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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I’ve Had Enough Of Society’s Notion Of What Counts As 'Professional'

Seriously, stop looking down on certain careers.

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The funny thing about adulthood is that you start thinking about issues you've never thought about before, and then you gain a whole new perspective on them. Recently, I found myself inevitably falling into this pattern, which never fails to excite me. It simply means that I am moving forward and growing as an individual, and that's always a plus.

However, with age comes harsh realities and heavy realizations we all eventually must face.

These realizations occur in every possible area of life: love, family, health and even our careers.

At the tender age of 16, I was just a fledgling entering the hospitality industry. Not long after starting, I was harshly reprimanded by a customer who was obviously in the wrong. And yet, there were no other options but for me to apologize profusely. Afterward, I ranted to my co-worker about the whole incident and all he said was, "A hostess is not a respectable job."

Being a hostess during that period gave me more than I could ever ask for: the ability to be more articulate and communicate effectively, the confidence to speak to complete strangers and maintain conversations without being overly awkward and the ability to multi-task, which I have always struggled with. Most importantly, it gave me overall job satisfaction.

Just try walking a family in and keeping an eye on available tables, while simultaneously checking on occupied tables and making a mental note to clear them later. Then you'll understand exactly what I mean.

(On a side note, working in the service industry is something every person should try once in their lifetime. Even if the job scope doesn't sound spectacular and glamorous, you would definitely be more appreciative and understand the importance of having good mannerisms.)

So what classifies as a respectable job? Could it be a job that requires a college degree or specialized knowledge? Or does it only include "professional" titles, like doctor, lawyer or engineer?

It isn't a surprise, but respectability and job professionalism are actually dependent on one another.

The more professional your job title sounds, the higher the chance is of being envied and respected by strangers who may not understand what you do for a living. It's superficial, but at the same time, it's stone-cold reality.

To make matters worse, jobs are often categorized as non-professional and professional. According to Career Trend, jobs can only be determined as professional if certain skill sets are needed (and those often involved academic prowess). On the other hand, unprofessional jobs are repetitive and require manual labor.

In fact, most jobs that are classified as professional by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics do require an associate degree or higher. Meanwhile, those deemed as non-professional normally do not require a college degree. Instead, on-the-job training is often provided.

It's frustrating and demoralizing to realize that we are all unknowingly subjected to this ridiculous, unspoken standard that tells us the only way to be deemed professional is to be in certain "niche" fields.

Isn't that equivalent of telling people to simply submit to the idea that their professions will never earn the respect they deserve?

The job scopes and duties of a hostess may be commonplace and repetitive, but the feeling of exhilaration is undeniable. I felt prepared and even excited about any challenges. I even looked forward to difficult customers, despite how insufferable they can be.

I gained recognition for my job performance as a hostess and was acknowledged for my work ethic. Work can be a source of essential elements in life: the ability to grow, a sense of purpose, self-esteem and most importantly, self-respect.

The most vital factor of being a professional is self-respect.

If even you don't respect yourself and your job, don't bother trying to gain respect from others.

One of the main reasons people stop believing in and pursuing their passions is society's perception of what counts as professional.

Seriously, all this nonsense needs to be stopped. And people should start by educating themselves.

Stop belittling yourself and start respecting your career. Be proud of what you are doing and own it.

Less talk, more work. Let's prove society wrong together.

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