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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 20, 2018

Hey US soccer: Figure it out!

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News | Jul 06, 2018

On Aug. 20, 2016, the United States men’s basketball team clubbed Serbia 96-66 to win gold at the Rio games. Just over seven months later, the U.S. baseball team hammered Puerto Rico 8-0 to win the World Baseball Classic.

That’s the kind of dominance we expect out of American international sports teams. There has been no greater sports dynasty in the modern era than the ole red white and blue, but there is still one major blemish that continues to haunt our nation year after year: The U.S. men’s soccer team.

The U.S. men stink out loud. There is no way around it. In fact, they’re so bad, they didn’t even make this year’s World Cup, leaving American fans to find some other country to root for.

On this, the week of July 4, 2018, I hereby declare independence from this crummy franchise. I declare independence from all the below average coaches and players that have disappointed this nation year after year after year, and I call for an uprising to replace those losers with Americans who actually know how to win.

I know what you’re going to say, “But Andy, soccer is the number one sport in every other country. That’s why they always beat us!”

Oh yeah? Well, according to chartsbin.com, which is some website I clicked on because it was a top Google search, the most popular sport in France is basketball. What happens when the U.S. plays France in basketball? Victory for the U.S. That’s what happens.

The U.S. beat France 100-97 in 2016. And in 2008, Old Glory dunked on them 98-71. That 2008 game was so bad, we should have sent them their own Statue of Liberty, just so they knew there were no hard feelings.

The most popular sport in Norway? Ice Hockey. The last time we played them in the Olympics? Try 6-1 in favor of the stars and stripes.

Boxing is the most popular sport in three countries: Hungary, Luxembourg and Nicaragua. Do you think anyone from any of those countries could have knocked out Mike Tyson in his prime? Probably not, unless they ambushed him outside of a nightclub or something.

It’s not just that we’re bad, either. It’s that we’re so bad, we don’t even expect good things to happen. In fact, the men’s national team won “Best Moment” at the ESPYs (ESPN’s sports award show) in 2010 and 2014, after winning pool play matches against Algeria and Ghana, respectively. And both of those teams got knocked out one game later in the round of 16.

Round of 16? We should be breezing through the round of 16! We should be randomly subbing in the kids from the youth soccer programs that sold the most magazine subscriptions!

Here is a fun fact for you: The United States has won 1,127 gold medals at the Olympics. Second place is the Soviet Union, with 473, and we started beating them so bad at sports that they had to hit the cancel button on their whole country!

But how many of those 1,127 gold medals are from men’s soccer? Zero. We’ve never won.

Here is another fun fact: The first time the U.S. ever competed in men’s soccer at the Olympics was 1904. There were only three teams in the tournament; two from the United States and one from Canada. We got second and third. If you’re keeping score at home, that is last and second-to-last.

And how many medals have our boys won since 1904? I’ll give you a hint; it’s also the amount of goals we scored in this year’s World Cup. That’s right...zero! Meanwhile, the women’s team has won four golds and a silver, and they didn’t start having Olympic women’s soccer until 1996. That’s the same year Bill Clinton won re-election.

So if any of you U.S. soccer players are reading this, and you probably are since you don’t have anything else to be doing (They probably can’t play any games because all the other teams are out at the World Cup), I’ve got three words for you. Figure it out! I don’t want to have to come back here next year and see you like this again.

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