US Soccer Enters The World Stage

by James Askwith 04-19-2009 02:00 AM

Since its hosting of ’94 World Cup, the US has been seen as a developing country to the rest of the Soccer world. Several have tried and failed to make Soccer the fifth national sport of the US. Most recently, David Beckham, with his move to the LA Galaxy, has tried and so far failed to make it a success.

So I ask myself... What will it take for Soccer to become the success in the US that many believe it can be?

To answer this, I take a look at the countries that flourish within the world of Soccer. When you think of successful countries in the game, the immediate names you think of would be previous world cup winners Brazil, Italy, Germany, and England, to name a few. The corner stone of the success that these countries have had is based on a strong base of players at the grassroots level. To support this, all of these countries have a well-established league structure which breeds talent from an early age.

With the development of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the increasing number of teams participating, I firmly believe that the US has put in place the base from which they can build for the future. Unlike the European and South American countries, which have developed their league structure based on numbers at the grassroots level, the game in the US will only develop with the increase in interest that the MLS will bring, not just at home but also from abroad.

Along with the development of the MLS, there have also been a number of foreign imports in an attempt to raise the profile of the game. This has seen players of the highest caliber come to play on US shores. However, in order to raise the profile of the game and for it to progress, I feel there needs to be a home-grown player exported to Europe from the US that will develop into world class talent. That of which could be compared to David Beckham (LA Galaxy & AC Milan), Christiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) and Thierry Henry (Barcelona).

There have been a number of players leave the US and a small number of them have had successful careers in the English Premier League (EPL). Many people may have thought Freddie Adu (AS Monaco) was going to reach this level, but due to pressures put on him from an early age, this hasn’t turned out as many would have liked. The players that have been regarded as a success in the EPL have mainly been goal keepers (Brad Friedel and Tim Howard). Unfortunately, this isn't the most glamorous position to play and doesn’t always grab the headlines. Because of this, the attention will not be turned to the MLS until there is a striker that reaches the highest level of the game in a European country.

So what does the future hold? With the continued development of the game in the US, I believe within the next 5 to 10 years we are going to see the game reach the levels of expectation that have been so long in coming.

So on that note, when this happens, lets make sure we can all look back and say that we were the ones to help it on its way.


James Askwith


Published 04-19-2009 © 2022 Access Athletes, LLC


Access Athletes, LLC owns the exclusive copyright to all information contained within the articles posted on The Real Athlete Blog. All information is for the End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed, or otherwise used for commercial purposes without the expressed consent of Access Athletes, LLC. The information is an educational aid only and it is not intended as and nor shall it be construed as legal, medical, financial, psychological or other professional advice or treatment for individual situations, conditions, or predicaments. The information provided in The Real Athlete Blog articles shall not constitute an attorney-client, doctor-patient, psychologist-patient relationship or any other professional-client relationship for that matter. The End User shall seek the advice or treatment of his or her own qualified licensed professional(s) and the End User shall not rely on the information contained herein as such. End Users who leave comments on the Blog articles or email the contributors personally shall have no expectation of privilege or confidentiality. Additionally, we strongly recommend that you consult your doctor, nurse, nutritionist or pharmacist before following any of our workout or nutrition regimens to ensure that it is safe and effective for you.

Access Athletes, LLC makes no representation or warranties as to the information, opinions, or other services or data you may access, download or use as a result of accessing The Real Athlete Blog. All implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose or use are hereby excluded. Access Athletes, LLC does not assume any responsibility for your use of or reliance on any of the information provided by The Real Athlete Blog.