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JubeltheBear t1_ixeh627 wrote

I love that statement. But Uruguay has won two World Cups, and I'm not sure they have as many people as our third largest city...

We ain't got no excuse.


Iohet t1_ixejizi wrote

> We ain't got no excuse.

Honestly, we just don't give a shit about the world cup collectively. It's not like the Olympics where we revel in the prestige of winning


JubeltheBear t1_ixen7oy wrote

That does explain the mens team underachieving. But it doesn't explain the womens team success.


Iohet t1_ixenf9u wrote

I figure it's mostly because the women's team gets to pick from the top athletes in the US. There's not a half dozen other sports that top athletes gravitate to, and collegiate sports have a lot of money to throw around because of Title IX. You're basically talking basketball, softball, and soccer, for the most part, maybe gymnastics and other Olympic sports as well


Dr_thri11 t1_ixf3pj8 wrote

It probably is the most popular women's sport in the US vs being 4-5th. There isn't really a women's version of American football of any size worth mentioning anyway, softball isn't popular, and the WNBA is niche at best. So soccer actually does pull the best women athletes to it in the US.


Dr_thri11 t1_ixf2ws6 wrote

The US has 3 sports that are more popular than soccer, and one other that soccer is just now starting to catch. That's the real reason, the country's elite athletes are playing American Football, basketball, and baseball instead. Even hockey is siphoning off a fair amount.


JubeltheBear t1_ixf3ro1 wrote

Absolutely. The investment isn’t worth the payoff here at the end of the day. But it’s also mind boggling that in 100 years it’s never been attempted or even prioritized.


Dr0110111001101111 t1_ixgtjk1 wrote

That’s a secondary reason at best. The reality is that in most countries, prodigal soccer players are identified as teenagers, and soccer becomes their full time job before they complete high school. In the US, our farm system is mainly the NCAA. That means American soccer players are usually juggling high school, then college as they work through their most crucially developmental years. And with MLS being far less lucrative than other sports organizations, many of them have to keep some sort of backup plan in mind the whole time.

So by the time an American soccer player finishes college and is ready to go pro, their counterparts in Europe and South America have been playing full time without distractions for at least 5, but potentially 10 years. They’re barely literate, but they are miles ahead in competition.


Dr_thri11 t1_ixgtzyg wrote

The amount of time and effort elite basketball and baseball players put into their sport is pretty similar with camps and summer leagues. Football is a bit different because it's so physical so playing more than the standard season would wreck your body, though the guys bound for D1 programs certainly start working out like it in highschool.


Dr0110111001101111 t1_ixguxd1 wrote

I agree that American soccer players train/develop similar to how American baseball/basketball players develop. The difference is that there are far fewer countries that have as much interest in those sports, so america can stand out better. Soccer is far more universal, so you have something closer to uniform exposure over the whole world.

With that said, look at a team like the Yankees. Only about half of them are actually American. Japan took the gold in the 2020 olympics. Don't confuse the MLB's ability to import talent with the notion that this country produces superior baseball players. Baseball would be unrecognizable without central america.


Dr_thri11 t1_ixgvc7l wrote

Can you see how having 4 other sports and soccer being a very distant 4th places siphons off the elite athletes though. You can't tell me that a country of 330 million wouldn't consistently field a better team than most of Europe and South America if it was far and away the most popular sport. But it's not, it's been kind of an afterthought the most elite athletes in the US have 4 other sports they tend to pick first.


Dr0110111001101111 t1_ixgx182 wrote

I definitely think it would make us far more competitive, but I definitely wouldn’t assume that would guarantee elite status just because of population size.

You made a great example with Uruguay. Tiny country, consistently competitive. Meanwhile soccer is huge in India (compared to USA) but they rarely even get a team to qualify.


Cacophonous_Silence t1_ixekrz5 wrote

It's just one of my favorite quotes from king of the hill (slightly edited)

Normally I pay attention to the WC but idc this time around


JubeltheBear t1_ixen9nc wrote

I thought I had seen that somewhere. You should post the video in your initial comment. Your downvotes are undeserved.