By Coach Hayes
That's right- a sport that most young Americans play yet older Americans say they hate just turned 100 in the USA. Who would have thought that a sport, which only gets recognition state side once every four years during the World Cup, would have made it so far? Despite being loved worldwide, the US has yet to fully embrace the beautiful game, which they've now been a part of for a century.
Most kids play to keep in shape and have fun doing it. Most adults spend their time making fun of the sport and refuse to watch. The general, ignorant argument is that “there's not enough scoring” and “all they do is run around passing a ball”. Well, America, its time to take the so-called head out of the ass and start using your eyes and ears. All you really need to know is that U.S. soccer has been around for 100 years and shows no signs of slowing down.
The U.S. Men’s national team played in their centennial game on June 2nd, 2013. The game was held in the likeliest of places- our nation’s capital. The opponent was a super power in the world of soccer, Germany. Despite the obvious odds, The U.S. won the game with a score of 4-3. Four goals scored by our men’s squad, in a sport where most Americans complain that they don’t score enough. Mind you, it was only a friendly match, but a win against the formidable Germans certainly boosted the men’s confidence.
The U.S. team had a great showing through most of the match against the perennial powerhouse. Forward Clint Dempsey moved up the scoring ladder with his two goals, making him the 2nd leading scorer in U.S. national team history, trailing only Landon Donovan. The U.S. unfortunately broke down towards the end, allowing Germany to score two goals and make it a 4-3 game- not a shock from a team that has earned three World Cup titles.
Over the course of 100 years, the US men’s team has pulled off some thrilling and legendary victories. The biggest win came against England in the 1950 World Cup, when a bunch of veritably unknown yankees shocked the soccer world with a 1-0 win. The US was outmatched and never expected to win, but they toppled the British soccer giants, knocking them out of a World Cup in which they were favorites to win. The U.S. has also upset the world’s greatest super powers of the game with historic wins over Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, and Germany. Furthermore, the U.S. Men’s squad has qualified for six straight World Cup tournaments and is currently making a bid for their seventh.
In recent years, it seems that the country is starting to get it. MLS, the United States answer to professional soccer, was established in 1996 and has expanded from 10 to 20 teams in that span, each year seeing an increase in popularity. In addition, the U.S. Women’s Team, who has won two World Cups and four goal medals, also won their centennial match against Canada yesterday, 3-0.
To those who hate on this wonderful sport- take the 2 hours to watch an entire match and see why there’s so much buzz surrounding not only the U.S. soccer scene, but the sport as a whole. The World Cup is only one year away and it will be exciting to see what this U.S. team can accomplish down in Rio.
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