northern European Champion. Just like
            NFL, MLB, NBA etc.

          • Robert

            April 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

            @Charles, the MLS Guy is going to get a full time job because he is
            not good enough to compete at the highest level.

          • Alan

            April 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm

            We can pay more because of how popular hockey is here. We can’t pay
            soccer players more because it is not that popular yet. We
            shouldn’t go into debt buying players just to compete
            internationally. I would much rather see a competitive domestic
            league than the same 2 teams winning it all over and over just so
            they can compete against another team from another country. Who
            really cares? We can say “of course they won because they spent 10
            times wat we spent”. Then you have the same problem that other
            domestic leagues have. Its a dumb system.

  6. The original Tom

    April 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Then we agree on more than I realized. I agree that big clubs
    should recognize that they need opponents, and they should share TV
    revenues and gate. But I don’t mind a pecking order because some
    teams have more fans, it just shouldn’t an insurmountable
    advantage. And we should not conflate excellence with unfairness.
    Barcelona is run excellently and has developed a superb class of
    players. It won’t last, or others will catch up eventually.

    • Robert

      April 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      I agree. Why should Barcelona be punished for a world class youth
      academy and development? Why should Sounders Franchise Club tarp
      seats off for the benefit of Franchise Club Dallas? Its like saying
      Apple should be capped so Dell can compete.

      • Alan

        April 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm

        Apple vs Dell is not a sport. Why should Eapanyol be punished for
        not having the money to be competitive?Besides, nobody is punishing
        Barcelona. If their system is world class, then they can compete on
        the same financial level as anyone else. Not everyone that competes
        on the team is from their youth academy. They are purchased with
        money that is not shared fairly from things like TV revenue. Again,
        if their program is so awesome, then this shouldn’t affect them at

    • Charles

      April 4, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Tom, with all due respect, you are crazy. The other teams will
      never catch up in Spain. Barca and RM get ALL the money. Go ahead
      and look up the discrepancy, what changes that ? At least in
      England they share the TV revenues somewhat. You wouldn’t think Man
      U could compete…….ooops a little to late on that one.

  7. The original Tom

    April 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Your mixing pro/rel with play-offs and parity and revenue sharing.
    The old English league had pro/rel for a century, with more
    equitable TV revenue and gate sharing, and teams didn’t dominate
    the way ManU has recently. The Yankees, while not winning the world
    series, have had the best regular season record a lot (in fact, the
    new play-off system in baseball has been introduced in part because
    of concerns that too many wild card teams are winning in the
    play-offs). Also, college football, with no pro/rel, has had the
    same teams dominate many conferences. Also, Liverpool has spent a
    lot of money with no results; it is not just about money, it is
    about excellence. Also, Bayern don’t always win, they’ve won once
    in the last 3 years. Spain’s dominance of the big two was not as
    bad in the 90’s as it is now; and I agree that Spains current TV
    set up is not good. I wouldn’t copy it. I’d also keep play-offs
    because that’s what we do in America. I think we can do things our
    own American way, however I think pro/rel makes both the top
    leagues and lower leagues much more exciting; and I don’t
    understand fans who desire a closed system.

    • Alan

      April 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      I am just stating the concerns of most people that don’t like
      pro/rel, and most people tie in pro/rel to the same teams winning
      every other year. Bayern has won 5 of the last 10 years and will
      probably win again today. Ask the pro/rel trolls here if they would
      separate the 2 and I guarantee that they won’t. I never said that I
      desire a closed system. I said that I desire a fair chance for
      those getting promoted to win without having to spend themselves
      into debt. In fact, I would rather see pro/rel before I see lack of
      parity or playing soccer in 10 degree weather and snow.

    • Charles

      April 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Tom, you are completely wrong. using only the regular season
      actually INCREASES the number of teams that have WON in
      baseball…..a lot. I figured it out a couple of years ago. The
      Mariners were champs in 2001 !!!!

