The United States Men’s National Soccer Team suffered horrible embarrassment by not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia for the first time since 1986. This is a unique problem for America seeing as it was always just assumed that we would qualify for the World Cup and lose somewhere along the way. In fact, the last World Cup in 2014 saw the USMNT surprise everyone by reaching the round of 16 only to lose a thriller to Belgium that saw them win after scoring twice in extra time. That was definitely a huge shock considering just how many talented big names were in Belgium and how little were on the USMNT. Belgium had the names of Marouane Fellaini, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelo Lukaku while Tim Howard was the only star for the United States.
This year was supposed to be an exciting one for the UNited STates. They were coming back off of the impressive World Cup play from four years ago and would hopefully improve upon that to maybe progress to the round of 8. Honestly though, even reaching the round of 16 again would be a huge accomplishment for that team. However, none of that is going to happen after the United States played a horrible game that saw them lose to Trinidad & Tobago 2-1. This is the same score of their highly impressive loss to Belgium in the 2014 World Cup. The big difference is that the 2014 loss was a huge accomplishment and the loss to Trinidad & Tobago wasn’t just a huge disappointment, it was an embarrassment. We were supposed to get better, but instead, we have gotten worse. Much worse.
What makes this loss so hard to take and so frustrating is the fact that the USMNT does have talent and quality, we just have a hard time utilizing it correctly. We have Christian Pulisic who is a wunderkind that is currently playing in Germany for the excellent squad Borussia Dortmund. Soccer has never been bigger in the United States and this is the time to capitalize on it. However, instead of capitalizing on it we just decided to trot basically the same team out on the field with an old manager, Bruce Arena and played a terrible game against a team that shouldn’t play us close at all.
The CONCACAF is a joke in the international soccer world and not being able to qualify in such an easy division is unbelievable. With how big of a country the US is and with all of the money we spend on soccer we should be able to put together a better soccer team than Costa Rica, Panama or Honduras, all of which finished higher in the table than we did. There is no way we should have lost to such a terrible team last night. It is time to fire the manager and let all of the 40-year-olds on the roster go. We need to start growing a good soccer team from the youth and stop trotting out the same losers so we can be disappointed again and again. We put together one fairytale run in 2014 but those fairytale days are clearly over.
Why Do We Love Sports?
Why do we love sports? There are many reasons why a lot of us fall in love with sports—why many of us continue to support and watch our favorite players, spending time and money to attend regular meets. In fact, some of us aren’t mere fans. Many are also athletes, coaches, and managers of the different teams we love.
Sports as Passion
Being a sports enthusiast is a passion. Many of us watch or play various sports because we consider them a passion in life. Whether it is baseball, basketball, football, or golf, we focus on a specific sport because it provides us with more significant meaning in life. Athletes, for instance, do not merely play a particular sport just because they want to. Many of them train for a sport because it enables them to do something that they’re good at—it allows them to gain self-worth and, in the process, inspire others, as well.
Sports as Platform
Playing a sport enables us to have a veritable platform to be heard and to be noticed. For instance, women athletes get to inspire more women to join a field that is primarily dominated by men. Due to the increase of female athletes excelling in various games worldwide, the measure of being a woman is finally changing. Nowadays, women are gaining more respect due to the influx of more women joining various sports worldwide—games are, in a sense, acting as equalizers, showcasing how women can capably do physical activities that were previously only reserved for men. Sports, then, serve as excellent platforms for women empowerment.
Sports for Healthy Living
Actively playing a specific sport alters your lifestyle. Watching a particular sport also inspires you to try it out, as well. We all know that regular exercise promotes muscles’ development and helps prevent various health complaints like obesity, hypertension, and cholesterol build-up. Sports also perpetuate the body’s production of endorphins—the hormone responsible for the feelings of pleasure and joy. Training for a specific sport eradicates the feelings of depression and worthlessness.
Sports as a Career Choice
When a sport is one’s passion, it can quickly be developed into a career choice. Athletes, for instance, earn because of their expertise in a particular sport. They get to represent the country, earning medals and trophies for the country, their state, their team, and themselves. They also get to inspire others, as well. The crowds in a baseball stadium attest to this glorious phenomenon—sports’ ability to inspire people from all walks of life.
The Sports That We Love
Indeed, sports aren’t just competitions and recreational activities. They are way more significant than that. They have the ability to inspire people to reach their dreams, to represent others, and to gain self-worth. Sports perpetuate healthy living and even provide athletes the careers that they worked so hard for.
How Women Are Changing The Arena Of Sports
Title IX was established 50 years ago. It opened the gates of playing fields and gymnasiums to females. Nowadays, women aren’t only athletes; they are college graduates and executives, as well.
