Why Americans suck at soccer (well, the men)

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  • Published on:  Thursday, June 21, 2018
  • We’ve got a theory, and it involves the soccer wars.

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    In this episode of Vox Almanac, Vox’s Phil Edwards puts forth a theory about terrible American men’s soccer.

    There are a lot of reasons Americans suck at soccer - but if you look at the history, you’ll find a surprisingly compelling explanation for why American soccer never took off. In the 1920s, soccer was a surprisingly successful sport in the US, with massive matches and a robust league. What went wrong?

    American soccer and English football first diverged in the 1800s, when American colleges like Harvard and Yale started playing a more rugby-like game. But America quickly caught up with soccer in the 1920s, attracting large crowds and even stealing away European players.

    Then the soccer wars happened. Constant battles in the 1920s between the ASL - American Soccer League - and USFA — United States Football Association — carved up American soccer’s cash, fans, and talent. By the time the depression hit, American soccer was so weakened that it couldn’t rebound as well as European and South American soccer culture did. The subsequent half-century of sports build up gave Americans a permanent handicap when it came to building a robust soccer culture.

    It’s a theory — but the success of the US Women’s National Team bears out the idea that something is specifically wrong for the men. And it just might be the case that 1920s soccer wars are the reason.

    Read about the own-goal that made the US Men's National Team miss the 2018 World Cup: https://www.theringer.com/2018/6/5/17428184/2018-world-cup-us-soccer-inside-story-jurgen-klinsmann-sunil-gulati-bruce-arena

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  • Vox
    Vox  a years ago +1030

    If you picture a soccer ball looking like this ⚽, you're not alone. But back in the early days of television they looked very, very different. Watch: http://bit.ly/2tf3RP5

  • Jamie Aran
    Jamie Aran  2 days ago

    Just play Rugby

  • Eduardo Bonomi
    Eduardo Bonomi  2 days ago

    Usa in 2019 has a strong counter like uruguay and good centros they handle us well

  • xele fonte
    xele fonte  6 days ago +4

    One thing that Vox should’ve probably mentioned is the fact that soccer is the most competitive sport on the planet and it’s not dictated by physical size likewise basketball or football or even baseball. Anybody 5 feet over can technically excel in soccer since it’s a game on the ground. This argument can’t be made for the NFL where physical size does matter even though that game is on the ground. Soccer is the most competitive sport on the planet because it can’t be dictated so much by size. That’s one thing Americans fail to understand despite the Kobe’s and Lebrons of the world believing that if they all played soccer as a kid, America would mysteriously have a World Cup win. Nope not even close. It doesn’t work that way like it does in basketball.

  • Robert yafele
    Robert yafele  7 days ago

    First of all its not "soccer", its "football" .

  • jrak
    jrak  7 days ago

    It's boring

  • Amon Simatwo
    Amon Simatwo  7 days ago +1


  • napoleon and Northstar
    napoleon and Northstar  7 days ago +1

    We don't care that's why

  • Malacki 655
    Malacki 655  7 days ago +3

    This background music is making me laugh for no reason 🤣

  • ted yancey
    ted yancey  7 days ago +1

    You literally didn't answer the question lol

  • RMF1185
    RMF1185  14 days ago +1

    The background music in this video is weird and distracting

  • ash hughes
    ash hughes  14 days ago +3

    1) USA finished 4th*** at 1930 World Cup
    2) Only 13 teams competed, compared to 32 teams at 2018 WC
    3) Qualification wasn’t required for the 1930 WC and because of its location in South America, most European teams chose not to play due to the high costs associated with travel

  • Raj Papineni
    Raj Papineni  14 days ago

    The reason the women do good is because women in America have been able to play sports for a long time while some countries are just creating women’s teams

  • HeyItsChris
    HeyItsChris  14 days ago

    Christian Pulisic says Hi

  • 1000 subs no vids S
    1000 subs no vids S  14 days ago

    So american football started from the Ivy league schools. Do they even have football teams now?

  • Seamus McKeon
    Seamus McKeon  14 days ago

    America really needs to develop a Pro/Reg system for its soccer.

  • Roblox Soviet Union
    Roblox Soviet Union  14 days ago

    Again champs for women

  • Daily Livity
    Daily Livity  14 days ago

    Americans would be good at it if they respected the name-Why call Handball Football?and Football Soccer?

  • petar jekovic
    petar jekovic  14 days ago

    Yugoslavia won 3th place in 1930! Not USA!

  • CJ Carl Johnson
    CJ Carl Johnson  14 days ago +1

    The US finished 3rd in a World Cup lool that can't be true 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂these guys can barely play the sport lol