The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team: A Potential World Cup Cinderella Story?

Jurgen Klinsmann speaks with Roger Bennett about the recent rise and popularity of soccer in the United States. Photographer – Nick Erskine

Writer – Nick Erskine
Photographer – Nick Erskine

Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann delighted the SXSports faithful Sunday afternoon with optimistic rhetoric surrounding USA’s chances during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

In regards to reasons why the United States has not gravitated toward soccer like the rest of the world, Klinsmann stated that “the American culture is never happy being second in anything they do.” The men’s team is not even ranked in the Top 10 in the world.

While Klinsmann was hopeful about his team’s chances to advance far in the tournament, he also emphasized that USA Men’s soccer is still at least ten years away from competing with other nations at the highest levels of the sport, including for a World Cup title. In order for soccer to continue to proliferate, it is essential for young kids to start learning the fundamentals at an early age, as well as to choose to play soccer year round (as opposed to playing multiple American sports).

Klinsmann stated that soccer could easily expand into the American mainstream because Major League Soccer (MLS) has shown tremendous strides. Since America has more than 300 million citizens, he reasoned that there is more than enough room for soccer to flourish in the United States.

ESPN will be airing a documentary centered on the team’s training camp leading up to the World Cup. The documentary will air May 13.

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