Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! On Thanksgiving, millions gather around tables to eat delicious food, watch some sports, spend time with family and friends, and recount the things that make them thankful.
U.S. Soccer is no exception. Sure, they may irritate us, make us angry, and make us want to throw everything with the crest into the trash. But, there has been things that we can definitely say we’re thankful for with U.S. Soccer this year. So, we took it to the SSFC staff to see what U.S. Soccer things they count among their blessings for this Turkey Day. Here’s what some of them came up with:
I’m thankful that US Soccer is growing and perhaps heading to prosperity and success despite itself. The USWNT is unbeaten this year having won a handful of friendlies, dominated in World Cup Qualifying, and taking home the Tournament of Nations and SheBelieves Cup in 2018. The goal of repeating as World Cup champions seems reachable and is something to look forward to. Meanwhile, a young crop of exciting players challenging themselves on the continent that the Pilgrims fled makes me hopeful that the talent the USMNT needs will emerge on its own. Sure, the federation is a like a turkey that went into the oven before it de-thawed fully and beneath the juicy looking crisp skin lurks a dreadful fate that won’t just go away in a few days like gastroenteritis - but at least we can enjoy the crispy bits before digging into the cool, uncooked center.
I am thankful that the USWNT has enough elite attacking talent to compensate for the men’s side. And that they will actually be at next year’s World Cup.
Donald Wine II
What am I thankful for? First, I’m thankful that we’re privileged to watch a team as dominant as the United States Women’s National Team. Players like Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, and Lindsey Horan have always been good, but this year they’ve taken their game to new heights. I’m especially proud of them and honored that we get to see them just destroy people on a regular basis. They’ve been especially fun to watch. Second, I’m thankful that we’re getting to see some of the young guys make their mark on the USMNT. Players like Tim Weah, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, and Josh Sargent give me hope that we a chance to rebound and get back to the World Cup in 2022.
Finally, I’m thankful that 2019 will have a World Cup that we can enjoy. Our USWNT are the favorites in next year’s Women’s World Cup, and they should be. They’re the team to beat, and they’re playing like it every single time they step onto the field. I can’t wait to travel to France with thousands of other fans to cheer them on in their quest for a 4th World Cup title. 2019’s going to be fun, I can feel it.
I’m grateful for another year of NWSL, despite the league losing my home team, the Boston Breakers. NWSL owes a lot to US Soccer’s support, whatever else my problems with USSF might be. I’m grateful for the many fan communities who have made it a pleasure to be involved in soccer, both as a fan and as a writer. I’m definitely grateful for all the women’s players who stood up for themselves this year, for both country and club, demanding more from their federations or ownership groups. And I am thankful Women’s World Cup qualification didn’t spring any surprises on us, because I think the site would have collapsed into a black hole from the double whammy after last year.
There are three things I am thankful for this year. First, I am thankful for the Bundesliga because it is developing the core of our future team. Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent are three of the top potential game changers for this and the next cycle. It’s great have them competing against the best players in the world.
My second thing I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving is definitely counter culture but I am thankful for Dave Sarachan. In the midst of dysfunction and turnover at the top of the Federation, he started pulling together the new core of our team and got them to play organized and defensive soccer. Yes, the results faded down the stretch, but he brought in new players and formed a semblance of a team at the same time. Offensively, they didn’t progress but there is something to build on.
And last but not least, I am thankful for 2026.
Now, we open it up to you all. What are you most thankful for with U.S. Soccer? Come up with one or multiple things and list them in the comments. Most importantly, from all of us here at Stars & Stripes FC, may each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food, laughter, and the warm company of family and friends.