Welp, I guess that’s it. Goodbye, United States Men’s National Team. Move along, folks, nothing to see here. No more crowds in Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Indianapolis filling stadiums to watch the boys in Brazil. New American Outlaw chapters just stop now that they’re official until we head to Moscow. People who have learned that soccer, American soccer in particular, is something more than a topic to write about showing our moral decay are now left in the soccer wilderness for another four years. Yup, it’s all over. Now soccer goes back in the corner until 2018, right? That’s what happens, huh? No more games, correct?
Hell no. No one puts soccer in a corner! Read More…
A few months ago, I was watching a Liga MX playoff game. I could not for the life of me remember who was playing, just that it was not Tijuana (my Liga MX club of choice). As the game played out, certain things were apparent to me. Firstly, the quality of play was better than that of MLS. It was not better by leaps and bounds, but it was certainly a higher, more technical class of play. Dispute it as we often do, Liga MX is better than MLS. It will continue to be better than MLS for some times.
This is not to say MLS is no good, awful, horrendous, and unwatchable; it is just to say that MLS is only 17 years old. Think of your performances at 17 years old. Compare that to a much older pro. Do you really think you were that good as a 17-year-old? If you do, I suggest asking around. You may be overrating your skill – but I digress.
Stuck in a rut.
That is where the United States Men’s National Team seems to be right now. Since 1990, when the USA first started regularly qualifying for World Cups, there has not been too much of a worry about qualification. Every USMNT head coach has been able to do it. Several of them have done it more than once. Yet here we sit, just prior to the Antigua & Barbuda match in qualifying, and supporters are concerned not about qualifying for the World Cup but about qualifying for the Hexagonal in order to qualify for the World Cup.
Hank and Abram talk MLS MVP, the power of marketing behind Thierry Henry, USMNT Qualifiers, Cameron playing out of position, all things Sascha Kljestan, NASL playoffs and expansion, if CONCACAF Champions League even matters, and if AEG’s sale could hurt MLS in CCL.
You know what I’m not getting ready to do?
Okay, realistically, I do understand the allure of playing fantasy football (and for the record I’m referring to the American football, not the European one in this instance), but I’ve always found the actual practice of it to be rather mundane. Frankly, I’m in the school of thought that the guys who sit around playing fantasy football are the same guys who used to pick on the geeks, nerds, and poindexters in high school for playing Dungeons and Dragons or Magic the Gathering and are now essentially doing the same thing.
For Kicks & Giggles is a series here at Viva la Futbol, which highlights some of the top football blogs that I have found over the course of each week. If you would like to see your blog added here, either send me a shout on Twitter @MindOfAbram or an email to Viva.La.Futbol.Ahora[at]Gmail[dot]com. These lists will feature between 8 and 11 blogs, videos, or various web related things at least every other Friday.
By this point I’m sure that everyone has heard about the “soccer riot” in Egypt. Somewhere between 74 and 80 people have died, nearly 1,000 people have been injured, and former USMNT coach and current Egyptian National Team coach Bob Bradley was involved in a march to support the protesters.
Why do I know that most people have heard of this “soccer riot”? I know this because it was all over the American media. They absolutely made sure that it was heard about. This wasn’t sold as a political uprising. At first it wasn’t mentioned that security locked the people in the stadium like caged animals at a dog fight. There was no mention of the constant political upheaval in Egypt since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak. No, this was nothing more than another “soccer riot.”
Nationalism is, perhaps, the biggest aspect in supporting a national team. So when a player denies, or is perceived as denying, his or her heritage it seems as if a nation turns on them. However, players’ national acknowledgements and identifications do not necessarily make them Benedict Arnolds. Even if that is the storyline that supporters groups are trying to sell.
The newest round of USMNT friendlies have kicked off. Unlike the previous ones, the team had a chance to work in training for nearly a month before beginning. With a squad mostly consisting of MLS players, these January camps are usually spots where players try to break through for some call ups with a more “A” like squad.