Written by Kyle Magin
U.S. men’s soccer fans and the media who pushes the team into your sports coverage like a mom with a damn vegetable are the worst.
I am thrilled that the USMNT didn’t make the 2018 World Cup for a number of reasons, but chiefly because these smug, self-absorbed, scarf-wearing elitists deserve to perish in the same fire as everyone who called on Bernie to drop out before he got started, Jerry Jones, and Steve Mnuchin’s wife. What an insufferable bunch of fart-sniffing grundles. I’ll enumerate.
- The grief/rage over the US not qualifying is unbelievably sexist. Billy Haisley wrote an overwrought lament for Deadspin which included the following about American kids (presumably boys) not watching next year’s tournament: “An entire generation of young kids who might’ve seen a potential Wonderteen hat trick in a group stage match now will never discover a passion for the game.” It’s almost like having the defending Women’s World Cup champions counts for nothing, like those ladies haven’t scored the most-watched U.S. soccer game, ever, and the most-watched World Cup semifinal, ever, just two years ago. It’s like they don’t have three stars on their jerseys representing three successive (and successful) generations of post-Title IX Americans. Kids are presumably a big part of those USWNT TV numbers, and soccer won’t die in America because a bunch of overpaid y-chromosome havers didn’t make a tournament they’d get their dicks kicked in during anyway. If it does, and the men’s team is truly the horse America needs to ride to become a bonafide soccer nation, we’re fucking hopeless anyway and it’s not worth crying over.
- A World Cup isn’t going to be the thing to bring this country together. To say otherwise is a take for dipshits. If you seriously think U.S. men’s soccer—with fans who have the nerve to call it futbol in a country which already has football, with scribes writing about it with that obnoxious British grammar and its collective nouns (Portland were knocked out of the semis by Seattle, which now have a chance against Vancouver), which still pulls lower TV ratings than any given NBA regular season matchup—would be some unifying sports-based rallying point is absurd. Yet it’s the argument Will Leitch advanced over at Sports On Earth because he has access to better drugs than you or I: “But those matches, the John Brooks match, the Landon Donovan game-saver, the Carli Lloyd chip, all those people coming together and feeling unreservedly patriotic and provincial — in a safe, almost affable way that actually crosses over to near everyone, a thing that at last unites rather than divides…” Hahahahaha. Who the hell is John Brooks, first off? Secondly, what would make you think a bunch of effete soccer players would be the thing to bridge the unfathomably deep divides between red and blue in this country, even temporarily? Soccer is more identified with a left-leaning global elitism than any sport, with yuppies in scarves crowding urban bars in the morning and globetrotters visiting countries most passport-less Americans have never heard of to see a team they’ve never watched. You need to have a serious disconnect with reality to see men’s soccer as a unifying force.
- The men’s World Cup is Earth’s evilest sporting event. Man, the NCAA is bad. It’s definitely America’s worst, non-dogfighting sports organizing body. The labor is basically unpaid despite the billions that capital makes, and its hypocritical amateurism rules have criminalized the talent acquisition portion of the sport to the point where it’s a black market worthy of FBI’s attention. But international soccer? It makes the NCAA and Olympics look like a charity 3-on-3 tournament. World Cup organizers in Qatar are using actual, honest-to-God slaves to build the stadiums for 2022. Russia gets to host the world for a party in 2018 while gay people there are officially persecuted by the state and its soldiers remain in Ukraine, a country it stole.
That’s why I’m applauding the end of America’s 2018 World Cup run. It smothers a whole host of terrible shit in the cradle and punishes a sport full of fans, media members, and organizers who richly deserve a comeuppance. Men’s soccer is a butt sport, anyway. May we all live to see our men’s team successfully avoid qualifying for Qatar. Enjoy the baseball playoffs, everybody.