While watching the World Cup, a shocking fact popped into my head. America will never win a World Cup in my lifetime (or probably even reach the final). In other words, I have to live to be 114 years old.
And why? We have not produced players with the skills to compete at a high enough level to challenge the established world football powers.
Sure, it’s possible that you won’t win a game or two (an upset happens). Or it could open the brackets, as I’ve seen many times with UConn. But to win a string of games against the best teams?
Right now, our team is sloppy and playing really hard (as we’ve seen in past World Cups), with players scattered all over Europe in the big leagues. But no one comes close to being a world-class goalscorer, and that seems to be a problem.
I dream of seeing a player like France’s Kylian Mbappe and getting a striker who is half as skilled as him. The chances of raising the cup remain zero until you can produce a number of players.
Our best player is almost applause Christian Pulisic, but he’s more of a distributor than a goalscorer (as we saw against the Netherlands). The same goes for the rest of the top players. They run hard and compete for the ball, but are very challenging in the scoring area.
No cup unless it changes.
My wish for 2023 is that somewhere in the United States (or one of our territories… perhaps Guam?), a boy will be born who can score at the highest level of football in 18 years.
If so, you might see Team USA in the finals!
Reach Assistant Managing Editor/Digital Lee Lewis at email@example.com.