Wednesday, October 11, 2017

US Soccer in a Time of Transition

Is the United States soccer team doomed to be bad for the next 4 years? If you believe international experience is important then than answer would be yes. After yesterday’s loss to Trinidad & Tobago this will be 2 straight major international tournaments that the United States did not qualify. (2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup) That means 2 opportunities for young players to get experience on the biggest stage against the best competition are gone. With some the United State biggest stars either recently retired (Donovan) or going to retire soon (Dempsey, Howard) this would seem to have been a cycle where the team could transition from old to young. Now it seems that the transition will need to be fast. The national team will have many questions to start to answer such as: Who are the national team goalkeepers moving forward? Who is the next central defensive pairing after Gonzalez/Besler/Cameron? Can they find right and left full backs who can be consistent and contribute at both ends of the field? It will be interesting to see if they stick with Bruce Arena as coach or try someone else. I think New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsh would be a good fit. His teams give consistent effort and he has played a few different formations depending on opponents or who he has available for his team. He would also be a new generation of leadership. Lets hope the federation decides on the best course of action soon so that the team can start to move forward.

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