There’s this pervasive belief that since the United States isn’t going to the World Cup in 2018 Americans need to pick a new team or tune out because there’s nothing to watch for.
We’re gonna smash all those thoughts out right now.
You don’t need to pick a new team, okay? While the struggles of the USMNT are certainly something to ponder on, strategize for, and overcome– you, glorious friend, are likely not the manager, not the front-office, nor did you start that Trinidad-Tobago dumpster fire responsible for their absence at the world’s stage.
(Yes. We’re still mad about this goal too.)
You’ve been given a gift: you can watch the World Cup with the joy that comes from detachment. Your team isn’t in it, you’re free to watch the drama unfold without the hand-wringing or high blood pressure. Russia 2018 is a time for you to put your feet up and enjoy the entertainment that the best national squads in the world have to offer.
Tuning out is missing out. Two of the greatest players, maybe ever, are currently alive and playing right now. For both of them, this is likely their last chance at leading their national team to the finals of the World Cup. Two once a generation talents in the twilight of their National careers isn’t something to pass on witnessing lightly.
By the time the next World Cup is played Ronaldo will be 37 and Messi will be 35, despite the fact that they are still two of the greatest players in the world right now, their abilities may be drastically different in four years. For reference, legendary talent Ronaldinho (who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002) is 38 years old this year– he’s playing for the Deli Dragons, a futsal team in India. Five years ago he at least was still in the rotation on Brazil’s roster.
The World Cup isn’t about the US. Be honest with yourself. Even if the US Men’s National Team qualified, they were not the big selling feature for the competition.
There are at least four other teams more likely to be in the final: Germany, Brazil, Spain, France, sheesh, even England under the captaincy of Tottenham superstar Harry Kane has better upside potential. The World Cup for the US is a litmus test. It helps to show just how much progress the National team has made, but our National squad isn’t ready yet to be considered a serious contender.
It’s time to settle in for the action. With less than 24 hours till the first kick-ff that gets this month long competition underway, get your favorite chair ready, fix yourself a plate, turn the volume up, and get ready for one of the greatest sporting competitions the world has ever known to kick off.