Why Americans suck at soccer (well, the men)

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  • Published on:  Thursday, June 21, 2018
  • We’ve got a theory, and it involves the soccer wars.

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    In this episode of Vox Almanac, Vox’s Phil Edwards puts forth a theory about terrible American men’s soccer.

    There are a lot of reasons Americans suck at soccer - but if you look at the history, you’ll find a surprisingly compelling explanation for why American soccer never took off. In the 1920s, soccer was a surprisingly successful sport in the US, with massive matches and a robust league. What went wrong?

    American soccer and English football first diverged in the 1800s, when American colleges like Harvard and Yale started playing a more rugby-like game. But America quickly caught up with soccer in the 1920s, attracting large crowds and even stealing away European players.

    Then the soccer wars happened. Constant battles in the 1920s between the ASL - American Soccer League - and USFA — United States Football Association — carved up American soccer’s cash, fans, and talent. By the time the depression hit, American soccer was so weakened that it couldn’t rebound as well as European and South American soccer culture did. The subsequent half-century of sports build up gave Americans a permanent handicap when it came to building a robust soccer culture.

    It’s a theory — but the success of the US Women’s National Team bears out the idea that something is specifically wrong for the men. And it just might be the case that 1920s soccer wars are the reason.

    Read about the own-goal that made the US Men's National Team miss the 2018 World Cup: https://www.theringer.com/2018/6/5/17428184/2018-world-cup-us-soccer-inside-story-jurgen-klinsmann-sunil-gulati-bruce-arena

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  • Source: https://youtu.be/9PNqVilJESg


  • Vox

     (Jun 21, 2018)

    If you picture a soccer ball looking like this ⚽, you're not alone. But back in the early days of television they looked very, very different. Watch: http://bit.ly/2tf3RP5

  • Ben Points

     (2 days ago)

    If the men played the girls national team the men would win 10-0

  • Baggsie 13

     (Dec 27, 2018)


  • Khumo Thage

     (Jul 11, 2018)

    Because its football.

  • Da Bome

     (3 days ago)

    +yui sajang Woosh

  • It's Life

     (3 days ago)

    +Mr Gilbert the british called it soccer.. look it up.

  • Donal

     (Jul 20, 2018)

    For a starters its because you call it soccer.

  • Daniel Smallman

     (4 hours ago)

    Soccer is a British term ya dummy

  • William Contreras

     (Feb 6, 2019)

    Y'all know that it is a British word, right?

  • Taehyung's voice is deeper than the Mariana trench

     (Aug 8, 2018)

    FootballFùtbolFußballFuteball Fotboll And then......*s o c c e r* I wonder what went wrong?¿

  • Naomi Nohar

     (4 days ago)

    Voetbal in dutch

  • Brian M

     (Feb 6, 2019)

    US: SoccerCanada: SoccerSouth Africa: SoccerAustralia: SoccerNew Zealand: SoccerJapan: Soccer (サッカー)Countries that call it some variation of football do so because they got the game from England and didn't already have a sport called "football." North America and Australia on the other hand already had sports called "football" and so called it "soccer," a shortening of "association football," and then the term spread to countries who were introduced to t...

  • a crocodile

     (Oct 18, 2018)

    when iceland a country with 338,000 people are ten times better

  • Carlos Luque

     (22 hours ago)

    +ryan lieberman kind of tough to not dominate when you're the only one playing those sports.

  • ryan lieberman

     (1 day ago)

    Very enlightening background on where the disconnect began. However this is an oversimplification. American resources are significant enough to quickly bridge much of this gap were there enough interest to do so. The fact is that American sports fans still do not have enough enthusiasm for the game to trigger the investment and participation needed for America to gain ground. Americans haven’t caught up because Americans have chosen to focus on other sports. There has been plenty of administ...

  • BlackWaterPirate

     (Jul 16, 2018)

    I can't watch when they keep calling it soccer.

  • SKooby

     (1 day ago)

    Then leave

  • _erik_exrxixkx

     (3 days ago)


  • Christopher Bathgate

     (Jun 21, 2018)

    The only reason the USA succeedes in womens soccer is because all other countries barely invest in womens soccee

  • Sebastian Contreras

     (3 days ago)

    Sadly true.

  • Facts

     (Nov 18, 2018)

    i dont care if amercains call it soccer i just dont understad who was thowing an egg around and thought football was a good name to call it

  • James Wallace

     (6 days ago)

    Because there are at least 3 types of football in the US and UK: Gridiron, Rugby, and Association (soccer). It was students in Rugby that started the egg thing - their ball was deflated and nobody had a pump.

  • HK TV

     (Jul 15, 2018)

    its quite simple. in every other country, soccer is the number 1 sport. in the US all the great athletes play american football, basketball, track swimming, hockey and even baseball. all these sports come before soccer in the US

  • TheGr8Banana

     (2 days ago)

    +Samuel Laka I think it's mostly because men's team Co pared to others is bad

  • Matheus Bezerra de Lima

     (3 days ago)

    +Samuel Laka It is kind of a snowball and a chicken-egg situation

  • Sun Tzu

     (Jul 18, 2018)

    Cuz steroids don't help you win in football if you don't have the skill

  • isaiah

     (Feb 3, 2019)

    Are you retarded? Do you know how steroids work?...

  • MrShitfire

     (Feb 2, 2019)

    Steroids wont help you in any sport if you don't have the skill or put the work in