10 (Cynical) Thoughts About Bruce Arena's Hiring

10 (Cynical) Thoughts About Bruce Arena's Hiring

I'm desperate for this team to have some success, but I just don't think it will happen.

So, it's pretty obvious that I am a ravenous soccer fan. However, there is one subject that my friends and family, and the occasional poor passerby knows that you ABSOLUTELY under ANY circumstance DO NOT address with me, the U.S. Men's Team.


I am incredibly cynical about the team


As long as I have been watching soccer, I have continually tried to keep my hopes in my nation's national team, and they have continually let me down. The farthest that they have ever gone in the World Cup is placing third, which happened in 1930. They have won the CONCACAF cup five times, but it has not been consistent: 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2013. This would be more impressive, if they were not the third best ranked team in that division. Overall, internationally, they are ranked 28th. The fourth ranked team in the CONCACAF division is ranked 58th internationally.

Recently, there has been a change in the manager position. Several sports writers are incredibly optimistic about it, but I am not. Here are my ten thoughts about Bruce Arena's hiring, as your friendly neighborhood soccer-loving cynic.

1. Old Face, Same Ways

Arena has coached the men's team before. He was leading when the team had their worst result in the World Cup ever, losing in the first round in 2006. What can really change in 11 years?

2. Old Face, Same Success?? (Please)

Under Arena they did have their best finish since 1930, where they finished in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. Hopefully, he can bring about similar success to a team, and a country of fans that need it.

3. Consistently Eh

The team has been consistently mediocre, or as I would say eh. Since the FIFA rankings were created, they have been (on average) ranked 20th. That does not seem so bad until you look at the teams surrounding the US in today's rankings. They are one place above Iran and one place below Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina have been in the rankings since 1996, and their best result was reaching third in their group in the 2014 World Cup.


The argument against this will of course be the victory over World Champion Spain in 2009. However, the US consistently loses/chokes against teams they have no business losing team. Honduras, ranked 47 places below the US, has consistently had the US's number in tournament and friendly play.

5. MLS Quality

A large majority of the US players play in the domestic league, the MLS. Although it has improved, it is still nowhere near the quality of the European leagues.

6. Soccer's Grip (or lack thereof)

Soccer has an iron grip on the rest of the world, with fans coming in droves, fanatically cheering for their teams. Some of the US leagues come close, but do not really reach the blinding fanaticism of soccer in Europe. There are simply too many popular sports in the US for soccer to break through. Nationally, the US only seems to unite behind the Olympic team every four years. Consistently cheering for a national team does not seem to be in the blueprint for the country.

7. Lack of Fans

The aforementioned lack of passion creates a lack of fans. A lack of fans creates a lack of spirit. Sports teams, like entertainers, need an audience, an audience of fans to ignite the passion and survive.

8. Maybe Soccer Isn't Our Sport, and we should be ok with that

The US tries to be the best at everything. The consistent mediocrity of the US Men's Team could be a sign that soccer is not this country's sport, and we should be ok with that, instead of trying to force something that will never happen, huge success at the international level.

9. Could Arena's return signal a Second Coming of the soccer variety?

10. Because the USMNT really needs some divine intervention

Forever cynical about this team,

An American soccer hooligan

Cover Image Credit: Sportsouvenir

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Billions Of Dollars Given To Rebuild Notre Dame. Why Was That So Easy?

Is the reconstruction of Notre Dame the most worthy philanthropy?


On April 15, 2019, Paris' gothic cathedral known as the Notre Dame was destroyed in a massive fire. Within 48 hours, the church received nearly 1 billion dollars in fundraising to help towards its rebuilding and renovation. The support and money raised for this historic building in such a short period of time was truly shocking. While I am very happy that people wanted to come together and rebuild the cathedral, I'm astonished that it took a catastrophe in order for people to open their wallets.

Meanwhile, other places in the world like Yemen and Haiti have been suffering from starvation for countless decades. These sort of places can hardly get more than a couple thousand dollars in support. Where is our support then? More importantly, where is our humanity?

French construction economists estimated that the rebuilding efforts of Notre Dame will cost between $330 million and $670 million. Notre Dame didn't even need a billion dollars to be rebuilt and already has way more money than it needs. France's 3 richest families alone contributed $700 million in fundraising. There are people out there in the world with more money than they know what to do with, and they decide to put it all towards a cathedral?

This conversation isn't meant to be directed towards the wealthy, but to everyday citizens as well. Millions of families with a range of incomes and salaries contributed to the Notre Dame. Our world would be a better place if people treated global problems like they did a building. Maybe we'd actually be able to solve world hunger, allow children all over the world to have an education, and lower climate change rates.

It was crazy to me how quickly all of that money was raised for Notre Dame. Yes, I do understand the importance of the history and architecture behind this cathedral, but at the same time, I also understand the global problems happening in the world today. The economic and environmental issues that are occurring across the earth require global cooperation among nations.

Many individuals may think that the current problems the globe is facing don't affect them. What societies forget to realize, is that people could end poverty, world hunger, and other global problems if every individual could give small donations. However, it saddens me to know that repairing a cathedral is more of a priority than putting our money towards these other causes. I wish that our world was more able to spread compassion amongst all of humankind and to focus on charitable and environmental needs rather than materialistic things.

The cathedral is a masterpiece and important symbol to not only France but to many societies as well. People had every right to shower the church with donations and support, but the rapid amount of donations that were given sparked a lot of backlash and controversy. I can only hope that the extra money raised for Notre Dame can be distributed amongst the globe to fund issues that actually require immediate assistance.

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