Complacency, The Culprit For U.S. World Cup Failure

Complacency, The Culprit For U.S. World Cup Failure

The historic defeat exposed the many issues with the way U.S. Soccer and its players operates.
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The dream of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finally fell apart for the U.S on Tuesday night with their loss to Trinidad and Tobago and wins for Panama and Honduras. It was a fitting end to a woebegone campaign that saw the team win only three games of ten in the final round of the Hexagonal in the CONCACAF, the most forgiving of the regional groups.

While the result was surprising to many coming off a strong showing against Panama Friday, it was no surprise to fans who have been paying attention.

As was the norm through most of qualifying, the Americans had no answer for the concentrated and organized defensive front presented by the opposition. The defense continued its sloppy play, with Tim Howard doing most of the work despite the fact that he is nearing 40. On the other side of the ball, the only offensive production for the Americans came from 19 year old Christian Pulisic. Contrary to what Bruce Arena seems to believe, one kid prodigy cannot score all the goals, or make up for all your team's deficiencies, though God knows Pulisic tried.

Much has and will be written in the wake of this blow to all of American soccer about lack of leadership, mediocrity of the players, and the anger and embarrassment of everyone involved with U.S. Soccer. And all that should be written, because this is an organization which deflects criticism rather than acknowledging it.

But it all boils down to one thing: complacency. The president of U.S. Soccer, Sunil Gulati, was complacent in keeping Klinsmann for far too long. Bruce Arena was complacent in his refusal to make any meaningful changes in his approach to compensate for deficiencies throughout qualifying. And, most importantly, the players were complacent in their belief that they would qualify against a T&T team that had long since been eliminated. So much so, in fact, that the opposing players used it as motivation.

I would like to believe that that loss will kickstart change for the better in U.S. Soccer, but the postgame press conference did not breed confidence. Who knows? They have plenty of time for introspection between now and the start of the Qatar cycle. In the meantime, let's hope the women don't follow in the men's footsteps

Cover Image Credit: NAIJ.com Sports

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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."
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Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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A Preview Of The Chicago Bears' Upcoming Season

New year, new team, but how will they perform in this upcoming season?

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I've been a Chicago Bears fan all my life, and I won't be the first to say that these past few years have been very frustrating. Watching the team was very hard considering we had coaches like Marc Trestman and John Fox along with Jay Cutler under center, and they put up some god awful records. But this year, things will be different. Fox is gone, Glennon is gone and Ryan Pace made some off-season moves to finally help the Bears on both sides of the ball. Starting with John Fox's replacement, Matt Nagy, who was the former Offensive coordinator for Kansas City under head coach Andy Reid.

Many fans had a lot of doubts about Nagy when the Bears first signed him on as the new head coach, and he still has yet to truly be proven but I still have a lot of faith Nagy will help turn slowly turn this team around.

The fact that he changed our offensive scheme to a West Coast offense and that we will be more aggressive on offense is promising, and this was evident as the Bears' offense helped them power through the Chiefs in their most recent pre-season game, but we will all truly see if we made the right decision with him when the regular season begins.

In my opinion, the Bears had a very successful offseason to help bolster the team on both sides of the ball. By signing receivers, Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. Trubisky will now have some solid deep threats to help benefit the offense, along with new acquisitions Tre Burton, and rookie receivers Anthony Miller, and Javon Wims. Looking at it on paper the offense will no doubt be a threat as they now have depth in the receiving including Kevin White, who is fully healthy and ready to prove himself this year. Plus their running back duo is definitely an underrated one as they have power back Jordan Howard and "the human Joystick" Tarik Cohen who can be a threat with both running the ball and receiving. On the defensive side, first-round pick Roquan Smith has finally signed with the Bears and will no doubt make a difference at linebacker along with fellow Georgia alumni Leonard Floyd.

The Bears also made the big decision to match Kyle Fuller's offer to prevent him from signing with the Packers. There have been many doubts about this because fuller has been very inconsistent up until this past season, but I still believe he will be able to have another lockdown season. Along with the topic of defensive backs, one of the players no one saw coming was safety Eddie Jackson. A 4th round pick in last year's draft that everyone slept on made a huge impact on defense and he will be back for another big season.

Looking at the Bears now with Trubisky at the helm, now with a whole arsenal of weapons on offense and a young defense with potential, I think this will be a pretty solid overall season. Now, I'm not gonna say the Bears will win out the NFC North or make the playoffs, but I do think we will get at least 6 or 7 wins. We have a team full of players with a lot of potentials and I have no doubt this year will be a step in the right direction for this team.

Bear down.

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