  8. The original Tom

    April 3, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Andy- I’m lucky enough to live near an MLS team so I do watch the
    league, but I agree with everything your saying. The vitality of
    lower leagues in Europe comes from the connection to the top
    division.——- Charles- I disagree that most clubs never win
    anything, they win their league (at whatever level) and they win
    promotion. Not to mention cups, European qualification, etc… Come
    to think about, most national teams have similar type victories,
    they win qualification to the World Cup, or win their group in the
    WC, but not the WC itself. As a US fan, I’m sure you agree it is
    more important to qualify for the world cup than to win the Gold
    Cup. ————— One other thing, Real Madrid did not win their
    league last year- this is their first title in a few years. And
    while ManU is probably going to win their 4th in a row, you have to
    marvel at the excellence of it (and no, I’m not a ManU fan). I
    doubt another team will do this again anytime soon, including ManU.
    It will be interesting to see how they do when Ferguson retires- it
    is not like ManU simply outspends everyone else.

    • Robert

      April 3, 2012 at 11:10 am

      I wish all MLS fans were like you. Rational and can see both sides
      of the tape.

    • Alan

      April 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      I must disagree with you when it comes to teams winning. At the
      highest level, the same teams do win all of the time and it is a
      real problem. In the past 22 years, Real Madrid and Barcelona and
      shared the championship, and it is not because they have a great
      coach. Research La Liga and how all of the revenues go to the top 2
      to buy all of the players. In EPL it is a 3 team race. Man U has
      won 11 of the past 17 titles, Chelsea 4, and Arsenal 2. Man City
      spent themselves into oblivion just to have a fighting chance.
      Bayern has practically owned the Bundesliga title, but they lose it
      occasionally. In Serie A, things have been slightly more balanced
      but not by much. Inter, Milan, and Juve have won all but 2 of the
      titles since 1991. In MLB, the Yankees are considered the dominant
      team, but they have only won of the last 20 World Series. Everybody
      hates the Lakers for winning all of the time and they have only won
      5 of the last 12 and then there was a 12 year gap in them winning.
      Those two leagues don’t have salary caps, but at least have
      playoffs to balance things out a little bit. All of you pro/rel
      fans and insane if you think that soccer fans in the US fans want
      to see the same teams win every year, or every other year. Back in
      May, I predicted that Man City and Man U would complete for 1 and
      2. I also predicted that Chelsea and Arsenal would compete for 3
      and 4. Sure Tottenham is up there, but I am pretty much right.
      Everyone said that I was crazy and that you can’t predict things,
      but who is crazy now. I think that everyone knew that Real Madrid
      or Barcelona will win again, and will win for the next 5 years.
      These are legitimate concerns for people against pro/rel. I have no
      issue with pro/rel, but there needs to be SOME parity. Money should
      not be the main factor in determining a winner in a sporting
      competition. If pro/rel can be implemented without the same teams
      winning every year, then maybe those that oppose pro/rel might
      listen. Seriously though, if you can honestly say that the same
      teams don’t buy their way to championships every year and shut out
      promoted teams for ANY chance of winning, then you are nuts. Man
      City is a rarity and only have come as far as they did by spending
      themselves into debt.

  9. Andy

    April 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    without pro/rel in the UK fans of championship and league 1 teams
    would have no reason to watch the EPL. The English FA knows this.
    Without pro/rel the football watching public would be demoralized
    and every team below the EPL would lose value and face
    administration. From what I’m gathering you think the EPL would be
    a better league to watch without pro/rel and with an MLS style

  10. Mark

    April 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I agree with the author. While it is fun to watch the USMNT
    whenever they play, the Olympics just isn’t important. You really
    think the team would get better experience playing a few
    international games as opposed to their regular club games? I don’t
    at all buy that they are missing out on some magical experience.
    Also to the people talking about the US not qualifying for the
    World Cup; you are idiots. The US has more players on solid
    international teams than ever.

  11. Robert

    April 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    What the author fails to mention is that 50% of the countries he
    listed have stars above their nations crest. USA still has a long
    way to go before we can ignore the Olympics like other great soccer
    countries. Also, those countries have superior youth
    academies/development where they are tested at the highest level.

