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US Soccer Vibe Check - A universal resonance of bemused annoyance and openness to future greatness

Jupiter is connecting but the moon and Venus seem to be on different wavelengths

China v United States Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Since we last checked, the vibe got a bit brighter with US Soccer pushing back against MLS’s announced desire to play less soccer. This week, it became clear that the USMNT has a lot of work to do in order to impress a newspaper in England while a few USWNT players had roster news to announce.

Santa brought USWNT transfer news

With the NWSL season in roster move mode, Gotham FC announced that it had mutually parted ways with Kristie Mewis. The player then announced that she signed with West Ham, something she called a dream come true having taken in a game at Upton Park when visiting London years ago. Mewis has been a regular with the USWNT since 2020 when her career had a bit of a revival. The move will give her experience with European club soccer ahead of the 2024 Olympics.

Meanwhile, Mallory Swanson plans to resign with the Chicago Red Stars. The forward missed most of the 2023 season with a tendon injury which also saw her absent from the World Cup. Her attacking talent was badly missed by the USWNT and if she can return to form with her club ahead of the Paris games, it will be a welcome sight for the Stars and Stripes.

A trio of USWNT stars have not yet made transfer news but have been linked to the same club. Gotham FC has cleared some roster space and is in talks to bring in Rose Lavelle, Emily Sonnett and Crystal Dunn according to reports. The moves would change things up for the defending NWSL champs and would certainly put them in contention to repeat as favorites in the league for 2024.

It’s coming home

The nation that brought such things as being global leaders in queueing, thinking that the height of wit is saying “in Barney” to mean in trouble, and singing a song about having won fewer World Cups than Germany is a massive insult threw more rancid Stargazy Pie into the cultural gestalt.

Since there are a decent number of Americans playing soccer at a fairly high level, the question of “what if America’s best athletes played soccer?” is no longer that relevant. So the Guardian came up with a variation on the theme by asking: “What has happened to America’s greatest generation.”

To that I say...

England v USA: Group C - 2010 FIFA World Cup Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Fifa World Cup 2010
England v USA: Group C - 2010 FIFA World Cup Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

To quickly review the article’s main points, despite having Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Declan Rice, Kieran Trippier, John Stones, and Jude Bellingham Christian Pulisic, Sergino Dest, and Gio Reyna, the national team hasn’t lived up to its potential. For the USA this is because there aren’t any players on a top 100 players list on the internet.

That the USMNT was the youngest roster at the 2022 World Cup, and England couldn’t overcome a team that has no players in the current Guardian top 100 players list, isn’t considered at all. This is despite the author, the piece was written by a human not an AI, lamenting that explaining why the team hasn’t performed better “often leads to lazy takes.”

Meanwhile, countries like Germany, England, Spain, ENgland, Italy, ENGland, Brazil, ENGLand, Belgium, ENGLAnd, Portugal, ENGLANd oh and um, ENGLAND are loaded with players found in the Guardian top 100 players list and yet seem to be weaker than the sum of their parts. This is despite the notion that, “Culturally, other countries – even much smaller ones – are decades ahead of the US.” There’s no consideration or explanation for teams with players in the Guardian top 100 list performing this way, maybe they should just try harder so their teams win more.

Vibe Check

With New Years coming it’s important to look toward the coming year and decide what really matters. It’s a time to focus on goals and ignore pointless distractions. A time to be self-aware enough to not care about things that don’t matter.

A really good way to do that is to PUT IN YOUR REPLICA GEORGE WASHINGTON WOODEN TEETH AND POINT AND LAUGH AT ENGLAND FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO SCORE A GOAL AGAINST A TEAM WITH NO PLAYERS IN THE GUARDIAN TOP 100 LIST AT THE LAST WORLD CUP.

As far as ignoring pointless distractions, we have all of 2024 to work on that.