Unless you’ve been pulling your best Patrick Star impersonation and living under a rock, you’re probably well aware the US Men’s National Team lost 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago behind a ghost touch from Omar Gonzalez, and a screamer from Alvin Jones, eliminating them from World Cup play for the first time since 1986.
It was a wake up call for a national team that didn’t really deserve to play in the highest honor of national team play. The US showed not much heart against nations they should have put away, nor did they show the talent in league play that would allow them to coast in important games.
Rather than accept the fact that they are on the outside looking in, the USSF has tapped into it’s own pure American ingenuity and decided to try and host their own tournament…which in itself is the opposite of the American mindset that “Not everyone deserves a trophy.”
Why would the USSF do this? Honestly, it’s a good cash grab for them, and a way to keep their brightest stars like Christian Pulisic and his massive Merica tattoo in the spotlight while other countries are playing. They can charge people to come to stadiums and watch some of the world’s greatest teams like Italy, The Netherlands, Chile, play in a tournament that will more than likely be globally broadcast. Personally, I think It should be called the “JG Wentworth International Cup” (if you don’t get the reference, highly advice you to click the link)
However…this is dumb. Like very dumb. Allow me to explain why:
1) The money gained from attendance will be marginal at best
Let’s be real. Would you rather go to a tournament that really doesn’t matter at all and watch the USMNT play a game or stay at home and watch a World Cup Quarterfinal match?…That’s what I thought. No one outside of the US (and potentially Wales) would care about this at all. And given that one can assume these tickets will cost an arm and a leg to procure….for a tournament that really doesn’t matter….nah, fam.
2) No major team will send their main teams.
When the Italian National Team lost on aggregate to Sweden, their head coach lost his job almost immediately and flew home. When he got to the airport, he had to be led out through the back, and escorted by police to make sure that he wasn’t beaten severely. Italian players cried on the field. Andrea Belotti pulled of his own Adam Morrison after UCLA moment. Gigi Buffon was beside himself as they interviewed him post game. The Italian Federation reacted with furious action. They were embarrassed that their great nation had been denied something that was almost definitely a sure thing every year.
After the USMNT lost to Trinidad & Tobago, there was some shocked faces, but no tears, no real emotion. Bruce Arena deflected blame for a while, until he stepped down. The USSF deflected blame for a while, and continue to do so, and now that they arent included in a tournament that other people earned, they want to make a tournament for themselves so that they can potentially win a trophy.
This is why no one outside two of the three North American countries takes this team seriously, and why they wont send their main players to a C level tournament (at best). Italy wouldn’t be caught dead sending their number one team over here. The Netherlands aren’t lining up Arjen Robben and Quincy Promes to come over here and play in a tournament. They’re embarrassed. Wales aren’t letting Gareth Bale come play in a meaningless tournament, which leads us to the next point….
3) The play at this tournament is going to suuuuuuuck
If we’re watching players who are so-so from Serie A, or Eredivisie, etc instead of the top players, or the B team of the Czech Republic, or Chile sans Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, against the already maligned play from the US National Team….you’re gonna get ready for uneven, and potentially reeeeallly boring games. And we’re only talking about the supposedly good teams that would get invited….what about teams like Belarus, or China, or the aforementioned Trinidad & Tobago?…you really want a tournament of teams that really aren’t that good?
Finally…. 4) No team will release their players to play in this tournament
The World Cup, The Confederates Cup, etc….All of these tournaments are important because not only do they bring international glory to the nations, but they bring some prowess to the club teams that house these players, as they can claim they helped develop those players. So they typically are released. No league will release their players for JG Wentworth International Classic….or whatever they call it. You’ll end up with a full powered USMNT team, a bunch of European U21 teams, and some African and Asian teams missing their stars because their parent clubs wont release them. which goes back to point three that this will suuuuuuuuck.
In short: USSF cash grab, No real stars, there will be a better tournament on TV AND The USMNT will still find a way to come up short of winning the cup, because they’re choke artists.