  12. Andy

    April 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Roger, well I agree with your criticisms of USSF. I don’t think
    other sports care whether or not soccer develops pro/rel though.
    It’s not even something they think about. The thing is MLS/USSF and
    those that support single entity are stuck in this archaic way of
    thinking. They think they can just take soccer and then put it into
    an American sports template and then get success. Just look at the
    name MLS, it’s one letter short of MLB. It’s a small thing but with
    a name like Major League Soccer you’re signaling that you are more
    interested in fitting in with other American sports rather than
    becoming a part of the global game. Take me for example. I don’t
    live in a city with an MLS team. Therefore I don’t really watch
    MLS. I watch USL to support my local team. But since my team can
    never be promoted I have no real interest in what happens in MLS.
    I’m not saying I never tune into an MLS game. I do on occasion. But
    it’s mostly to keep tabs on potential USNT players. What happens in
    the league and who wins is of very little interest to me. The same
    goes for my friends I see at USL games. None of them pay attention
    to MLS for the same reasons. But if there was pro/rel you better
    believe we would all pay attention to the top league for the simple
    reason our team might be playing in it if they win their league.
    Now its not hard to consider how many fans MLS is missing out on
    when you consider they shut out the majority of the country of
    having a rooting interest. With a pro/rel pyramid you no longer
    just have fan bases in just 17 cities. You have fan bases all over
    the country. The problem is MLS see’s pro/rel as a threat to
    stability when in reality it is the golden ticket to a soccer
    culture and shared prosperity for all pro soccer teams.

    • Charles

      April 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

      You answered my question. I can see how someone like you is for
      pro/rel. It is not going to happen, but I get it……………..I
      actually like pro/rel, it is a very romantic spots idea……….
      The problem you have is that with Pro/Rel in my opinion is that you
      have too many teams that don’t draw. Like for instance you saying,
      MLS has good attendance. They do compared to other, in my opinion,
      badly run leagues, because 90% of the teams has no chance of
      winning….ever. Compared to leagues that are actually
      run……..not so much……………So you get into the game of,
      should Andy have a real team capable of winning the top league ?
      YES. Should every team be able to win it ? YES. Good luck doing
      both and in the first scenerio your team in Springfield, Small
      State, USA wasn’t going to win it all anyway.

      • Andy

        April 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm

        Charles, but look at a city like Portland. If we had pro/rel we
        would have been aware of how awesome a soccer city Portland is some
        time ago. When Portland was in USL with no chance of promotion they
        didn’t draw very well. Was the reason for this that they didn’t
        have passionate fans until they caught MLS fever? Not likely. The
        reason is they were shut out of promotion and thus fans had no
        rooting interest. Imagine how crazy Portland fans would have gone
        if the Timbers were in Div 2 and one win away from promotion.
        Portland hasn’t won anything in MLS and yet they have the most
        fervent fan base. So I don’t buy into your argument that pro/rel
        would be pointless because the same teams would win anyway. It’s
        apple and orange. We only need to look to Europe to see this is not
        the case. Imagine the EPL closed off and separated from the rest of
        the English pyramid with no pro/rel. It would be a nightmare for
        soccer culture in England and the lower division clubs would all

        • Charles

          April 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm

          Imagine the EPL closed off from Pro/Rel….hmmmm, would it still be
          a joke ? I doubt it……I don’t get what you are saying with the
          same teams DON’T win over and over in Europe ? I must be missing
          something. As Real Madrid and Man U have all but
          clinched….again….and again….and again.

          • Robert

            April 3, 2012 at 10:48 am

            Charles, Sir Alex Ferguson stated that the end of Pro/Rel would be
            suicide for the lower divisions. There are great clubs in lower
            divisions (Leeds) but who were mismanaged and currently trying to
            claw there way back. Charles, if you haven’t noticed LA Galaxy have
            been in 50% of MLS finals over the past 10 years and Galaxy have
            won the supporters shield 4 times since 1999.

