The World Cup, The USMNT, AND THE JEDI MIND TRICK
In the very first Star Wars movie there is a scene where Obi-Wan Kenobi takes control of a stormtroopers’ mind in order to convince him that Kenobi and company are not being sought by the Empire
I submit to you that US Soccer is trying to use this same mind control to convince we Americans that our men’s national team did something exceptional in the World Cup when, in reality, we did nothing of the sort.
Before I get into this too deeply , let me say that I am very excited about the young players — who are being trained in Europe- who comprised the team. I in no way feel our lack of achievement was their fault. Rather, I think that repeated gaffes and failures by US Soccer once again caused the on field talent to underachieve.
I have long been repulsed by the egomaniacal nature of many in US Soccer , but even I was surprised when days after we got bounced by the Netherlands , and then again at the culmination of the tournament, US Soccer put on an astounding social media blitz crowing about their “achievements” in Qatar and even denigrating other teams in the tournament.
Such megalomania triggered memories of 2017 , when only Trinidad and Tobago stood in the way of the USMNT qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. All the US had to do was win or TIE (barring really bizarre results) the game to qualify, in fact . Trinidad and Tobago was already eliminated from participating in the tournament, and the US had dominated them during the course of the year. As a consequence the USMNT entered the game with a totally unwarranted sense of security. So lightly did the USMNT take Trinidad and Tobago that when weather conditions at Ato Boldon Stadium were wet, candy assed USMNT players were carried over puddles so they wouldn’t get their precious feet wet as coaches laughed at the spectacle.
Well apparently all of that didn’t sit so well with Trinidad and Tobago who came out and won the game 2–1, causing the USMNT to miss their first world cup since 1986. It was an astonishing failure, even for US Soccer, especially in the wake of the USMNT’s 2014 cup which had been a very good one for the USMNT. In bracket play, they defeated a tough Ghana squad in dramatic fashion 2–1, they drew with European power Portugal 2–2, they played eventual champion Germany extremely well and only lost 1–0, and they battled a very respected Belgium team fiercely before ultimately succumbing to them 2–1 in the first knockout round.
So, in 2014 the USMNT scored 5 goals against mostly higher ranked opponents, which paved the way for narcissism and egomania to derail the 2018 bid in the dramatic previously mentioned fashion.
By comparison in 2022, the USMNT tied Wales who were ranked well below them. They then drew with England which was a good result against a higher ranked team. They followed that up with a boring and narrow 1–0 win over Iran , which again was ranked well below the US. Then, they were shown the door by the Netherlands in a 3–1 drubbing in which the Dutch were never really in any kind of fear about the outcome.
So, the 2014 USMNT put up more goals against better competition than the 2022 squad did.
Yet, if you follow US Soccer on any form of social media, you would think we were on the precipice of becoming a world soccer power.
The facts are what they are though, and stats don’t lie. The arrogance of US Soccer is almost as unbelievable as the seven fruitless corners that the US had versus England.
While the players deserve to feel proud and may achieve in spite of their governing body, US Soccer needs to realize that we who follow the USMNT aren’t Orwellian sheep who are just going to buy into their happy bullshit.
If any of the US Players happen to read this ( now who is being arrogant right?) , bravo boys. If any US Soccer honchos are reading it, here are two pieces of advice that you should take to heart:
- The Jedi mind trick only works in movies