Doha, Qatar — frustration crippled Tyler Adams In the first minutes of the next four years. Right after the final whistle dashed his World Cup dreams, he fell to his knees here at the Khalifa International Stadium. As Holland huddled and celebrated, it made him crouch. his 3-1 victory over the United StatesIt eventually pulled him all the way to the lawn.
But as he sat there with his head bowed, amidst the gloomy gaze and heartfelt condolences, his mind turned to the future, his mood changed.
“It’s probably the first time people say, ‘Wow, there’s something special about this team,'” Adams thought, later speaking of the US Men’s National Team and the public perception of it. “Possibilities are just possibilities, but I’ve found that if you maximize them the right way, something good can happen.”
But he was speaking after the same round of 16 eliminations as in 2014, 2010, and whopping 1994, a familiar World Cup result brought on by a familiar failure.So I asked Adams : why is this different?
“Um, I mean, I think you can probably do that assessment yourself,” he said.
“In terms of the players that are on our team compared to past teams, I wasn’t on the 2010 team or the 2014 team, so I’m sitting here looking at those guys. I can’t judge the team’s potential,” he continued. “But I mean, at the World Cup he was the second youngest team to get the same result, which speaks for itself.”
In fact, their starting lineup of four was the youngest four at this World Cup. They were still full of rising stars. Already rising above many USMNT predecessorsAdams didn’t say his team was more talented than theirs, perhaps in honor of those predecessors.
But current talent isn’t the only reason for unprecedented optimism. As the vast majority of football-playing nations can attest, talent tends to reach senior levels with fits and starts via random ebbs and flows.
But the hope for American football is that this generation isn’t just a golden generation ready to shine. At home in 2026it’s the beginning of a carefully crafted trend that signals an even better generation to come.
USMNT is still a work in progress
of The seeds of change and the USMNT of 2022 were planted in the mid-2000s.as former US soccer president Sunil Gulati told Yahoo Sports, the men running American soccer have essentially found their youth development model “completely flipped”. when
It was backwards. The children played more than they trained and took more tests than they did in class. In a way, Chris Hayden, who has been his director of FC Dallas’ academy for many years, told Yahoo Sports:
So in 2007, as Major League Soccer increased its investment in youth programs, US Soccer Controversial Development AcademyThe DA as it came to be known was a national league that pitted America’s best teenage boys against each other on a weekly basis. Also during the week he was obliged to have three and then four training sessions. It splattered early on, ruffled feathers, and completely infuriated several youth soccer coaches across the country. But it reformed a “broken” system and started production, especially as it expanded in this decade.
It helped produce 17 of the 26 players on this year’s World Cup roster, including Adams, Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson.US Soccer 2020 It closed in 2009, by which time MLS was poised to take control of the men’s soccer pyramid. The 29 clubs in the professional leagues currently invest more than $100 million a year in developing locally grown players. They maintain a reserve squad that fills the gap from youth to pros, and also provides for the first team and, by extension, the U.S. Men’s National Team.
They are increasingly attracting European scouts and sending teenagers to Europe’s top clubs. There are, of course, many flaws, but ” [American] Bayern Munich Academy chief Jochen Sauer told Yahoo Sports in 2018: Many believe that the country’s fostering system has “just scratched the surface” as it continues to grow.
And so is the USMNT. The 2022 World Cup ended as expected, but some people were interviewed. Pre-convention talks on youth development I warned against obsessing over more than 4 games. Better proof of what many believed would come 4 years from now and beyond.
“We will know the final result in five to 10 years,” said another Bayern youth coach, Sebastian Dremmler. “[In 2026], you will be a very strong national team. “
“Americans should be optimistic”
The 2026 World Cup felt far away as dark faces marched out of Khalifa on Saturday night. Reina declined the interview. Pulisic’s voice was weak and painful. Tim Ream was thrilled when he realized that unlike many of his teammates, the 35-year-old probably wouldn’t get another shot at this stage.
Beneath the brooding face, however, was a sense of perspective.
“The future is bright,” Reem said selflessly. “So this core group, when you say core group, is the 22, 23, 24 year olds who haven’t reached their prime yet. The potential is huge for this next cycle. The program works well with these guys: good characters, good players, good people…I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do on the world stage.”
Asked if this felt like a step forward or a step off course, DeAndre Yedlin, one of the 2014 team left, said, “I think it’s a step forward.” said.
Matt Turner said, “It has tremendous potential, if we don’t know it.” “We played against England and Holland and gave both teams a very tough time.”
And perhaps most importantly, they did proactive rather than passiveThey wanted the ball. When opponents got it they wanted it backThey sparred against England both physically and tactically. They let the Netherlands, a top 10 team in the world, basically decide that their best hope of defeating the United States was to concede possession and fight back.
Head coach Greg Berhalter said, “They should have confidence in the fact that we can play the way we want to, against anyone in the world. ‘That’s the point.’
It does not mean that USMNT has reached the level of Dutch or English.quality gap remains Appeared at a crucial moment on Saturday night.
But quality improves with experience and age. The youth system should provide more of that.
“To have the youngest player in a World Cup play four times in a row and still play like he’s always done, the American public should be optimistic,” Verhalter said.
As McKennie reiterated Saturday night, he and his players set out four years ago to collectively “change the way the world views American football.” I think we’ve achieved some,” McKennie said. Berhalter felt they had “partially achieved” it.
But the Holy Grail has always changed the way America views American men’s football. They do it only by winning. And here in Qatar, they’ve only won once, but they’ve shown that they’ll definitely win more one day.
“I think this tournament has really restored a lot of faith and respect for American football and our country’s football,” McKechnie said. “I think we’ve shown that we can finally be giants. We may not be there yet, but I think we’re definitely on our way.”