          • Alan

            April 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm

            Wait, what? LA won 3 times in the past 10 years and were the runner
            up 1 of those times. They weren’t even in the finals in 2010. That
            trend is changing. I guarantee that Man U and their trend won’t
            change for 50 years in their system. LA won the past 2 supporters
            shields, probably won’t this year, and their last time before that
            was 2002. 4 times since 1999? That is 4 in 13 years. You really
            can’t see the difference in being dominant like that and Man U? If
            MLS were single table, you would have at least had 8 different
            league champions, not one where one team wins 2 out of every 3

          • Charles

            April 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

            Joe Roth changed the name to Sir Alex Whats-his-face after his
            screw up last summer……………If he says so, then they should
            keep the Pro/Rel system in place there. No doubt who is in charge
            of that league, is there ?…………………….I am ALL for it.
            It is a lot better for MLS ( and without a doubt, in my mind, the
            only one that matters, US Soccer ) if the Sounders draw more than
            almost every team in Europe outside of Germany………It is
            amazing to me, how little money there is in soccer ( Messi makes
            less than Ichiro) and then somehow quite a few think the US will go
            that direction……………..

          • The original Tom

            April 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm

            Alan- ManU didn’t dominate before Ferguson, who knows if they will
            dominate after he is gone.

          • Charles

            April 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm

            Yeah, it was Sir Alex, not the changing of the league and the
            insurgance of money into the equation completely destroying the
            already unlevel playing field. Probably Joe Torre that made the
            Yankees great too.

          • Robert

            April 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

            Charles, You are a MLS homer but its funny as hell to see your
            comments consistently rated down. HAHAHAH

          • Alan

            April 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

            Maybe not, but do you really think the he could have produced a
            team that wins 12 out of 18 championships without spending like
            crazy? Again, basing a sport on how much money you have is
            rediculous. I am also willing to bet that things are financially
            more lopsided than they were in the 80s where Man U did not spend
            like they do now. Man City did not do great before Mancini, but he
            blew money left and right to have that team.

          • Charles

            April 4, 2012 at 10:15 am

            @Robert, Didn’t even know those rating buttons were on there. Still
            don’t care. I am a lot smarter and have been around longer than
            anyone………………..@Alan, all those praising Sir Alex as a
            god, do not have a clue. He has been great no doubt, but he coaches
            a team favored to win every year on a very unlevel playing field. I
            think guys like Rooney would get exposed in a fair fight.

          • Alan

            April 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

            So a couple of trolls rate stuff down. Who cares but the other
            trolls? @Charles Exactly. They buy up all of the great players that
            other teams can’t afford and win year after year. Sir Alex is a
            great coach, but without all of the money that Man U has they would
            not win every year no matter how good he is. Thumbs down that.

  13. Greg

    March 31, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I can’t wait for the reaction when the U.S. is left out of the WC!!
    This is going to be fantastic to sit back and watch!

  14. arnie

    March 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

    The US will never be great at soccer. We’re fighting against
    demographics. We are a rich country in which it doesn’t make sense
    to become a professional athlete (unless you have strange physical
    feature: Football, Basketball). Here it makes more economic sense
    to do things that don’t hurt the body and that are … easier. Not
    so in El Salvador. Soccer is basically it, or drug dealing. So, our
    teams will always be decent, but not great given our overwhelming
    size. I know that this doesn’t fully explain the Canada loss, but
    if I were Canada, I would ALWAYS want to beat the lower 48.
    Motivation is a coaching issue, so the Akron chief isn’t off the
    hook in my book.

    • Andy

      March 31, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Arnie, I don’t buy that all. By that argument we shouldn’t have
      good athletes in any sport. There are far more demanding sports on
      the body than soccer. The reason we are still far behind is because
      we don’t have the soccer infrastructure and we don’t have the
      soccer culture. Both Europe and South America have this. Until we
      have both we won’t break into the upper echelon. soccer
      infrastructure- 5 tier Promotion/Relegation pyramid with youth
      academies in all 1st and 2nd tier. The goal of USSF should be to
      establish a soccer pyramid with 100+ teams. This is Japans goal and
      its a travesty that a country like the U.S hasn’t yet set a similar
      goal. Not having a pro/rel pyramid kills us with developing a great
      national team. soccer culture- this won’t happen over night. It
      hurts us that we only have the world cup every 4 years to look
      forward to. What would really benefit soccer in this country is
      having a real Copa America that was a joint concacaf/conmbebol
      tournament. But pro/rel would also go a long ways to create a
      soccer culture. Right now if you don’t live in an MLS city you
      don’t really pay attention to domestic soccer.

