If October 10th was The Day the Soccer Died in the United States, consider today –World Cup Draw Day- the burial.
Last month, when the USMNT lost to Trinidad and Tobago- yes, that really happened- their World Cup hopes were dashed. The embarrassment of the US not even qualifying among 32 countries likely wiped out any momentum the sport may have had to take roots in here, and set the sport back at least 20-30 years. The USMNT is already undergoing an overhaul, there are no American players among the world’s greats, and pro soccer hasn’t grown at anything close to the desired rate. At this point soccer isn’t going to come close to surpassing any of the 4 Major Sports in popularity any time during this generation.
Today is World Cup Draw day, which really drives the point home. Soccer in the US is dead and buried.
My take on the situation is that the die-hard soccer fans in this country are totally good with this development. Sure, they have their rehearsed lines for the rest of us. “More goals? Such a closed-minded American thing to say”. “You just don’t understand the intricacies of the game”. “There is more going on than you think”.
On its face, it would seem they are trying to convince you to embrace the sport as part of an effort to bring it into the mainstream. But in reality, these people are the hipsters of the sports-fan world. They like their little community; they enjoy holding onto their superiority, looking down upon the “typical American” sports fans.
Every time they refer to football as “American Football”, they’re letting you know they’re on a different level. They don’t want soccer to go main stream any more than they wanted Jawbreaker to sign with a major label.*
Die Hard Soccer fans in America outwardly wept on October 10th, but inwardly celebrated. Today, I’m sure there is a pub in Portland, OR hosting an invitation only World Cup Draw watch party, with scarfed partygoers expressing unbridled enthusiasm as they enjoy their pints- their worry about ESPN dedicating any prime air time to analyzing the groups, having been alleviated.
Die Hards…well played. You went all in on the long con, and you almost got away with it. But Le Cap sees all. I’m on to you. It all makes sense now. Well, you enjoy your day today, and enjoy not having to share the 2018 World Cup experience with the masses. You can don your club jersey and gather with your elitist soccer mates, without having to explain the off sides rule or injury time to anyone.
*Lil’ Dogg gave me that line. I’m still not entirely sure who Jawbreaker is/was.