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Will not qualifying for the World Cup be the catalyst for change the USMNT needs?

It’s time to instill change

Soccer: International Friendly Men’s Soccer-Bolivia at USA Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, facing adversity and feeling failure is a good thing. For the most part, growing is the result of facing adversity. Although, missing the World Cup was a big bummer, it could possibly be the catalyst that pushes this soccer generation forward.

Right now, in this present moment, there’s a massive youth movement is the United States Men’s National team. Players like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKinnie, Tim Weah, Josh Sargent and Matt Miazga are ready to lead this country going forward. When the U.S. Soccer Federation hired Earnie Stewart as its first general manager, a new position created in order to oversee the program, he vowed to take advantage of the youth.

In an interview with, Stewart said, “When I look at the talent in the United States and, more recently, here with the Philadelphia Union in the academy we have, I think a lot of times it’s underestimated. Taking that even further and seeing the player pool we have with the U.S. Men’s National Team and these young, eager talents coming through, I can’t wait to get started. It’s something special — and it can turn out to be very special.”

We are just beginning to scratch the surface of this movement. There’s a bunch of talented players coming through the system who are going unnoticed. We are just scratching the surface in regards to the potential of this program.

However, but to ensure this program reaches its full potential, there must be a clear structure and system. In Spain, from the very beginning, their kids are taught tiki taka, a style of soccer which involves short passing and movement. Right now, the United States has no clear style of play in its system. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it needs to be consistent. When a coach and program commits to a style, great things can happen. If they’re able to instill a program from their youth, this program can thrive.

It’s a weird thing when a catastrophic event is finally the cause for change, but thinking about it now, not making the World Cup this year might just be the event to finally help the U.S. soccer program reach the heights we know it’s capable of. In a sad way, it was kind of time for the players who represented this country for years to go and it took losing to Trinidad and Tobago to see them go. The USMNT are in the midst of a youth movement and going forward, the future is very bright.

There’s some serious talent in the program at the moment, including some who plays for some of Europe’s most prestigious teams. In a world where you can never get complacent, even though they’re here now, the USMNT need to make sure these players aren’t the last of the great talent coming through the ranks. It’s time to set up a program, adapt a style of play and ride this youth movement. It took not making the World Cup in Russia for it to happen, but there’s hope folks because it’s happening.