Lack of U.S. Soccer involvement ruins reputation, progress
It was the perfect set up; A Mexican squad in dire need of a win to gain back confidence, A U.S. squad playing with benchwarmers. US Soccer executives probably didn’t figure on 5 – nothing.
The damage is done. After huge summer gains with the American sports fans, US Soccer blunders.
At some point, US Soccer will have to gain more influence with CONCACAF. US Soccer can not take the same risk again. The next qualification for Confed Cup may need to exclude the U.S. from playing the following Gold Cup.
Right now, pro Soccer is trying gain its foothold with the sports fans. If the sports fan is going to be in constant bewilderment over wins and losses, first teamers and second teamers, Cups and Championships, then Soccer is defeating its purpose. This Gold Cup meant nothing, but a trophy. Treat the fans honestly, don’t try to sneak things past them.
Pro Soccer is being directly impacted by the USMNT’s play. The USMNT generates interest when it wins, which in turn, generates more interest in Pro Soccer.
It is time for those making the decisions for US Soccer to make a stand for common sense. It is the only thing the sports fan understands. Sports fans in the U.S. only support teams playing to win with its best players.
If the Gold Cup was just a buffer in case of an early exit from Confed Cup, its understandable why US Soccer made the commitment to play it. But, there are only so many priorities USMNT players can have, and US Soccer is aware of this.
Having more foresight into scheduling issues is extremely important for US Soccer execs. The U.S. can not afford to be playing second teamers as Soccer continues to rise in popularity. It needs to win as much as it can as often as it can.
After the great final from the Confederation Cup, the U.S. had only one option for the Gold Cup and that was to win it. The result from the Gold Cup final only confuses sports fans. So much of the progress made from the great run against Brazil in Confed Cup can now be completely zapped with a loss to Mexico in the World Cup Qualifier later this month.
The bottom line is that US Soccer must project ahead and try to help CONCACAF to build strategies for a better schedule of tournaments. CONCACAF is a great organization, and it is continuing to make strides. It has made the region more recognizable to Soccer fans and has brought many of its participating countries much overdue respect in the eyes of Americans. But improvements and refinements need to be made to its structure and US Soccer should be a driving force in those changes.