The Announcer of the famous American media company believes that the actual project is totally wrong
EXCLUSIVE ESPN DEPORTES USA /Calciomercato.it has exclusively interviewed ESPN International/Deportes Andres Agulla to understand what's going on in the United States after the burning defeat of the national team and the consequent elimination from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Andres believes that serious issues are affecting American soccer, situations that must be solved by starting a new project.
“The day of the qualifications for the World Cup was crazy. I am working in the ESPN’s International department and several people of different nationalities were there watching the matches. Americans, Argentinians, Chileans and much more were there and even 10 minutes before the end of the matches no one knew which teams would have gotten the qualification.
The elimination from the World Cup was definitely a bad hit for the Americans. They were waiting to get to Russia but now there’s no chance to participate.”
America is in shock! Many people are getting passionate about soccer and this elimination is an unfortunate step backward.
“This is like a punch in the face for the American football system. Several people working in soccer here in the States want to know who is responsible for this disaster.
There is also another issue that must be faced. I am talking about the players. Most of them prefer to stay in the USA playing here their entire career. It’s more comfortable to play in the MLS rather than going abroad. They are not willing to go to Europe and test their skills in more competitive leagues. Some of them would have had the opportunity to move to Europe. Perhaps they wouldn't have been able to play with top teams but they could have had a great experience. However, they decided to stay in the USA in order to have a better and more conformable life.
I firmly believe that players should compete and fight for something superior, in a more competitive environment. The current situation is very disappointing, as I said before, it’s like a punch in the face of those passionate about soccer.”
USMNT out of the 2018 World Cup. The project is missing
Bruce Arena cannot be considered the only one responsible for this defeat. Andres believes that there’s a strategic issue that must be faced as soon as possible. It’s necessary to understand what to do with the American soccer system.
“I have never thought that it would be a good idea to completely reshape a team. Undoubtedly, everyone needs to learn the lesson after this defeat. However, it’s not convenient to drastically dismantle the roster.
It’s necessary to recreate something around qualitative players such as Pulisic. I think that there’s a new generation of players that is advancing, but these players must be willing to test their skills at higher levels. It’s not good to remain in the USA to not feel pressures. They have to move abroad for more competitiveness. They need to play in a league where there’s a relegation system because they would have the pressure to make high-level performances.
The soccer federation needs to begin a different project. Even Klinsmann’s project could not have lasted longer. We cannot think of battling against Argentina or Colombia when, in the end, we are not even able to defeat Trinidad & Tobago. They have to sit around a table and decide what to do with American soccer. They need to understand where they want to get to.”
Sometimes, money is not everything. Although a rich country like the United States could think to solve all the issues by injecting money into the system, a certain balance must be found. A good project is the most important thing to reach success.
“I believe that MLS is just the first step for the players, especially in a country where a huge amount of money is injected in this sport and where there's the possibility to find several talents. They have to move to Europe if they want to become top level professionals. They must understand that the current MLS is not a top-level league.
Huge figures are being spent to develop American soccer but it looks like this sport is going nowhere. Even the youth teams are not performing well.
Also, we cannot focus only on Bruce Arena at this time. There’s a bigger problem that must be faced. It’s not necessary that the coach resigns or that he will be fired. It’s necessary to talk about the future development of this sport in the USA. They need to understand if they want to go ahead with this system, and eventually, they could hire a coach already working within the system. Otherwise, they have to look abroad and perhaps decide to hire a foreign coach who can implement innovations. I believe that this second option could be the best for the American soccer. Surely, a few years ago, their decision to start a project with Klinsmann was not the best.”