For years now the English have taken great pleasure in deriding their American cousins when it comes to certain sports. I have heard people say “they only play baseball because they can’t master the art of cricket”, “American footballers are too scared to play rugby because they don’t have the helmet and padding” etc, etc.
However, the real mockery has always been reserved for football, or soccer as they like to call it over in the USA. The English have always been quick to ridicule the Americans at every opportunity. The way there is no relegation in the MLS, the fact that up until recently they wouldn’t accept a game ending in a draw so would have shoot-outs to decide a winner. They clearly don’t know what they’re doing!
Well, nobody is laughing anymore. Nobody is making fun of the Americans and how the game is run in their country. The MLS is going from strength to strength and the USA Men’s National Team is doing similarly.
USMNT, as they like to refer to themselves, won over many critics and cynics at the World Cup this year as they lost out to Belgium in the Last 16.
Jurgen Klinsmann had taken a team containing no stars to Brazil, and they were expected to finish bottom of the “Group of Death”, behind Germany, Ghana and Portugal.
Indeed, so many people had written them off that it was almost a surprise that they bothered to show up at all. But show up they did, and they defied all the odds to qualify from said group behind the Germans. They did so playing a simple, but highly effective form of football/soccer.
In doing so, they have made many people sit up and take notice, but most importantly they have endeared themselves to an American public that have been reticent in taking soccer into their hearts.
Slowly but surely, the American people are being won over. They are beginning to understand and appreciate this most beautiful of sports. It will only be a matter of time until they fall in love with it, truly, madly and deeply.
If and when that happens and the USA decide that they want to be a force in soccer, then the rest of the world had better beware, as they have all the resources in place to become a truly frightening power, and you never know, maybe then it’ll be the Americans who are laughing at the English.
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