Women and Sports
USA Today SPORTS’ newest podcast, “Changing the Game,” is exclusively sponsored by Artistry Studio directly from Amway. The said podcast examines women’s sports accomplishments. It also explores the reasons behind the need further to encourage gender equality, empowerment, and acceptance.
The podcast’s guests include various sports celebrities like basketball coach Muffet McGraw, Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel, NBA broadcaster Doris Burke, former NFL coach Jen Welter, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe, professional golfer Cheyenne Woods, and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.
Sports and Change
Allowing women to participate in sports encourages them to harness leadership skills. It improves their self-worth and self-esteem as well. Sports involvement permits them to dream of more incredible achievements—something that they have never thought possible before. This also helps reshape society’s view and treatment of women.
Seeing how McGraw coached her players would have made you realize how a woman can capably be a leader or even run a company—how a woman is equally capable like a man.
Sports offer women a venue to represent women, set good examples, and make themselves heard. In a world that is dominated by men, women get to represent their peers and show society their strengths.
Simone Manuel comments on the problem of stereotyping and its corresponding limiting effect. When we see women engaging in sports—and winning trophies because of it, we get to understand that stereotypes aren’t doing us any good. Typecasting individuals is tantamount to putting them in a box and mandating what they can—and can not—do.
In contrast, permitting everyone to do what they like—and encouraging them to achieve more—allows them to go beyond expectations and prove their worth, as well. Sports are terrific platforms to start that open-mindedness with.
Change the Game
Aptly titled, “Changing the Game,” the USA Today SPORTS’ newest podcast attempts to commemorate women’s achievements due to sports. It also serves as a call for improvement in terms of women’s participation. It is meant to encourage not only future female athletes but also women all over the world.
Women representation in all the different fields of expertise is essential. Active female participation promotes the transcendence of limiting norms and eradicates the power of destructive labels. When more women unite in something that is enjoyed and celebrated by everyone else, they get to prove their worth, not only to the world but also to themselves.
Life, indeed, is what you make it. Massive reports of domestic abuse and unequal gender treatment are possibly neutralized when more people become aware of the dangers posed by dictating how everyone else should act. The prevalence of these issues worldwide is the main contention of gender appropriation. Yet when more women transcend these existing limitations, they set perfect examples for everyone else to act and achieve their dreams—an ideal cycle that must be encouraged and maintained.
France Takes Down Croatia To Bring Home The World Cup
France beat Croatia 4-2 on Sunday to take home the World Cup.
The 2018 World Cup will go down as one of the most thrilling World Cups in recent memory. And when all the dust cleared, France was crowned the champion. They beat Croatia 4-2 in the tournament’s final game.
Croatia put up there best fight, but in the end, France was just too talented and too deep. Since the length of games was increased to 90-minutes, the 6 total goals were the most goals we’ve seen in a final since 1958. Which, by the way, was the first appearance of the greatness that was Brazil. He scored in the ’58 final that saw his Brazil team beat Sweden. And this time around, France’s Kylian Mbappe was the 19-year-old that stole the show.
There were plenty of moments in plenty of games in which France did not play their best football. But they stuck to their game to get the job done. And that game is a cautious and economical one. It was almost as if they were constantly playing a game of cat and mouse. Never fully at 100% but always capable of doing so. But they did catch their fair share of lucky breaks as well. Croatia, on the other hand, did not.
“What we had in terms of luck earlier in the tournament, we lacked in the final,” Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said after the game. “I don’t think you can give a penalty like that in a World Cup final, but this in no way diminishes France’s victory.”
Another major part of France’s success was the group of lightning-fast youngsters coach Didier Deschamps had at his disposal. Players like Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Paul Pogba. And yet, despite the pure athleticism and speed of such players, Deschamps still managed to get them to buy into a hard-working, almost blue-collar attitude that ground down their opponents.
And now all the talk is about Mbappe and his future stardom. Over the generations, football has been all about the stars. Just look at the international fame and financial success of players like Messi and Ronaldo. And after his incredible World Cup performance, many believe Mbappe will soon be joining them in the fame department. Oh, and by the way, neither Messi or Ronaldo have ever won a World Cup.
And it’s not like he just showed up out of the blue. He was already a major and highly paid star in the Champions League. “Kylian Mbappe is the guy that Ronaldo and Messi are handing the crown over to,” former Man. U defender Rio Ferdinand said in an interview with BBC. “He is the guy who will be standing up on that Ballon d’Or podium in years to come. Easy.”
High praise for such a young player. But it’s hard to argue with. I for one can’t wait to see what this young phenom has in store for us.
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