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.
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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.

Why?

I am incredibly cynical about the team

Why?

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.

4. CHOKERS

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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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I Went To A Club In Italy

Italy's clubbing lifestyle puts America's to shame.

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Being 18 in Europe you have access to more things than you do in America. That being said, I do not have experience in an American club to compare. I went to Italy on a guided tour with a few girls I graduated with and one of their moms. After exploring Florence all day, our tour guide asked us if we wanted to go to a club that was around the corner from our hotel. Since it was our last day in Florence, we all thought "why not?" The only way we were allowed to go was if the mom of our group went with us, which was completely fine with us four girls.

After everyone got gelato at the end of the day, our tour guide came to our room and walked us to the club, which was about a five-minute walk away. Getting to the door, we saw that there was a huge line. Our tour guide said "Well, here we are. Go ahead and get in line," and as we were about to walk over to the line, he said "I'm just kidding, follow me," he talked to the bouncer and we went in. I've gotta say, one of the best things about having a tour guide is that you can skip really long lines and you can experience things that you didn't even know you could. Anyway, upon entering we had the choice of a wrist band that allowed us to get alcohol and one that did not. Since this was our first time in a club, not to mention it was in a foreign country, we got the no alcohol wrist band but we were allowed to have one drink.

We got there right as the club opened and there were two stories to it. The bottom had a bar and karaoke with seating near a ramp that lead to the second story. At first, the second floor was closed. When we entered the first floor, there were a ton of people and they were singing "Breaking Free" from High School Musical. I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to understand the music but as they started singing songs like "Hey Soul Sister" and some song from a boy band that I can't remember, I started realizing that the majority of people in the room spoke English. This was a club for people visiting Italy.

Us four girls stayed together while the mom sat down on one of the sofas they had in the back. We sang along with whatever song was requested and I watched this one girl, who was already drunk out of her mind, stand up on the DJ's area and grab on to the railing that was above us. She started swinging on it until some of her friends got her down, she passed us and gave us a peace sign with a smile and not much sooner, they opened the second story. It was like opening a gate, almost the entire floor flooded into the hallway and we followed them. The second story was just a dance floor with a DJ on one end and the ramp on the other with a black box in between that people danced on. There were about five sofas around the room with a rail above us that people could get on but not many people did. However, about an hour into the second floor being open, these two drunk girls went to the top and started twerking over the edge. I was getting worried that they were gonna fall but, luckily, a security guard got them down before anything happened. The four of us danced in a circle with drunk girls coming up and dancing with us on occasion and then leaving to join their friends. We noticed there was a man there, way older than everyone else, we guessed he was about 40 years old and had bad intentions as he was trying to dance with very drunk girls. We kept an eye on him but he was mostly watching. When he got close to us, we rotated our circle so his target was blocked and he would return to the back. We danced for about an hour and a half and we went back downstairs to get some water. Two of us got Redbull which they put in a cup and we went back upstairs.

Almost immediately, boys started dancing with the two of us who had drinks, when they were finished dancing, we went to the bathroom where we met a girl from Australia, then we went back to dancing. This time, someone danced with all of us, someone actually salsa danced with me, one of my friends basically had a small dance battle with someone else, and the other two simply danced. We sang to the music and danced to the beat and then we realized that it was almost two in the morning. So we went back downstairs to grab the mom of our group and we went back to our hotel where we packed our bags to leave in the morning. When we went to breakfast, all the other moms asked about our experience. Then we took our suitcases to the bus and we were off to San Gimignano.

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