      • Alan

        March 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm

        While I don’t necessarily agree with you totally, I do agree with a
        lot of what you say. I also take you seriously because you at least
        make an effort to support soccer in America, which is more than I
        can say for some people with similar arguments. You bring up great
        points about creating a soccer culture that is tied together in
        this country. I think that everyone can agree with this. I would
        argue that it is not a sure thing as to exactly what will happen if
        a pro/rel system is integrated. I would also argue that until 2nd
        and 3rd tier soccer is not seen as financially risky for owners,
        you will not have pro/rel ever. I would be interested to see
        pro/rel started from the bottom level and work its way up to see
        how well it actually works and if it starts to get people excited.
        USL could do this with tier 3 through 5. Another problem is that
        this country will NEVER be ok with 2 or 3 teams winning a
        championship every year the way they do in Europe so some sort of a
        salary cap would have to be implemented. Also, soccer outside in
        the winter will never fly here in America in the coldest areas,
        especially in tier 3 through tier 5 soccer. Conferences will always
        be essential to cut travel time and cost, especially for lower
        level teams. The personally think that the concept of automatic
        pro/rel is silly. The lower tier team should have to be able to
        beat the “relegated” team to be promoted. I think that when certain
        people approach the argument that you make without giving a little
        in sensible areas, they hurt their own cause.

        • Andy

          April 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm

          I wouldn’t have conferences in the top league. But in Div 2 and
          lower I would divide the leagues into East and West Conferences.
          Pro/rel would have to be something started by USSF. It’s not
          something you could let USL try and then see if it works. It only
          works when there is something worth being promoted to. The
          federation has to set the goal to implement a pro/rel system with
          100+ teams. Japan set this goal and look at their pro/rel structure
          since they did. It’s grown leaps and bounds and so has their
          national team. This is the thesis of my argument. A pro/rel
          structure is directly tied to the growth of the national team. This
          isn’t some bizarre theory. This exact argument was made by Alex
          Ferguson who said that America needs promotion/relegation for the
          sport to grow and for the national team to make that next step.

          • Roger 4 Pro/Rel

            April 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm

            I do not think that this USSF will try to implement pro/rel ever. I
            think this is a silent war. What is at stake here is really BIG.
            The implementation of promotion and relegation on US soccer is a
            huge threat for the american sports stablishment! If a US soccer
            league susccesfully implements pro/rel, things will never be the
            same on the american sports landscape!….and THEY KNOW IT!
            ……This USSF does not have a vision or clear plan for soccer in
            america, they exclusively gave MLS, LLC. division 1 status knowing
            that single entity and pro/rel are not compatible. ……..The
            development and pursuit of our true soccer potential is not in the
            best interest of the american sports stablishment. They are very
            powerfull and smart, and I think that it make a lot of sense to
            think that they are controlling our game from within. Think about
            it, what would you do on their shoes?………………….I think
            that the real fans ( not the self appointed guardians of the status
            quo ) have to create a parallel organization that sends a clear
            message:……”We are not swallowing!”

          • Alan

            April 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

            You have to watch American soccer to be considered a real fan.
            Nobody cares what non-fans think. You kill your own argument by
            preaching and not watching. The movement you speak of does need to
            be started by real fans, not people that just tune into EPL. Fake
            US Soccer fans will run away if we have pro/rel too. They will
            still complain about salary caps, spring to fall schedule, or any
            other justification that they can find to not watch and support the
            players. That type of snobbishness is hurting American soccer way
            more than not having pro/rel. Pro/rel needs to be started by fans,
            not a bunch of know it alls that don’t watch.

