"Stop Letting the History of the Top Teams be Better Than You”
This idea that Brazil, Germany and Italy – the leaders in World Cup titles – are better than us based on their track record should be respected, but approached from a different viewpoint. If we had five titles to our brand we’d use that and reflect on the fact that we’ve won five titles, and the players of yore have passed on their knowledge of the game to the next generations. Whoever puts on the jersey should know they are there for good reason, and the symbolic act of wearing that jersey automatically gives them confidence over other nations that have not won World Cup titles. This is the advantage the aforementioned nations have over us. No matter how hard you try, you cannot strip them of their confidence. They are the established forerunners of the game. They are the trendsetters. However, we can’t allow that fact to keep us out of the mix. The way to get into that mix, is to shrug aside their history, have a belief in what you’re doing, and be excited to play the best teams. The way they beat other teams is the way you’re going to defeat them: looking forward to one-on-one encounters, good possession, patience in possession. We have the defensive part of the game down. Our defenders can defend. Our players are just as athletic as any other nation playing. That’s not the issue. It’s controlling the ball within the framework of long-term possession that is one of the main detractors to our progress. We also psyche ourselves out. We approach the top teams with too much reverence. We’re not Madagascar, after all. No offense Madagascar. We’re an Olympic Gold Medal hoarding nation. We have so many Gold Medals that we could quit competing for eight years and we’d still be on top of the winners list. America’s an athletic nation that dominates every other sport, except soccer. That can change, that will change, but, it starts with a coach, and the belief from fans alike, emphasizing the goal of entering the World Cup is to win the World Cup, not just have a good showing.