The US mens national team turned in a stellar performance against Egypt in the Confederations cup. The US won against an Egypt team that was favored to win. With the win the US secures a spot in the semi finals against Spain. The problem is not very many people in the US knew about the victory.
In a country where baseball (in all its boringness) is considered a national pastime, the World Cup does not even register as a blip on the radar screen. In order to follow football, I grudgingly call it soccer to my fellow countrymen, you have to be vigilant. The major sports networks hardly report anything other than David Beckham when it comes to non American football. The question that many of us who are voracious football (soccer) fans is why?
It all starts at the age of 5. Male children in the US play soccer, as it called, until they are old enough to play American football. When it comes to funding American university sports programs American football is king. Universities Make profits for licensing, and get donations from alumni when the team does well. American football has become synonymous with life at the university. The average university American football coach earns over one million dollars per year according to a story ran in USA today newspaper on December 4, 2007. On average less than fifty percent of university American football players graduate. From a business standpoint that is a poor investment. All of the best athletes are groomed to be American football and basketball players from the age of ten. The players are recruited by universities under the guise of scholarship, but nothing is further from the truth. These are professional players; in lieu of wages they receive boarding and the opportunity for an education. With over seventy five percent of all scholarships going to American football and basketball there is little funding left for soccer. The student athletes that play soccer actually are intelligent enough to graduate. By the time a soccer player graduates they have matured to the age of 22. At the age of 22 they are ready to start a pro career, but their European counterparts have already been part of a club since the age of 17. The Americans, for the most part, simply don’t have the experience to compete. Sure there are bright spots like Jozy Altidore, but most of the talent leaves for greener pastures at an earlier age. Example Guiseppe Rossi. Rossi started at the age of 12 with the youth team of Parma. It is this simple until the US drops the preconceived notion that football (soccer) is a second tier sport the brightest athletes will be sucked into American football and basketball. Until the US drops the notion of the scholar athlete all American soccer players will lack the experience to compete on the world stage.
I will be on the side of the US mens football (soccer) team, Because this is my country. My hopes are that we rediscover the sport of football (soccer), and put the business that is university athletics out of business. I guess the bright spot is that until we as a country discover football players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Henry Thierry can vacation here in relative obscurity
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