As I sit back and watch the amazing work of athletes across the globe during the World Cup, I can't help but to ask myself every time, why couldn't the USA qualify? My parents are from Nigeria, so I was excited to see my Super Eagles in it again even though FIFA likes to match us with powerhouses such as Argentina every four years.
But my birth country is the land of the free and the home of the brave, so naturally, I want the United States to compete. It was very heartbreaking to watch the United States lose to Trinidad and Tobago in a game that we were highly favored to win. All hopes and chants of "I believe that we will win" slowly turned into crying as our seven World Cup appearances streak came to an end. It came as a surprise to many, but to those of us who know about American athletics, it was nothing short of disappointment that was impending. It left me with one question.
Where are all the soccer athletes?
The United States soccer league, MLS, has plenty of talent in its pool. Other countries may be far ahead in their soccer programs than ours, but that doesn't mean we don't have the athletes nor the talent to compete.
Sports are a worldwide phenomenon that keeps us captivated 365 days out of the year. We have Football, Basketball, Volleyball, and Hockey to get us through the Fall and harsh colds of Winter. We have Baseball, Tennis, Lacrosse, Softball, Golf, and Track to push us through the heat of Summer and Spring. Add in the anticipation of the Olympics every four years and you have a vast pool of athletes always ready for the opportunity to prove themselves. Then begs the questions...
Where does soccer fit into all the commotion?
Athletes across the United States skip over the most popular sport WORLDWIDE. Some of the fittest athletes are soccer players. They run the same field as football players, distance as track players, and jump as high as basketball players. What is our excuse for not competing and making deep runs into the World Cup every four years? If we believe that we will win so much how come the outcome is different from what we believed?
It's because we only believe in March Madness, Stanley Cups, Super Bowls, National Championships, and the Finals. No doubt that all of these are prestigious awards and deserve their respect for being on top of your respective sport. But as a country, the most prestigious award of them all is the World Cup. To be able to raise those 10 million dollars, 18 karats solid gold trophy with the Earth at its peak alongside the American flag is true prestige.
We not only have to believe that we can win but be determined to win. It starts here in the good ole USA.
Let us turn our focus to Qatar 2022. Let's make American soccer great again. Because...
I believe that we can win and we can prove to other countries we are just as great.