The Rise of American Soccer
U.S. MNT Takes on Guyana in Opening Match of Group D on June 18 of the Concacaf (the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) championship.
Kickoff at Allianz Field in St. Paul at 10 PM East Coast / 7 PM West Coast ET on FS1, UniMas and UDN
The U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off its first match in the 2019 Gold Cup today, Tuesday, June 18 and takes on Guyana in the opener. Newcomer to the Gold Cup, Guyana holds the No. 177 in FIFA’s rankings.
This is Day 4 of the Concacaf Gold Cup and the United States is the defending champion, having won the 2017 tournament. In fact, The U.S. has earned the title of Gold Cup champion a total of six times in this biennial tournament.
This year, our country’s new head coach, Gregg Berhalter, will have his squad trying to secure the title again.
This is the evolution of American soccer. Our country’s effort to develop our own soccer identity and style — and we are doing it live, as we compete on the world stage.
Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but the goal is to make the point that other countries have benefited from generations of loving soccer — with their soccer styles evolving before it was so apparent that a country’s identity was being figured out while playing games in front social media commentaries and TV pundits.
Most countries have had the luxury of developing their soccer identity before the infestation of social media’s instantaneous flow of commentary. Germany’s world-class style was developed before the advent of the cell phone. England’s just after civilization
The USA is forced to build its soccer style in front of a live TV audience.
It takes bravery to implement this — and we, soccer fans, need to be brave enough to give this quest a chance, especially if we ever want to achieve real sustainable success.
The pressure is on: After failing at the World Cup qualifying campaign, there is a lot of pressure on U.S. Soccer and Berhalter to be successful on the field.
We are grooming our players for the future and giving younger players a chance
While the USA has won the Gold Cup more than any other nation, going 56-8-9 all-time, today’s Gold Cup opener for the USA may be tough. Only ten players from our former team which claimed the Gold Cup championship in 2017.
Michael Bradley (4 tournaments), Jozy Altidore, Omar Gonzalez and Sean Johnson (3), Tim Ream and Gyasi Zardes (2), and Paul Arriola, Matt Miazga Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan (1) all have played in at least one or more Gold Cups.
Today’s game will be missing some of America’s new rising stars including Tyler Adams and Duane Holmes.
But let’s remember, more important than racking up victories is creating an identity and style for our country — and this takes time, but ensures a greater chance of success in the future. And the players, from Michael Bradley, Paul Arriola, Omar Gonzalez and Weston McKennie all agree.
Regardless of the Gold Cup games, we have to look towards the future.
So, let’s give Berhalter and his team the time and respected deserved to create a great American soccer style.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION with CLUB/CAPS/GOALS SCORED
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 7/0), 22-Tyler Miller (LAFC; 0/0), 1-Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 10/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 14-Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 2/0), 3-Omar Gonzalez (Toronto FC/CAN; 50/3), 2-Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 4/0), 23-Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 6/0), 16-Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 5/0), 19-Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 14/1), 13-Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 30/1), 5-Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 7/2)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 145/17), 8-Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 9/1), 20-Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 3/1), 10-Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 25/10), 15-Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 11/0), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 17/0)
FORWARDS (6): 17-Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 111/41), 7-Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 23/3), 21-Tyler Boyd (Vitória Guimãres/POR; 1/0), 18-Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 4/0), 11-Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 28/5), 9-Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 45/7)
Note: A majority of the roster comes from Major League Soccer, with 17 players representing 12 clubs