Changes for USA Soccer
September 14, 2018
Soccer is a great sport, but USA soccer could really be improved (and I don't just mean the men's national team missing the last World Cup). These are my plans if I was in charge of US soccer.
The Nation Cup
The World Cup is one of the most exciting events in sports. Suddenly everyone likes soccer, and you already have a team to root for! (Unless you are rooting for the country you studied abroad in instead of your own, that is the worst!) I would like a United States version, where each state sends a team in a big tournament. Players can only play for the state they grew up in. It would still be all the best American players in the world of course. I think this would be so fun, to root for your home state(s) and have some state pride! Obviously the big states have a population advantage, but so do the countries in the World Cup, and underdogs sometimes make it.
College Men's Soccer
College Men's soccer is such a major dissappointment in the United States. It is practically non-existent. It is nice that colleges usually have Women's teams, but I would like to see Men's teams everywhere too! College football and basketball are a lot of fun because people take pride in their schools and want to beat their rivals. Plus it could be a great way to develop players instead of them going to minor-league soccer teams that nobody really cares about. Of course, college soccer would have to make sense. There will be no "Top 25 teams based on some poll". That is such a lame way to determine the best teams. That's like communism..."The Central Committee has decided that ____ is the number one team". There will be a big college soccer tournament at the end of the year, like March Madness where the teams can really face off. It will be awesome.
Promotion and Relegation
I was totally blown away when I found out about promotion and relegation. The worst teams in the league get dropped down to a lower level and the best teams get moved up. That is so cool! Meanwhile, our pro sports leagues in the US can tank without any consequences. I'm pretty sure NBA teams tank on purpose. At the time of writing this, the San Jose Earthquakes have just 4 wins and 15 losses. And that is just fine for them, nothing will happen to that team because the MLS doesn't have promotion/relegation.
Minor league teams are kind of a fun idea, but if a player starts doing well, he'll get taken away, and the team suddenly is without their great player. It would make every single game a lot more meaningful if our leagues had promotion and relegation instead. We should forget the MLS and start over. Make a premier league for the best 20 teams. Then make lower and lower tiers below that. Anyone can start a team, even some rinky-dink town not normally known for sports. Then if their team does well, suddenly they are playing in the big leagues! It would be really exciting to support a team like that. It would give teams a real reason to win games.
Bring Back the Waldo Jerseys
My last big decision would be to bring back the Waldo jerseys for Team USA! They are my all-time favorite.