The former player knows the inner-workings of the USA system and has played an important role in developing some of the country's top players in the past between the national team academy and even building his own academy based out of New Jersey (NJSA 04). Calls for a complete overhaul of the US game. Eales' Atlanta have signed mostly talented young players rather than golden oldies from Europe and have invested US$60m (NZ$85m) in a training ground. This week on Last Word SC Radio, we're talking about the United States Men's National Team's failed attempt to make it to the 2018 World Cup and much more.
"Everything's a lot easier when you're on the outside looking in, but it is time - and maybe this is the only time it could have happened - to re-evaluate and reassess what's going on and make sure we are doing the right things and implementing the right things to make sure this doesn't happen again".
His relationships with hispanic players has helped Dallas become one of the top clubs in MLS on a consistent basis, and he played an influence in goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez making the switch from representing Mexico to playing for the USMNT. It will take money to support these individuals, and that is the question they need to ask themselves. But "pay to play" drives the development of boys in soccer. "Soccer is a grass-roots sport and development takes place at that level". It's extraordinary that it was able to qualify for each World Cup between 1990 and 2014.
If the country is to host the 2026 World Cup, then Rongen's view is that it should also be in a position to win it, as the American public will surely demand. According to the SFIA and Physical Activity Council research on sports participation, there are 11.9 million soccer (Outdoor) participants in the U.S. This includes 4,8 million children between the ages of 6-12 and 2.5 million participants between the ages of 13-17. But the DA has vastly increased opportunities for lower-income players to climb the ladder and has made US elite youth soccer more diverse. The average MLS attendance is at 21,692, a 40 per cent increase in the last ten years. He chuckles at the memory of the 1980s "Team America", the United States player-only side inserted into the old North American Soccer League to develop the national team in the 1980s. Star players on the Panamanian, Honduran and Costa Rican national teams play in MLS as well, where they are regularly outplayed by their American counterparts.
The U.S. men's team's former coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, used five young players who had been raised in Germany and trained in that country's successful youth system because he believed U.S. -developed talent, including MLS players, couldn't field a winning team.
Goodbye USMNT job
Goalkeeper Tim Howard was the only starter against Trinidad & Tobago alive the last time the US failed to qualify for a World Cup - the 1986 edition.
And U.S. Soccer has continued to advocate numerous methods for which there is wide agreement on being valuable for player development at the early ages.
In the Round Table, we recap some key MLS news from the week. "But one bad ending doesn't mean there hasn't been any progress".
To get to the World Cup next time, Coach Robinson says changes need to be made at the college level in the U.S. But I do not foresee this setback derailing the growth trajectory being experienced by MLS and USL.
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The question to be resolved is "were they trying to save money or just unable to produce the right spec in the right quantities", he said.