      • Charles

        April 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        So if people lived in a city with a minor league team they would
        care about soccer……I find that to be funny. People dont care jn
        cities that have finished second in MLS repeatedly or won the whole

        • Andy

          April 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

          what’s funny is how little you use reason in your arguments. MLS
          gets very good attendance.

          • Charles

            April 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

            and by GOOD attendance you mean 17,500 people per game, with the
            Sounders contributing for two team, so the average without them is
            closer to 16k…….yeah, my arguement stinks then…….I am very
            curious Andy which team do you root for ? LIke for instance I was a
            FC Seattle, then Sounders fan while they didn’t play in MLS…you ?
            Do you have season tickets for a non MLS team ?

          • Robert

            April 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

            Charles, there are 38 states in the USA and countless cities
            without an MLS team. Living in San Diego there is no way in hell
            I’m rooting for LA Galaxy or Chivas USA because, I LIVE IN SAN
            DIEGO. That is why I choose to root for Xolos because not only are
            they 10 miles away but they are doing great things in the city of
            San Diego like setting up an academy and getting youngsters playing
            time. MLS has zero precesne here in SD other than an occasionally
            money grab friendly.

          • Charles

            April 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm

            I don’t disagree with anything you are saying, I think San Diego
            should have a team. The Soccers were a good team that did ok
            financially in very tough soccer econ times. LA should NOT have two
            teams either……………………….. And you are free to
            choose who to root for. Go Xolos. But unfortunatly for you, your
            choice is to root a team that will never win, ever. Never play in
            CCL, ever. It is a shame, most of the world is in your shoes. Why
            ?? Same reason you hate MLS….money.

          • Robert

            April 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

            and your team will never remove the tarps, ever. Why?? Same reason
            you love MLS…PARITY

  15. K

    March 31, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Those Euro countries might not care about the Olympics, but the
    rest of the world does – including Argentina and Brazil. Also, USSF
    put huge importance to this competition and selected players and
    touted them as the Olympic team – including the coach doing so.
    These players are supposed to be the cream of the crop from the
    region (minus those unavailable for selection – which all countries
    had to deal with here), and so yes, this is a failure of
    significance for USA in the same way it’d be if Canada eliminates

  16. Jason

    March 31, 2012 at 8:56 am

    It’s all too easy to point to negatives. The non-qualification for
    the Olympics isn’t great, but at the end of the day it’s just a bad
    result, not a fundamental crack in the foundation of US soccer.
    Don’t forget, it’s part of a work in progress. Our impatient
    culture of win and win now makes it difficult to see any progress.
    Klinsmann’s methods are beginning to take hold with the USMNT, and
    we’ve just put a string of good results together. The fan culture
    in the US is getting more and more passionate by the day, which is
    a wonderful thing, but it can be too venomous at times . When we
    win, it’s not by a large enough margin, and when we lose, it’s the
    end of everything. The effort to improve our level of play at all
    levels shouldn’t be viewed as a factory where pieces and parts are
    thrown onto the conveyor belt and we sit back and wait for the
    right person to put it all together. It’s up to all of us to
    support the effort by cheering every success, being critical (and
    fair) about the shortfalls and looking ever forward. If we don’t
    highlight the positives, we’re only working against ourselves.

  17. Frank

    March 31, 2012 at 8:54 am

    The authors opinion that it’s not important is not a casual
    American fans viewpoint. Unlike France, Portugal, Germany, etc.
    which the author seems bent on emulating, Americans pay attention
    to the Olympics. We failed. We failed in a manner we had never done
    so before.. We were at home and failed to get out of group play.
    Don’t sugar coat it. It was a poor result. It was a poor effort.
    And repercussions should come from results like this.

  18. Earl Reed

    March 31, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Like I said on Twitter yesterday: 2022 World Cup Bid – Failed. 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup – Loss to Mexico. 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Failed to Qualify. 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament – Failed to Qualify. I hate to say it, because I will always support US Soccer, but this is not a good run of results. Not the end of the world? I’ll buy that. Reason for concern? Absolutely.

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