Ok. We are still breathing, and the USMNT hasn’t disbanded yet. Is it a dark Monday for US footy? Yes. It’s a very dark day for US footy, but everyone hit the reset button. It’s not as bad as we think.
By no means am I defending the USMNYT for losing to Honduras. The U23’s are talented enough to make it through Olympic qualifying. I understand they were missing a plethora of players who were in Europe with the senior team, but as Twellman said, that’s no excuse. U.S. Soccer has all the resources and the talent pool to consistently field one of, if not the best, squad in CONCACAF. It should be us and Mexico battling it out for the top spot, but as of late the U.S. hasn’t been that powerhouse it should be.
However I disagree with the take that the Olympics is very important for American soccer. It’s important, but it’s not what we need to have locked in our brains. I don’t want the likes of Reyna, Dest, Pulisic, etc to be playing in the Olympics because I’m not sure the pro’s outweigh the cons. The Olympics is for younger guys who are looking to show they belong on the senior team. Guys like Daryl Dike are players I’d want to see in the Olympics because it allows them to grow within the national team ranks. The young stars like Reyna don’t necessarily need those Olympic touches.
Preparation for World Cup qualifying and the Gold Cup in the fall is the top priority. Not only does the USMNT have to qualify for the World Cup, but there has to be success at this World Cup in Qatar. I hate to be glim, or be dramatic, but this is a Golden Generation of soccer talent that cannot be wasted. “But Uncle Barnes these guys are so young we have so much time to be world soccer powers.” Uh wrong. We have this World Cup in 2022, and the one we host in 2026. That’s a brief window even though it’s 6 years.
I know nothing I have said so far has been reassuring or even remotely close to hitting the reset button, but now we’ve reached that point.
Repeat after me. The USMNT is going to be alright. I trust Greggy B as the manager, and I think this group of players has the talent and chemistry to make some serious noise this fall in the Gold Cup and in Qatar come 2022.