The World Cup

Emily Carpenter, Sophomore Staff Writer

The World Cup will be taking place this summer of 2018 in Russia. Out of 209 qualifying teams from all around the world, only one will be the victor. Germany won last World Cup in 2014, with impressive coaching and a team of incredible players, Germany will be a team to watch in this year’s World Cup. For the past few years, the United States has been in the running to win the famous World Cup trophy. However, with all of the incredible teams in their bracket they have never seemed to pull through and win it all. After participating in many World Cups, the closest the men’s national team has come is placing 3rd in 1930. Up until 1990 they have qualified in the World Cup, but that year they didn’t manage to come out with a win in the qualifying matches. Since then, the team has changed players, formations, and many other factors and have been successful in qualifying for the World Cup.


This year, the men’s national team had an upsetting loss on the road to Russia and took a depressing loss against Trinidad and Tobago, knocking them out of the World Cup qualifications altogether. Coaches and officials were shocked to say the least and are trying to find the root of the loss. Is it the players? Is it the coaching staff? Coach Bruce Arena’s contract runs through next summer, but replacements are already being searched for. Key players in our nation’s team such as Clint Dempsey, Christian Pulisic, and DaMarcus Beasley will have to earn their spot moving forward. This kind of failure is rooted that deep. The trusted lineup and staff is now being questioned and ridiculed. This sparked major controversy and fear for the next few years of American soccer. It’s made us wonder- What does this do to our team and our expectations for upcoming soccer athletes hoping for a position with the stars? What needs to change in order to succeed in the 2022 matches? Has our soccer program as a nation started to fall behind compared to other nations of the world?


United States soccer has made tremendous leaps over the past few years regarding player development and finding fresh feet for our state teams and regional teams. The development programs consist of travel or club teams in a player’s county. If you have the money, time, and the skill, you may be able to make the state team. The state team builds a path and lays the foundation for you to be able to qualify for the Region team as well as playing internationally in Europe and Asia. You represent your state out of about 200 eligible players per age group, and they choose up to 3 goalkeepers and 18 field players. Everyone is able to try out for the Region team in the state sponsoring it that year. The region team chooses a very, very limited amount of players from each state and the competition is at high stakes. The US national team directly pulls players from the region team to play professionally, so no less than perfection is not tolerated.


With that said, how can a country like ours with so much talent and potential lose to a team like Trinidad and Tobago that has less funding? Maybe they train harder. Maybe they have more heart and passion into the game. What we lack in our spirit for the game Trinidad eclipses us in. What cannot be coached is pure and natural talent for a game as well as love for the game you play. Maybe that’s the difference between a loss and a win. Having more possession than the other team does not create wins, scoring more goals wins games. Putting all of your energy and effort into every game and practice wins games. Perhaps we underestimated our opponent and it caused us a major upset and setback in our sport. To remain on top, you must play like you’re working from the bottom, and if you get too comfortable with where you are, another team will remind you why you work so hard, and I believe that’s where the US national team is right now, and we need to be reminded why we were a threat in the first place- because we never let our opponent outshine and outplay us.