When you think of sports news or American sports, soccer didn’t even come close to the top of the list. But it is growing fast. As the number one sport globally, it was only a matter of time. US soccer fans are smitten. The sport is subject to rapid change in the coming decades, for the better.
These tendencies are apparent in the existing fandom and the official team.
A World Cup Defeat Didn’t Deter the US Team
The United States men’s national soccer team (USMNT) lost 3 to 1 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup to the Netherlands. While the team didn’t reach the quarter-finals, it’s much better than when they failed to qualify for the tournament in 2018.
The reason for the popularity surge is an uptick in young and skilled talent across the US. In 2022, the nation had the youngest team in the World Cup. At first glance, this may not be as inspiring to some. However, the experienced players stand on their own. They will be able to make a better impression in the next World Cup.
Since it will be on home ground, the pressure is high. But the fact that the US is going to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup arrived opportunely. While hosting the cup in 1994 contributed to the sport’s popularity in the US, the roster was less talented than it is now.
While they were defeated in their first World Cup, it only set them up for success. As British fans say, the sting of major defeat or suffering is the mark of a soccer nation. As US fans increase yearly, soccer may replace baseball as the nation’s favorite sport.
The Impact of the Soccer Fandom
Soccer fans are known for their diehard commitment to the sport. The fandom can pull you in so fast people forget the life they had before. However, for decades, soccer was relatively obscure in the US. In fact, it was often the butt end of jokes or dismissals.
However, after reaching the World Cup for the first time in decades, the young players lifted the sport from obscurity in the nation. It sparked an interest in soccer when its popularity was also declining globally. So what if the team lost in the last cup? They set a strong foundation for the sport in the nation, which may propel the team to success in the 2026 World Cup.
Defeat Is Not the End
Certain changes must be made as the US and the federation prepare to co-host the next tournament. For one thing, they should build on the foundation set by the team, including creating clubs. With the bitter taste of defeat still apparent in their mouth, the youngest team in the World Cup will hit their prime in the next four years if they develop at the club level.
Some players can develop at the top level while playing internationally (such as Musah and Tyler Adams). As they add more accomplishments to their impressive lists, they can become lethal forces just in time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
While young US soccer players will continue to leave for Europe, their training will help their team make a comeback in force. Promising young players should be integrated into the senior team quickly. This will give them ample time to grow as players and become invaluable members before the next tournament.
Just in from Sports News – Onward to Victory!
If the US soccer team continues to train with the same zeal that got them close to the quarter-finals, they may become viable contenders for the cup. A win will cement the sport’s reputation in the country.
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