On Tuesday night, the Men’s National Soccer Team was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup. For all the non sports fans who want to understand how terrible this is, well, just think about how you feel every morning reading the regular news, and you’ll kind of get the idea.
This is the “Donald Trump just tweeted about North Korea” of soccer.
But hey, I’m an emotional guy and sometimes I overreact. Let’s check in with former U.S. player, Taylor Twellman, to see how he’s feeling:
Yes. What are we doing?
The answer, if you ask me, is being America in 2017.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not drawing any direct lines between our country and its soccer team. I just think that on Tuesday night, the United States Men’s National Team was the perfect metaphor for the United States, nationally.
Bad management. Poor planning. A country with all the wealth in the world (seriously, we have 41% of it), incredible human resources (according to Wikipedia the U.S. is fucking gigantic), and somehow, still touting a developmental system that gets the least possible amount from all of it.
Sounds about right.
Just look at our insistence on improving the MLS for parallels (any Houston Dynamo fans out there?!). The fact that we still push our players toward this B-league, even though they’d be better off in Europe, is just so us. The same kind of American stubbornness that’s given us a century of standard measurements even though metric is way better. Walking around with some janky-ass ruler like, “We measure shit different around here! If you don’t like it you can get out!”
Well, now we’re out of the tournament. Our measurements were off, and we don’t get to play in the one of the world’s trillest sporting events.
I basically have zero use for my American-flag bodysuit now.
Now that rooting for our country is no longer an option, we’re left with an unenviable task. Americans must decide which foreign country (ew, yuck!) we’re going to get behind in 2018.
Personally, the question led me down a political rabbit hole. (Everything does these days; seeing as how we are living in a world where each new day is a waking nightmare of political incompetence and corruption.) Inside this dark hole of international inquiry (where I now live), I pondered which country on the world stage I admired most; and when I arrived at my answer, it shocked me.
Technically, if I wanted to root for the world’s current good guys, I would have to root for… *gulp*… Germany.
What in the hell is going on here people?!
This is not how this was supposed to go. In all the soccer movies I’ve ever seen, the Germans were the bad guys.
Now they’re my default choice if I want to root on the side of good? How did this happen?
The short answer: Just like our men’s soccer team, right when it mattered most, America the country took a giant, smelly dump.
Hillary Clinton losing to Donald Trump was exactly like the U.S. losing to an awful Trinidad and Tobago squad, 2-1.
Just like our soccer team, Hillary wasn’t perfect, but she always tried hard, right? And, I mean, the team she was playing against was the absolute worst (the Trump campaign), and all she had to do was put up a mediocre performance and we’d be fine, and–
Oh my god, we lost.
Now, I’m sitting in my apartment everyday, looking at the news like:
Yes. What are we doing?
After World War II, Germany was able to recover from its sins because the country was honest about the atrocities it had committed (hot take, but Hitler and The Holocaust were bad). They put measures in place to keep such things from happening again. And continued to heal well into the 1990’s.
On the other hand, here in America, we continue to struggle with our wrongdoings. Mainly, because we’re more convinced than ever that we never did anything wrong (you’d think we could be a bit more honest about the whole slavery/genocide thing). Everyday, these tragic flaws continue to gum up the works and keep things from running properly.
If we don’t change soon, the World Cup in 2026 could look a lot different.
It’s a Cup where America is the Evil Empire; the team the whole world roots against because everything that made us special has been upended and overturned. Donald Trump is our ruler now. He weighs 480 pounds (standard measurements, bitch!), and gets towed around in a gold-plated golf cart. For everyone else in America, well, getting to work everyday is kind of like The Purge.
Which is fitting, because horror movies are all America has left. All the uplifting films are being made overseas. They all star a guy named Günter; and in this particular sports movie, the whole world is counting on him to score the goal that will topple the bad guys.
Welcome to the darkest timeline. One that can only be avoided with a long-hard look at ourselves.
Maybe it’s time we took a page from the German playbook and did just that. It wouldn’t hurt us to be a little more like them.
Anyone will tell you, the Germans have one hell of a soccer team.