Make American Soccer Great

Brady Mooers

As many of you may know, the United States Men’s Soccer team failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

At first glance, this looks tragic. We’re a country with over 300 million people and we lose to a country with a population of roughly 1.4 million. But could this misfire help launch us into the future of US Soccer?

I have a four-step plan to turn this around and springboard the U.S. “rebuild” and get us prepared for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

First, we need to try and rebuild the sport from the ground up. In the U.S., soccer is a pay to play sport. In many of the countries that are far ahead of us, soccer is free to play and is a staple for youth in underfunded neighborhoods.

If we can just get more children playing the sport in public schools, we would automatically be at an advantage just because of the sheer size of our country.

Next, we need to utilize our star player more often. Christian Pulisic is a 19-year-old wonderkid from Hershey, Pennsylvania. Pulisic is one of the most sought after youngsters in world football.

Already a key player for German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, who are perennial 1st and 2nd place contenders, he is the future of the sport here in the U.S.

So why exactly aren’t we utilizing him accordingly? In the 13 qualifying games he played, he bagged 7 goals and 6 assists. Deployed primarily as a right winger, I believe the U.S. best bet is to get him as far forward as possible and put him in the best position to score.

In doing this, we can then work on building around Pulisic. This starts with the next head coach we select. Many fans want an American coach and I fully understand that, but in order to fulfill our potential as a country, we need to look abroad.

Laurent Blanc, Carlo Ancelotti and Tata Martino are the three foreign managers whose names have been floated around recently, and all of these coaches have resumes that include some of the biggest clubs in the world. If the U.S. manages to get one of these three as a manager, we could be a team on the rise.

Lastly, we need to try and change the culture around the sport. Soccer will never be the top sport in America, but in order for the sport to grow, they need support.

Go out, become a fan of your local team. Go to MLS games, they are a league on the rise that provides a great breeding ground for homegrown U.S. talent and older, more experienced European players to mix. But it all starts with us.

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