By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
  1. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Country:
    Philippines

    The Flop Heard Round the World

    By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
    Congratulations!

    We did it, everyone! We’ve arrived!

    You and I, all of us, together. We made it. For the first time, we’re going to miss the World Cup.

    Oh, sure, we’ve neglected to send a team the World Cup lots of times. But this time, we had fans. Millions of us. Were fans from shining sea to similarly shining sea outraged when we missed out on Switzerland 1954? They were not. When we missed out on France 1938, was the Internet alight with rage? It was not. This is the first time we will truly miss the World Cup.

    Our nation’s best have failed. We are outsiders.

    Rejoice! We’re a real soccer nation now!

    During the years we have graced the World Cup with our presence, England, Mexico, France, the Netherlands, Qatar, Uruguay, Portugal – all have missed one or more tournament. Everyone has gone through it. Everyone but Brazil. But they had to deal with 1950 and 7-1, so they’ve walked their own path through darkness.

    Well, scoot over, buddies. Your Uncle Sam needs a comfy place to sit.

    What? Upside? Silver lining? The hell are you talking about? We failed. We’re going to miss the World Cup. There’s no bright side. This is it. Empty. Void.

    The abyss is staring back. Hell, the abyss is asking what a nice country like us is doing in a dive like this.

    We have been weighed in the balance, and found wanting. We have walked on the path to nowhere. The b’ar got us. We are at one with the windshield. We are the Velvet Underground after Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and Mo Tucker all left. Rorschach has looked down and whispered “no.”

    This is going to last for years. A lot of powerful people and wealthy corporations are realizing this morning they have set several huge piles of money on fire. Which is, let’s face it, pretty damn funny.

    But this is America, and the trickle-down system is alive and well. Somewhere this morning there are hundreds of people whose job it is to sell tickets to Major League Soccer, America’s favorite new whipping boys of failure. Somewhere this morning there are sponsors who have bought airtime with a big eagle-shaped hole in it. Somewhere this morning there are people whose livelihoods depended on the assumption that the United States would qualify.

    Yeah, I too have heard tales of the USSF’s multi-million surplus. Brothers and sisters, that money is spent. What, you think it was sitting around in bags with dollar signs on them, or filling Sunil’s swimming pool so he could channel Scrooge McDuck? Those chickens weren’t just counted, they were sold, skinned and deep-fried. If THAT money was going to trickle down, it won’t now.

    Did the powers that be - well, the powers that were - deserve a house call from Dr. Nemesis? Probably. But real people will feel the consequences. Salaries will go down, jobs will be lost. A lot of those people have done a lot of hard work and put up with a lot of bullshit for the sport we love.

    Yeah, from now on, we probably won’t take the World Cup for granted. That’s not a silver lining, that’s putting up a stoplight on the site of a five-car pileup.

    Last night marked the end of – I don’t know what we’ll call it. The Caligiuri Era? That Time When We Were Into Soccer? We have started a new chapter. Now we’ll find out what we can survive.

    If we had pulled his stunt in 2001, MLS would not have survived. And it would have been replaced by nothing. The USISL would have been the de facto top division in pro soccer in this country, and the number of Americans who made their living playing soccer anywhere could have once again fit in a medium-sized pamphlet.

    We’ll find out if that extra sixteen years was enough time. We had Adumania and Beckhamania and Chivas USA and Cascadia inventing soccer. But we also had MLS cheerfully taking applause for Dos a Cero and Landon’s Algeria goal. Seems like a hundred years ago now, doesn’t it? MLS is going to have to sell its own charms for the next few years.

    You would think pro soccer would survive, but then again, you would think a Hall of Fame coach with a laundry list of domestic and international accomplishments would qualify out of the Hex for a third time.

    This is a disaster. This is the biggest disaster in the history of the sport in America. The damage hasn’t yet begun to be calculated, and there’s no way to make it better.

    Well….there’s one way to make it better.

    All this goes away if we host the World Cup again.

    We’ll still have our cherished memories of last night, of course. Take, for example, Christian Pulisic. That’s one of a very few World Cups he will have, gone, gone with the wind. Yeah, there’s 2022 and 2026 – we hope. But he’s going to be so damned good – he’s already so damned good. Even a three and out in 2018 would have prepared him for 2022 and 2026.

    Maybe he wins a Champions League and a Ballon d’Or, or several – that would probably prepare him adequately for the World Cup. But Pulisic has “I’m going to do magical things, so everyone watch” written all over him. I want to see that magic representing American soccer, in American colors. At best, I have to wait. That’s four years of fans he won’t win over, four years of greatness we won’t have in our history.

    Hell, my dumb ass was looking forward to seeing John Brooks in another World Cup, let alone Pulisic. And you didn’t have glimmery visions of Clint Dempsey coming off the bench for a game-winning, record-setting goal? (Okay, he probably would have broken the record in the tournament run-up.)

    As I was saying, hosting the World Cup brings back the fans, brings back the hype, brings back the financial certainty. We’ll take that 48 team extravabortion and sell every damned ticket. We’ll have so many eyeballs on so many ads that P.T. Barnum himself will look down from heaven and say “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”

    Oh, we won’t have those big money qualifiers, but we have to share that cash with CONCACAF anyway. And I have a sneaking suspicion Soccer United Marketing will come up with something to fill the void.

    That does leave us fans with what might be called a dilemma. The most qualified man, by far, to bring back the World Cup? Sunil Gulati. Out of the other declared or potential candidates, how many would you trust to run a Pinewood Derby, let alone a World Cup?

    Sure, Sunil could blow it. As we speak, somewhere in Morocco some wiseass is probably saying how the 2026 World Cup would outweigh qualification failure, in case the Abidjan match in November goes south on them. But Sunil is the high percentage choice. Just like Bruce Arena was. Are you willing to risk the one thing that will make everything all better, because otherwise Sunil Gulati won’t be properly punished?

    There’s also a dilemma for the USSF – well, one of many. Without SUM, the biggest revenue generator American soccer has – the Mexican national team – stays home much more often. Those friendlies are going to be pretty crucial in keeping the lights on between now and when/if we host the World Cup again. Now that there are officially much bigger fish to fry, it’s time to settle with NASL.

    If the USSF is willing to sacrifice the integrity of their divisional standards, then SUM is pretty much secure. If the death of SUM is NASL’s price, then there’s probably no alternative but to see the thing through. But since NASL forgot to ask for that explicitly in their filing, then the smart call is to offer them even more than what they explicitly asked for. They wanted D2, give them D1. Divide leagues into Professional, Amateur, and Outlaw. Or do without divisional standards until NASL decides to die. Just get this thing out of the way while it still costs nothing.

    A lot of countries don’t have these kinds of options. But Wales and Ghana probably didn’t overextend themselves as much as the USSF has.

    Yes, the honorable way back to respectability is to patiently build club loyalty one fan at a time, training and honing individual players, finding a wise coach to rebuild the national team – look, that crap hasn’t worked for Holland or Mexico, and it won’t work for us. But we can take a shortcut that will win over millions of fans overnight. Given the choice between hosting and qualifying? Host, every time. That is the USSF’s mission right now.

    And if that $100 million surplus is earmarked to outbribe Morocco? Money well spent.
     
?

Hi, I'm a monkey's paw. Here are today's specials:

  1. Sunil, but we get the World Cup

    14 vote(s)
    45.2%
  2. CHANGE! but the Lions of Atlas get a bye

    17 vote(s)
    54.8%

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Dan Loney, Oct 11, 2017.

    1. FijiUnited

      FijiUnited Member+

      Feb 21, 2007
      Orlando
      Club:
      Orlando City SC
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      Does anyone seriously believe USSF will learn anything from this?
       
    2. Spry

      Spry Member

      Apr 25, 2006
      Pasadena
      Club:
      Los Angeles Galaxy

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      I certainly do. Have to to stay relevant. This is unquestionably a disaster but not one on the scale of say Germany, Italy, Brazil, or England missing out. Moreover it's not as if the US has been competitive at the World Cup to the degree that perennial power houses actually consider the US a real threat. And so, it's time for reflection and to address the elephant in the room. Why isn't the US, with a soccering youth population far greater than most, considered one of the top 20 teams in the world?
       
    3. MM66

      MM66 Member

      Mar 9, 2009
      Brookline, MA
      Club:
      Real Madrid

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      Should have used a picture of Status Quo instead of Bowling for Soup.
       
    4. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      This is probably too boring for a blog post, even by my standards, but I have been thinking about this.

      I think it's partly because we market the game as a damn youth sport.

      This idea that there's supposed to be a correlation between youth popularity and adult professional prowess is, well, not proven to my satisfaction. There's no World Series of Candyland. Professional foursquare and tetherball get surprisingly low ratings.

      How many people do you know play video games? Now, how many people do you know who play video games for a living?

      I think the primary driver for professionalism is a market, or an audience, or something that generates profit. If more people watch e-sports, then you will see more pro video game players. Just like generations of yore slowly saw more professional skateboarders (or, for that matter, computer programmers).

      How do we apply this theory to US soccer, MLS and/or player development? We increase the fan base. We've been able to do this because the USNTs have wrapped themselves in the flag, and MLS has joyfully followed along. Now we won't have that. But there are also things like better stadiums, positive fan experience, all the nuts and bolts stuff.

      Since the nuts and bolts stuff is pretty difficult, slow, and unpredictable, while hosting the World Cup is easy and dependable, I'd explore that option too.
       
      SteelyTom and MPNumber9 repped this.
    5. Anthony

      Anthony Member+

      Aug 20, 1999
      Chicago
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      “They have forgotten nothing and they have learned nothing”
       
    6. (They call him) RMc

      Jun 1, 2013
      Club:
      Celtic FC

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      Why isn't the US, with a soccering youth population far greater than most, considered one of the top 20 teams in the world?

      We were, and not that long ago: the US was ranked #14 in 2013. (Indeed, the average FIFA year-end ranking for the US team since 1993 is 20th.)

      I think it's partly because we market the game as a damn youth sport.

      Um...are we supposed to discourage youth from playing soccer? ("You, there! No soccer 'til you're eighteen!" "Awww, gee whiz...!")

      Still, I get what you're saying, I think. I remember when I was a kid back in nineteen-(loud coughing noise), lots of kids played soccer...and they all grew up to be lawyers who bought tickets to baseball and football games. But it doesn't always have to be that way, does it?
       
    7. The Franchise

      The Franchise Member+

      Nov 13, 2014
      Bakersfield, CA
      Club:
      Real Salt Lake
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      There's a lot of pro gamers. Worldwide, across all games, it's thousands. Of course, hundreds of millions play some sort of video game at least occasionally.
       
      Chesco United repped this.
    8. Tejano

      Tejano Member+

      Sep 25, 2012
      Puro ATL
      Club:
      CF Rayados de Monterrey

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      I completely disagree. This was not heard around the world, very little coverage-few people really cared. Chile and Netherlands is news. I first read of this in a side story of the New York times. I have yet to meet anyone in the street who really cared about this result.
       
      Soaker888 repped this.
    9. HomokHarcos

      HomokHarcos Member+

      Jul 2, 2014
      Club:
      AS Roma
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      What? It was literally the top story on Reddit.
       
      Paul Calixte repped this.
    10. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      I know, I was about to reference Korea providing a market as a reason why there were any at all, but...

      I wonder if I can type "I didn't want to go on a tangent" without being struck by lightning.
       
      Honore de Ballsac repped this.
    11. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      The Shot Heard Round The World (Caligiuri's, not 1776) was also exaggerated in attention.

      But I wish I had thought of the "Millennials Are Killing The US World Cup Chances" joke headline before I hit post.
       
      Professor B repped this.
    12. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      I could have phrased it more elegantly...on the other hand, "Don't play [gridiron] football!" hasn't hurt the NFL. Maybe more of our guys need to pick fights with Trump.
       
    13. RafaLarios

      RafaLarios Member+

      Oct 2, 2009
      Medellín
      Club:
      Atletico Nacional
      Country:
      Colombia
      #14 RafaLarios, Oct 12, 2017 at 9:09 AM
      Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 9:38 AM

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      Anecdotes doesn't make facts... here in Colombia some peaople were commenting it even minutes after it happened. (also because Panama Qualified, and that team is being coached by a Colombian).. but still, it was part of the news.
       
      Martininho and Paul Calixte repped this.
    14. Paul Calixte

      Paul Calixte Member+

      Orlando City SC
      Apr 30, 2009
      Miami, FL
      Club:
      Orlando City SC
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      You read Spanish? Everyone in Latin America was talking about it (gleefully, you may not be surprised to find out). Even made the front page of Marca in Spain.

      In re: the NASL, @Dan Loney what would a USSF settlement look like vis-à-vis its CCL berths? They could technically have the MLS Cup and NASL winners play off for the USA1 berth, but I'm not sure MLS would be on-board with satisfying the NASL's ego-trip. Rather, I could see the USSF taking a berth away from the "opposite conference" winner...

      USA1: MLS Cup winner
      USA2: MLS Supporters' Shield winner
      USA3: US Open Cup winner
      USA4: NASL winner
       
    15. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      If I wanted to preserve the basic present system?

      One spot to Open Cup winner.

      Assign the other spots according to a co-efficient based on how well the league's teams do in the Open Cup. The league then chooses how to allocate those spots (MLS Cup - er, I mean, league championship, Supporters Shield - er, I mean,

      So, let's say MLS got every semifinalist spot except one or two for the past ten years or so. They'd get 2.9 spots.

      The USL, thanks to Cincinnati, would get 0.1 spot.

      The NASL would get zero spots.

      Or, in Year One of the Post Division era, let every each US pro league champ into the pot alongside the Caribbean teams, and see how far they go. Then assign coefficients to leagues based on how far teams go in the CCL. It would suck one year for Shield winners, but I got a hunch MLS gets its spots back in a hurry.
       
    16. MPNumber9

      MPNumber9 Member+

      Oct 10, 2010
      Club:
      Los Angeles Galaxy
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      Where the analogy applies to soccer is if you looked at all the folks playing video games in the US (which I imagine is an astronomical number) you'd be mistaken assume all of those players are striving to put in the time and effort to earn a professional wage playing video games. We look at youth participation rates in the US that seem to be impressive, but these participants are not engaging with soccer as a long-term viable profession and are therefore not putting in the time and effort it would take to earn a professional wage doing it. They are also not, necessarily, engaging in soccer as culture (watching matches live or on TV, talking about players etc); it's merely a past-time.

      The analogy I always use is ping-pong. I know lots of people who can and have played ping-pong and very few that are aspirant to achieve in the sport as a profession (or could name a great ping-pong player).
       
    17. The Franchise

      The Franchise Member+

      Nov 13, 2014
      Bakersfield, CA
      Club:
      Real Salt Lake
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      American soccer is certainly more solid than table tennis, but the analogy holds up. Music is even more like this; how many parents sending kids to piano lessons expect them to become professional musicians? My dad stopped asking my sister if she'd gotten a job when she had a child. Now he assumes she's a full-time parent, instead of remaining the primary earner for her family. He thinks of her songwriting and composing as a hobby, not a profession paying better than what he and mom earned.

      I wouldn't be surprised if MLS players are used to occasionally being asked what they do for money, with the implication that playing first division soccer doesn't have a living wage. (Which, to be fair, wasn't the case at the very bottom of the roster until pretty recently.)
       
      MPNumber9 and Dan Loney repped this.
    18. USRufnex

      USRufnex Member+

      Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
      United States
      Jul 15, 2000
      Tulsa, OK
      Club:
      --other--

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      When did Bigsoccer become Dan Loney's personal blog? Asking for a friend.
       
    19. RafaLarios

      RafaLarios Member+

      Oct 2, 2009
      Medellín
      Club:
      Atletico Nacional
      Country:
      Colombia

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      No one Is stopping you from writing front page articles ...

      Stop complaining
       
    20. nicklaino

      nicklaino Member+

      Feb 14, 2012
      Brooklyn, NY
      Club:
      Manchester United FC

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      My thoughts in just this game. Everyone thought we were going to win it. The manager and the players thought it. This was like a final elimination game you can’t think like that. That the main reason why we lost this game.

      I saw Juventus play Manchester United 10 years or more ago. I went with over a hundred Italians that knew we would beat them. Then we saw the manager of Juventus sit half of his starters in the first half. Then play the rest in the second half and we lost. Manchester United played almost all of their starters and won.

      The US did something like that there were some of our starters on the bench in the first half. This was a final elimination game for us. You start the best team you have in this game. You don’t sit starters.

      Would we have won the game if we did that maybe? I just know in big games you play your best players they don’t sit on the bench.
       
      barroldinho repped this.
    21. Roger Allaway

      Roger Allaway Member+

      Apr 22, 2009
      Warminster, Pa.
      Club:
      Philadelphia Union
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      He's written six blog posts in the last six weeks. It's not his fault that nobody else has written any.
       
    22. nicklaino

      nicklaino Member+

      Feb 14, 2012
      Brooklyn, NY
      Club:
      Manchester United FC

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      Well I am interested in other things now that we are out of the WC. I could say baseball the Yankees were in it at least the last time I looked. I stopped watching baseball when Reggie Jackson played the out field for the Yankees and was Mr. October.

      I could say American football I played that till I was 24 last team was the Orlando Panthers in the cfl. But this thing with the players not standing up during the national anthem is too much to take for an old Italian American. I guess people consider me an old white guy. Some people think just old white guys stand up with your hand over your heart. Because I can’t know what it is like to be messed with by the police. Even thought I was stopped and frisked by them as a kid and took beatings off them. There not my favorite people but what do I know I am white.

      I could start to shoot pool and go bowling again. I was pretty good at both. But arthritis and bad vision as an old guy I can still do it, but not very long and not that good any more. I don’t even want to watch that on tv because both put me to sleep.

      Golf never got the attraction of golf. Tennis no, bocce too much cursing from old Italian guy even when there are kids around. They actually want to fight that part I dig.
       
    23. Anthony

      Anthony Member+

      Aug 20, 1999
      Chicago
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      United States

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      I think bocce is now the sport of the future given that soccer will disappear from the U.S.
       
    24. USRufnex

      USRufnex Member+

      Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
      United States
      Jul 15, 2000
      Tulsa, OK
      Club:
      --other--
      #25 USRufnex, Oct 17, 2017 at 10:08 AM
      Last edited: Oct 17, 2017 at 10:15 AM

      The Flop Heard Round the World

      By Dan Loney on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:46 PM
      It's Bigsoccer's fault that nobody else wants to write any contrasting opinions and that most conversations have become decided one-sided and STALE.

      So I'll turn to articles like this one, instead... http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/aztecs/sd-sp-us-soccer-world-cup-20171011-story,amp.html
      Have a nice day!
       

Share This Page