sports - usa soccer blows - nm
US Soccer Failure to Make the World Cup Leads to Hard Questions

by Nathaniel Mulitauaopele

The US men’s soccer team’s failure prompts many to consider the US’s performance on the world sports scene.

The failure of the US men’s soccer team, ranked at 27 to beat Trinidad and Tobago, ranked at 99 was an embarrassment to US fans hoping to see the team travel to the World Cup. The loss has prompted some to question the US’s performance on the world scene.

But why does the US do so badly in sports like soccer? The US has some of the best athletes in the world, and our culture is largely influenced by sports like football, baseball, and basketball. So how do we fail at a sport like soccer? Or even rugby?

The largest contributor is money. Three of the top four money making sports involve the US, the most lucrative being Football. Next is Baseball with Canada and the US, after that is premier league soccer with England and Wales, and finally comes the NBA in fourth, again with the US and Canada. [1]

US sports leagues also pay the average player more. The average NBA player in 2014 made $4.6 million dollars, making more money than any other  average sports player in the world. [2] It is no wonder we lag behind so much in sports like Soccer and Rugby. that don’t hold a candle to the money that Basketball and Football make.

There is also the matter of publicity. The US has the most consumerism in the western world. So when a sports network like the NFL or NBA decide to base themselves in the US they are at an automatic advantage over everyone else.

“We should stick to football and baseball. Stuff that’s American,” said senior Zane Minnick. Minnick felt that the reason the US falls short in areas like soccer is because we don’t put much emphasis on the sport. “The problem with the US is we don’t put enough attention on stuff like soccer.” said Minnick. Which in turn leads teams to have slim pickngs for their rosters.

Senior Krishna Patel and sophomore Jason Escobar also agreed with Minnick’s sentiment. Patel said we don’t do well “because we focus on basketball and football. We pay attention to US sports,” but not international sports. “I think we don’t care about soccer.” said Escobar.

This combination of lack of attention and lack of money make sports like soccer highly unpopular for US athletes. This in turn makes it so that the rosters for these teams often feature players that fall short on the world scene.

So unless the US pays international sports more attention, it’s doubtful that we’ll get very far in any event like the World Cup.