Why Men’s U.S soccer will be watching 2018 world cup from their couch

Erik Estrada

As soccer in the United States was rising, the U.S Men’s soccer team will miss the 2018 World Cup.

So why is the men’s soccer team missing the world cup? Plenty of things happened that became summed up into one.

In 2015, they placed fourth place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the worst position since 2000- from then on it was going to be a rocky road for the United States national team.

To start off, Jürgen Klinsmann had a bad run in the Hexagonal for the first time in history. Mexico was able to beat the U.S. in Columbus, Ohio 2-1. They also lost their away game against Costa Rica 4-0 leaving them with zero points in the first two games of the Hexagonal.

Despite having zero points, everything was calm in U.S. sports media; neither losses were headlines and it wasn’t the main topic to speak on.

That is a problem since soccer is not considered one of the top sports in the United States: it does not get as much media attention compared to baseball, basketball and football.

The team did not have enough pressure from the media. The American Outlaws put more pressure on the team than the media itself.

This is all due to the lack of soccer culture within the United States. Yes, you see plenty of kids playing soccer on the street, but lack of soccer culture is lack of structure in youth teams.

Instead of looking to get developed as a player here in the States, plenty of kids of Mexican descent pack their bags and head off to Mexico.

Other players not of Mexican descent test their luck in Europe where soccer is serious and there is a good structure of youth squads.

The youth squads of MLS teams lack the structure to be able to develop players and have them debut for their squads. The MLS follows certain basketball format by having a college draft and Eastern and Western conferences.

This holds the national team back from growing. The national team would be more successful if MLS teams focused on developing their players and got rid of the western and eastern conference because it would generate more competition.

The national team also has not had a visible generational change. Essential players like Omar Gonzalez, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley are in their late 20s and early 30s.

Up to this day, it is not certain who will be the predecessors of these critical players. Sure they have Christian Pulisic, but he is 19-years-old, a young talent still being developed.

U.S soccer cannot just hand over the keys and give all the pressure to a 19-year-old. Where are the under-20 and 17 teams of United States soccer? They usually fail in international tournaments.

It would be nice to model what Germany is doing; taking their young talent and wrapping them around experienced players so they can learn from them.

Germany took a vast amount of young, talented players to this year’s Confederations Cup preparing them for a generational change for when critical players retire from international soccer.

At the Confederation Cup, they gain international experience and keep gaining experience when they play world cup qualifying matches.

Missing the World Cup is a blessing in disguise for U.S soccer, they now have four years to restructure and think of innovative ways that will help soccer to grow in the States and help them out in future qualifying matches.