Sunday, June 26, 2011

American Soccer Plan For Greatness

Perhaps like many of you, I sat back tonight and hoped to enjoy watching my Countrymen score a Championship Victory in their bigtime Soccer game tonight, against Mexico.  What I saw didn't sicken me because we lost, it sickened me because of HOW we lost, and that was by having what has to be the single worst Defense that I have ever seen.  On offense we were great, we missed some scoring chances to be sure, but we didn't really have that many because of our offense's horrible supporting cast.  When they weren't scoring they were almost scoring, it was a good night for our offense.  Not a great night, to be sure, if we had taken advantage of those open goal opportunities we still could've won, but our offense got us a 2-0 lead that never should've been relenquished, you can only expect so much from any offense.  We lost the lead, and the game, because our team's defenders are worse than any team I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty of both men and women's soccer.  If our men can't defend, and certainly our current group of men can't, then perhaps its time to do something we probably should've done a long time ago, and that is start taking the best of our womens team, a team that is consistently either the best in the world or one of the best in the world, and putting them into select positions on our men's team.  Our goalie Howard is about to retire and will need replacing soon, and our women's team has an incredible goalie, she almost never gives up goals, especially in the big games, and would be a great addition to the team.

However the reality of the current situation is that no goalie is good enough to save a team with defense as horrible as we played tonight, so the very first change I would make, and I would make it immediately, is I would replace our worst defender (that's if I could resist the temptation to fire the lot of them) with the best defender on our women's team.  That would instantly make us a MUCH better team, if anybody reading this has never seen our men's team defenders you might not believe it, but if you have then you know I'm right.  The reality of tonight's game is that if we had played with our regular men's team attackers, and our women's team defenders, we would have won the Championship.

However of course it isn't likely that bringing in women to play on the men's team will work as anything more than a short term solution, to be the best in the world, and to be the best on a long term basis, we are going to need a plan.  Happily for American Soccer and American Soccer fans, I have one.  I present to you an American Soccer Plan For Greatness:

We begin by noting the rules do not allow us to hire European Superstars for our American Team, unless said European Superstar has at least one American parent.  That means we can't just go overseas, pick up a few more Landon Donovans, and score 5 goals a game.  However, just because we can't hire European Superstars to play for our American Team, that doesn't mean that Europeans can't be used in an extremely key role as we seek to build Soccer Greatness.  The key is to build up Major League Soccer (MLS) to the same kind of dominance that our other leagues like the NBA, MLB, and the NFL already have, and the way to do that is very simple.  We should go over to Europe and find the best in the world, and pay them huge amounts of money to come to the MLS.  No, I'm not talking about European Superstar players, I'm talking about COACHES!  The secret ingredient that no-one is considering, the KEY ingredient that can bring us to a level of greatness America has never seen before in the world of soccer.  We can't use Europeans players to make the American team great, but we can use European Coaches to make our American players great!  Imagine if each MLS team were coached by one of the VERY best coaches in the entire soccer world.  And by coaches I don't just mean the Head Coach, I mean the Assistant Coaches, the Trainers, you name it, anybody that has anything at all to do with Soccer, we bring in the best in the world that we can lure away from Europe with huge financial offers, and we turn our mediocre players with potential into Champions! 

Of course this will not be a 'quick fix', no solution to a problem this long and this extreme is quick.  For the quick fix, we bring in the best of the Women's Team to improve our horrible defense, that will help assure us of qualifying for the World Cup, and other such basic things, but for the long term dominance, the key is to bring in the best and brightest minds of the soccer world to turn all our players into the kind of great Superstars that our NBA and NFL leagues are filled with.  That will take money, we'll have to be prepared to spend like drunken sailors for a while, but the payoff will be at the World Cup, perhaps not this coming World Cup, but by the end of the Decade we could definitely be drinking from the World Cup after we win it for the first time!

No comments: