Why US is so bad in soccer
Maybe the problem in the US is similar to the problem in the UK – and the reason our international teams never make an impact in tournaments. Namely that we are so obsessed with the domestic league, with making it the richest in the world, attracting the best players possible and so on, that we neglect the development of home grown players. The majority of players in the leagues of successful countries are local players (ignoring the “giants”) but the opposite is true in the UK and I suspect in the US too, with its obsession with advertising dollars and glamour.
You have simply to decide what comes first: your national team and the development of the sport nationally; or the lure of money and prestige from turning your league into an international showcase.
The pay to play system is the biggest reason the USA is bad. In Europe, Africa, South America, Asian, Central America, The Caribbean kids don’t pay anything to be developed in soccer so it becomes about finding the best players regardless of their social background. US grassroots development is about finding the rich parents who can pay the travel team fees. Remember to play in an elite youth soccer team it can cost as much as 5k a year. The fees prevent working class Black, White and Hispanic kids get into the sport and they tend to be the better and hungrier athletes. To play in the Real Madrid, Barcelona and Man Utd youth academy cost nothing but talent and hard work. These fees turn soccer from the most inclusive sports in the world, to one of the most elitist sports in America on par with tennis and golf. Nothing sums up the exclusiveness in the US system more than Donald Trump’s son who is apparently good at soccer and is being scouted by the nation youth teams. So a billionaire’s son can enter the US development system but working class African Americans and Hispanics can’t.
Americans are inherently greedy people which is why they don’t have free healthcare and charge kids to play soccer. So the only way you are going to change things is appealing to this greedy nature of Americans. Allow development fees to be paid to travel teams,if one of their players go pro, like what happens in the rest of the world. If coach knew he could get 500K or even a million for a player that went pro, over night you would see these soccer coaches leave the affluent suburbs and go to the inner-cities, working class black, white and hispanic neighbours because they know they would find better and more hungry athletes that would more likely go pro.