Ghost written….sort of
Illegal…not according to FIFA Statutes (pg 17).
Inconceivable…nope; ask the Socceroos, though they had different reasons.
If the Olympics prove anything it is that once every four years, Americans like rooting for their athletes in random sports. How many friends of yours became luge or bobsled “experts” during the recent Winter Olympics?
So why does that spirit not transfer directly to the USMNT, the only big team sport that plays international competition throughout the year? Is soccer more fringe than ice dancing, skeleton, curling or even hockey? Even the most ardent soccer un-enthusiast wouldn’t agree with that.
One of the great things about being a fan of the USMNT is the opportunity to wear the colors and root for the flag. That can’t be done in basketball, baseball, football or hockey more than one time a year if at all.
If the lack of sustained support for the USMNT cannot be attributed the team, their performance or the sport itself. Could it be the opponent?
Perhaps Americans, on average, just don’t care about the US beating up on the likes of Honduras, El Salvador, Granada and Canada. And it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that most Americans don’t view Mexico as the enemy in sports either. (For proof, consider that Giants Stadium turned into Azteca North for the Gold Cup Final less than 8 months ago, complete with the throwing of projectiles at Americans taking corner kicks.)
Would support be different if the US squared-off with any sort of regularity against the likes of the big UEFA countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia and England. I think so.
Though garnering more public support may have been the impetus for this idea, there is far bigger payoff should the USSF withdraw from CONCACAF and shack up with UEFA.
The quality of American soccer will improve with more games against high quality opponents. and and entry into the World Cup finals going from near “sure thing” to “in the mix.”
The added benefit is that you get the US in the second biggest soccer tournament in the middle years between World Cups.
This would eliminate the “we get no respect from playing on CONCACAF” crap AND force the USSF to work harder at developing the program because qualifying for the WC just got a little harder. All the U-programs would play in bettercompetitions and kids would get exposure in Europe. Hell…MLS could even join the Champions League and get a taste of how far away the talent level really is.
With more US players based in Europe and the availability of East Coasts stadiums for home games, the travel isn’t too much of an issue. The US could still play friendlies with MLSers and train with the B team in Carson during January and February. Then, throw in a yearly December friendly against Mexico with the big boy club to maintain the rivalry.
Money is of course the big issue, but it ain’t like the US is filling stadiums anyway.
So how about it?